Tag: GPS

Calling for help early saves lives

Yesterday my SAR team was called to rescue three stranded hikers near Buntzen Lake. Global News covered the story. The location software they are referring to is YourLo.ca/tion, a prototype I whipped up based on some ideas myself and another

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Locating lost people using smart phones

A few weeks back I managed a search for two people lost near Buntzen Lake. After we rescued them, I learned that one of them had a smart phone with a GPS (in this case, an iPhone), but neither subject

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TrueNorth is in beta testing

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve been working on my side project, TrueNorth, for a long time. A really loooong time. I started it in 2005 when I worked out the math behind second-order georeferencing, and had something

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Confusing an estimate with reality

This post at kottke.org illustrates a problem with the user interface on many mapping applications. The application is supposed to show you where your phone is, but when it can’t determine the position accurately, it attempts to find a general

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GPS Dilution of Error Notice

In awesome space news, SAR Teams throughout southwestern BC were notified today that  a known GPS dilution of error event will occur tomorrow (January 16th) between  2215Z and 2245Z. Converting Zulu (UTC) to normal time means that’s from 14:15 (2:15 PM) and

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Stop with the Smart Phones already

Last year I wrote about how you should stop using Smart Phones for backcountry navigation. News outlets continue to post comments from local SAR teams highlighting what I wrote about; people using their phones as navigation devices are running the

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SARScene 2012 Presentation

I attended SARScene again this year (see here for last year’s presentation), and gave a presentation titled “Best Practices in Managing Geospatial Data for SAR Teams”. The idea was to present practical tips on managing “geospatial data” which is a

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Measuring Smartphone GPS accuracy

Update 2014 Please see the following post about the tool I wrote to automate this analysis. I’ve often wondered about how a Smartphone GPS would stack up against a purpose built wilderness GPS. I suspected that it would not perform

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Calculating your own GPS accuracy

In my post on GPS accuracy I made some claims about the accuracy of GPS devices and used a graphic that was created by a third party that may have confused the issue for some people, as it appeared to

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Your GPS is lying to you

At the very least, you’re probably misinterpreting what it’s saying. People’s attitudes toward GPS devices are very interesting. Since 2000, when selective availability was turned off, GPS has become ubiquitous  to the point where most people have one and interact with it on

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