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OT: Treachery of GPS Devices.

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  • #46
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
    The GPS receiver knows where it is. The problem is with the translation of that to a location with respect to roads and structures. Someone has to cross-link it to a map, and that is where the trouble starts.

    Coverage in the hot coastal areas is good, although I guess tall buildings mess it up a bit, but out in the sticks (flyover land), it apparently isn't a high priority to get it right.... and I can see why.... it's expensive to KNOW you have it right....
    That's not really a problem. In the late 1960's my dad showed me how his firm was using surveys and 3D aerial photography to validate old maps so they would only re-survey as needed. Modern computing power has made it super simple compare aerial shots with the database to see if the road is where the map says it should be. Google appears to have done an impressive job of mapping addresses to the physical location. When I go to street view for an address it almost always shows the correct spot.

    Maps work fine, and don't need power.

    I believe you are right, phone apps will likely replace the dedicated GPS.... They can combine maps with the GPS receiver, adding accuracy and allowing some creative problem-solving. It makes a lot more sense to me, although I don't have a smart phone (I'd have one but they are too big to carry..... I have pockets, not a purse).

    The one benefit to a separate one is that you can call AND use the GPS receiver at once....
    In the last few years the 4G networks allow the GPS and phone to work at the same time.

    "Maps work fine, and don't need power." That assumes that you know where you are and have a compass and light. I can navigate quite well with paper and compass but I know many people who can't.

    I've suggested that my 80 year old mom and her boyfriend learn to use the GPS on his phone just enough to figure out their current location. Given that information they can use a map to find a route to home. They live in central Oregon where it's easy to get lost.

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

    Location: SF East Bay.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by danlb View Post
      Google appears to have done an impressive job of mapping addresses to the physical location. When I go to street view for an address it almost always shows the correct spot.
      I've noticed a number of instances where the spot indicated by Google is not even on the correct side of the street.... and may be significantly wrong in location.

      The "street view" can correct that in some cases, if you can see the actual location. In other cases, it's more difficult. But it is quite nice to see the building in "street view", that gives important visual cues to help locate it while you are driving.

      Street maps in cities need no compass. As soon as you find the second intersection , you are fully oriented. In other places, there are usually many clues to identify "north", ranging from where the sun is (or some other star, at night) to where the lichen is on the tree, etc, etc.

      As for the combined usage, it is more about being able to look at the screen at the same time you talk and listen. OK in some cases in quieter areas, where you can hold it out in front of you, but less so outdoors with a wind, or traffic noises.
      Last edited by J Tiers; 01-04-2014, 11:58 PM.
      CNC machines only go through the motions

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