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Posts Tagged ‘GPS’

Hey Mr. Mobile Device – please find my car

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013


Can Your Phone Find Your Car?

This review in this morning’s New York Times caught my eye – how many times have I wished for some sort of gadget to find my car in a parking lot? I have tied a hiking stick to the roof of my car to make it more noticeable in busy parking lots. But that’s not always so easy. Cars are all created in about three to four colors unless you customize yours with psychedelic magic bus colors or something.

This article cites several new apps for free or at minimal cost that will find your car for you, using your phone’s GPS and some will even work from photos!

Data map shows U.S. gun crime statistics

Monday, December 31st, 2012

According to an article in the Guardian, the US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – there are 89 guns for every 100 Americans, compared to 6 in England and Wales.

See gun crime statistics by state in this latest data map.

Gun crime statistics by US state: latest data

Google Maps presents a new app for the iPhone

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

David Pogue reviews the new Google Maps app for the iPhone for The New York Times today. Readers of GISCafe Voice might remember Apple dropped their long time relationship with Google in order to provide their own Apple Maps, which some customers have not found as good as Google Maps.


For your to-do list, try GeoFencing

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Research and Markets  announced this week the addition of the “GeoFencing: Enabling Location-Based Reminders, Ads, Promotions, Proactive Apps, Security & More”report to their offering.

What is GeoFencing? It is an application that runs automatically on your smartphone so that when you get near a relevant location, that location or vendor can target their services to you the user and to the location.

If you use your smartphone calendar and to-do list, GeoFencing will let you know you are passing a store that sells the item on your to-do list that you need. If you’re a retailer then GeoFending will run your shop’s app while a user is passing the store in that location, signaling him/her with an appropriate product suggestion. It is also good for advertisers, parents, for social networking, for interoffice communication, always letting you know of what or who nearby might be appropriate for you to talk to.

There are a number of hurdles yet to be scaled for GeoFencing, such as the fact that running the phone GPS might drain the device’s battery. Also, timing and the range of the GPS are factors.


First commercialized test solution for 4G

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Spirent Communications,  a leader in testing wireless networks, services and devices, recently announced immediate availability of the first commercialized test solution for LTE assisted GPS (A-GPS) Over-The Air (OTA) Testing. This is a co-development effort by Spirent and ETS-Lindgren, two leaders in location testing.

Brock Butler, Director of Wireless Location Technology for Spirent Communications was interviewed by GISCafe Voice about this important announcement:
1)      What is LTE assisted GPS and why is it important?

Long Term Evolution (LTE), often called 4G, technology is being incorporated into many next-generation consumer devices, including smartphones.  It enables voice and high speed wireless data services. Nearly all consumer devices migrating to LTE also have a strong need to provide positioning capabilities. The leading technology for positioning remains Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) such as GPS (United States satellite system) or GLONASS (Russian satellite system). Assisted GNSS (e.g. A-GPS) uses an assistance server to provide satellite information to the mobile device and when coupled to a cellular technology like LTE, A-GNSS can provide improved location performance by making position fixes faster particularly at the very low power levels often associated with consumer usage in urban and indoor environments.


In-car navigation steps up to the competition of smartphone navigation

Friday, October 12th, 2012

I’ve been wondering what would happen with in-car navigation as a result of the new turn-by-turn navigation now available in smartphones. In-car navigation is much more expensive than the $50 app that allows you to use turn-by-turn navigation on your cell phone. The big plus of in-car navigation is the fact that you don’t have to hold your device while trying to navigate busy streets. But the higher price tag of in-car navigation has car manufacturers thinking up ways to utilize the smartphone navigation system.

Solutions are in the works, according to an article in today’s New York Times: Ford has teamed up with the navigation company Telenav to enable Telenav’s Scout software to run on compatible vehicles outfitted with Ford’s Sync system and software called Applink. A $25-a-year app, Car Connect, lets drivers connect Android phones to the dash. (An iPhone version is in the works.)


GPS routing accuracy questioned

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

In a recent article “Emergency rescuers: Use GPS devices with caution,” the message was really about what happened to Craig Matthews, who turned off a major highway in northern New Mexico last spring, whose remains were found in July by his girlfriend and another friend. Why? Matthews had been traveling north on Interstate 25 when he talked to his girlfriend, Debra Hughes, who lived in Penrose, Colorado. When Matthews didn’t return home, Hughes called search and rescue. A state game warden found his truck lodged in a snowdrift four days later about 44 miles off a remote side road, U.S. 64. He was found approximately 4/10 of a mile from the vehicle.

Hughes thinks Matthews got confused after he stopped for coffee in the town of Raton which is on the Interstate, and got on 64 instead of the Interstate. She thinks he turned on his GPS to direct him toward home.


ESA Galileo navigation satellites now interoperable with U.S. GPS

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The first two ESA Galileo navigation satellites in space can now transmit dummy signals in a modulation scheme designed to allow full interoperability with the US GPS once operational services start.

This is the European version of the Multiplexed Binary Offset Code signal standard which is the agreed upon standard with the United States for the interoperability of Galileo and GPS.

“This is an advanced modulation technique that offers robust protection against signal interference and the misleading signal reflections known as ‘multipath’,” said Marco Falcone, Head of Galileo System Services.

-ESA Navigation

Magellan and Effigis partnership punch up the eXplorist GIS Pro 10

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Magellan announced its partnership with Effigis to enhance customers’ ability to collect and post-process geo-localized data. The product that will take advantage of this partnership is Magellan’s  eXplorist GIS Pro 10 — a rugged, lightweight, waterproof and bluetooth-enabled handheld GPS device designed for GPS/GIS data collection.


GNSS-aided tracking may have found its market – monitoring criminals

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Nobody really knows how effective GNSS-aided tracking is in the monitoring of criminals released early from prison, but there is a burgeoning market for this type of GPS tracking, according to a recent study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). Although GNSS-aided tracking has been poo-poohed by rights activists as interfering with citizens’ civil rights, it is thought to be valuable to the whole of society to be able to track those such as high-risk sex offenders as well as parolees. In California alone, that number of parolees numbers over 100,000.


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