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Posts Tagged ‘GPS’

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.


Magellan introduces RoadMate Commercial navigation for trucks

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Magellan has just announced the 7″ RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM navigator for trucks. The big-screen unit comes with an extended windshield mount, and allows routing based on the height, weight, width and length of the vehicle, and any hazmat restrictions.

Magellan’s newest addition to its Magellan RoadMate Commercial GPS family for truckers and commercial drivers provides improved safety and productivity before, during and after their on-the-road trips.  The  Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM GPS device is compliance-ready, and meet the needs of  truckers with its extra-large GPS display, customizable truck-specific routing, hands-free communication and trip logging.


LightSquared: back in the news – filing for bankruptcy

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

LightSquared Inc. recently had lost the approval of the Federal Communications Commission to convert airwaves originally designated for satellite service to spectrum for land-based radio towers in February. The FCC withdrew approval for the company’s network after government tests found that the signals would interfere with global-positioning systems. Now Lightsquared has filed for bankruptcy, saying it “will seek to resolve the concerns of U.S. regulators who thwarted the company’s plan to deliver high-speed wireless to as many as 260 million people.”

According to the story, LightSquared, based in Reston, Virginia, listed assets of $4.48 billion and debt of $2.29 billion as of Feb. 29 in a Chapter 11 filing today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Besides its head to head battle with the FCC, Lightsquared has had financial difficulties. Creditors have requested that the company’s backer, Philip Falcone, step aside. In spite of that request, Falcone and the current management team will remain with the company, according to company spokesmen.

Bankruptcy “is intended to give LightSquared sufficient breathing room to continue working through the regulatory process that will allow us to build our 4G wireless network,” Chief Financial Officer Marc Montagner said in a statement. Reaching agreements with U.S. agencies may take as long as two years, he said in court papers.


Historical coverage of LightSquared in GISVoice:

Controversial LightSquared goes before House subcommittee

Going where no GPS has gone before



Police tracking cellphones routinely

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.

The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.

-The New York Times, March 31, 2012


More on pothole crowdsourcing info – the City of Boston

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The City of Boston and a company called Innocentive recently teamed up to develop a smartphone app that allows drivers in the city to help track and predict where potholes develop. Much like the one developed by CitySourced, the Street Bump app keeps track of bumps while driving, as well as their location, and then sends this  data on to the city so that it can address repairs quicker and hopefully, more efficiently.

There’s an app for that – from CitySourced

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Residents of Longview, TX (reported on earlier this week – “There’s an app for that – citizen pothole reporting”) with smartphones can get a new mobile app called “CitySend“ created by CitySourced (didn’t credit that company in the first blog) to inform public works officials of their public issues. The mobile app, unveiled by Longview GIS Manager Justin Cure, allows users to take photos, record video and audio of a problem, and automatically provide GPS coordinates. After the report is submitted, users can track all reported problems on a map as well.

Controversial LightSquared goes before House subcommittee

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

In an article in the National Journal yesterday, it was reported that the company LightSquared had come before the  Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee because “Tests indicate that LightSquared’s proposals would interfere with global positioning systems. LightSquared says it has solved the interference problems, but representatives of nine federal agencies concluded on Jan. 13 that no practical measures can allow LightSquared to overcome interference with GPS.

The finding, a significant blow to LightSquared’s case, prompted a furious response from the beleaguered wireless startup, which accused the government panel of “a systematic disregard for fairness and transparency.”

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee said he has met with representatives from both GPS companies and LightSquared in hopes of figuring out if there is an “engineering answer here.” He said he got two different answers.

The FCC says it will not give LightSquared final approval until tests show that the network can be safely built, but the agency has come under fire for its handling of the process.” –

Walden Questions FCC handling of Lightsquared

Going where no GPS has gone before

[GISCafe Voice November 21, 2011]

Going where no GPS has gone before

Monday, November 21st, 2011

In November a gathering of 150 GPS engineers convened in Stanford at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to discuss the $110 billion GPS market for military and commercial aviation systems, consumer mapping services in cars and automated agricultural machines, among other related industries at the fifth annual Stanford University symposium on Position, Navigation and Time.

A big topic on the table is that GPS is no longer the only navigation and tracking system on the planet any more. According to a November article in Wired, there are four things threatening the future of GPS:

  • Next-generation mobile broadband services angling for a piece of the electromagnetic spectrum relied upon by GPS
  • Cheap GPS jammers flooding the highways, thanks to consumers worried about invasive police and employers surveillance;
  • Cosmic events, like solar storms
  • Future location technology that will ultimately push those services to places where GPS hasn’t been able to go.

What’s on the horizon is the new mobile broadband company, Lightsquared, that has been said to threaten GPS signals with interference from a neighboring spectrum. Lightsquared appears at first like it will solve a lot of problems to broadband, by offering cable – like bandwidth to mobile customers through LTE, a next generation wireless service. What’s more, the Obama administration has endorsed Lightsquared – which resides in the same spectrum that runs GPS, which is lower power and gets interference easily.


Smart Collar measures how animals move and eat

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The “smart collar” — in development in academia and intended for commercial production in the next few years, use a combination of global positioning technology and accelerometers for measuring an animal’s metabolic inner life in leaping, running or sleeping.

The smart collar measures how animals move and eat and live their lives — and could fundamentally transform how wild populations are managed, and imagined, biologists and wildlife managers say.

‘Smart Collar’ in the Works to Manage Wildlife Better August 29, 2011, The New York Times (registration required)

MindHelix launches India’s first GPS-based auto-rickshaw fare meter

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
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