Tag: map

Why you shouldn’t use Smart Phones for Backcountry Navigation

Smart phones are everywhere. By “Smart Phone” I’m referring to any mobile phone that has additional functions, but specifically for the purposes of this article a smart phone is any phone that has a GPS or A-GPS function. My assertion

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On Coordinates; part 2

In my previous post on coordinates, I stated that the best coordinate representation to use if you need to use geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) was decimal degrees (or DD). It’s preferable to use UTM, which is pretty much a

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On Coordinates

A while back I wrote about some issues I’ve witnessed with backcountry enthusiasts, SAR people, and geographic coordinates. In my experience, people have trouble recording and transmitting coordinates. This should be a very simple task, and it is – when

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Maps vs. Air Photos

Now that everyone with an internet connection has access to Google Earth and Google Maps, we all have access to some fairly high quality air photo imagery. This might seem to be a good thing, but there are problems with

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GPS vs. Paper Maps

Ever since I saw my  first mapping GPS I’ve been pretty critical of them (well, those that know me know I’m pretty critical about everything). To be clear I’m not critical about the basic utility of plotting your position on

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SAR Day 8: GPS Navigation

When I joined the team, GPS units were big, heavy, expensive and kinda sucked in the bush; if they could not get a clear view of the sky they took forever to get a fix, and when they did it wasn’t very accurate.

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SAR Day 6: Navigation part 2

Regular training day with navigation on the schedule. Map and compass. In the past 10 years, the biggest errors in navigation I’ve seen have all been variations on transcription errors. What happens is this: people will report their position using

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Cell phone locations

The SAR team has had a run of searches at inopportune times. The first one was after an all night search, so we rolled from the first search, into breakfast (at 11:00), into a rescue out near Widgeon Falls. All

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Excercise SILVER

An Earthquake near Tsawwassen, a structure fire on Hamilton Street, a gas leak at Robson and Cambie, and a dirty bomb in Agasiz. Just another day in Excercise Silver. Silver, the second in the series of preperatory emergency excercises leading

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