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#54182 - 08/23/10 11:27 PM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: Mike Rawdon]
MarcC Offline
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Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Actually all phones in the past 5 or maybe more years are GPS enabled. This is what allows locating you on a 911 call. So the real issue is whether a phone allows you to access its GPS information and provides an appropriate user interface.
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#54189 - 08/24/10 01:26 AM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: MarcC]
charliebutters Offline
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Registered: 11/11/01
Posts: 510
Loc: accord
My current service provider offers daily rates on gps access, last time i checked it was $3 a day or $10 a month. A car charger is a good idea as gps eats battery power quickly. My phone is four years old and seemingly basic.

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#54192 - 08/24/10 04:14 AM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: charliebutters]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Registered: 05/14/02
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Loc: brooklyn
Well, the thing with the "service" is that it's useless without a cell signal as it's pulling maps over the cell network. That's what you're really paying for.

If the phone has a built in GPS, you may be able to see the raw GPS data. On the blackberry, it's buried two or three layers down in the settings. On other phones, you may need to go into diagnostics mode. If you just need raw GPS data, it's worth spending a few minutes googling to find out if it's available. At the very least, having GPS coordinates will tell you which way you're hiking in the event you're completely lost.
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#54199 - 08/24/10 12:09 PM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: quanto_the_mad]
Mike Rawdon Offline

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Registered: 11/29/99
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Loc: Poughkeepsie
Originally Posted By: quanto_the_mad
At the very least, having GPS coordinates will tell you which way you're hiking in the event you're completely lost.



Too bad there isn't some small, lightweight, cordless device that would tell me that. wink

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#54201 - 08/24/10 01:24 PM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: Mike Rawdon]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Well, a compass only tells you which way you're facing. If you're hacking your way through dense underbrush, you could get turned around and be heading the wrong way... but every time you check the compass you just happen to be facing the direction you want to go.
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#54239 - 08/25/10 12:43 PM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: quanto_the_mad]
RangerRob Offline
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Registered: 06/06/00
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Loc: Ulster County, NY
Quanto, do you think the average person out there would be able to extrapolate direction from two given GPS coordinates? I doubt it. Using UTM's would be easiest...pythagorean Theorom. But do it given lat/long?? That's pretty complicated math to do out in the woods.

It's not that difficult to check your compass every 100 feet or so to make sure you are going in the right direction...assuming you know what direction you want to go in the first place.

Compasses are simple, easy, and almost totally reliable (Magnetic anamolies aside). All a person has to do is take a half hour and learn how to use it properly.

Damnit! Mike beat me to the punch


Edited by RangerRob (08/25/10 12:44 PM)

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#54243 - 08/25/10 02:09 PM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: RangerRob]
quanto_the_mad Offline
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Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Originally Posted By: RangerRob
All a person has to do is take a half hour and learn how to use it properly.


Well, that and actually bring it with them. That was my point really, most people don't carry one. But they probably have their cell phone, and if it has a GPS, it could be useful.

It's not hard to figure out which direction you're walking with raw coordinates. If one number increases/decreases while the other stays relatively constant, you're moving along an axis. If both numbers increase or increase/decrease at similar rates, then you're moving on a diagonal. That would help you self-rescue if you know there's a road to the east or something like that.

I'm not saying a GPS can replace a compass or that you shouldn't learn to use and carry a compass. I was pointing out that even with a compass, you can get easily turned around. Though, on second thought, maybe that's just us experienced people who put the compass away between checks, beginners might actually keep them in hand and follow the compass.
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#54253 - 08/25/10 06:37 PM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: quanto_the_mad]
RangerRob Offline
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Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
I'm a lifelong beginner. When bushwhacking the compass and map never go in my pocket and I constantly update my location on the map. I hear what you're saying with the GPS on the phone. However, the people who won't bother to bring a compass with them and just rely on their cell phones are probably not the ones who how to interpret GPS coordinates either. But hey, if you can a coordinate on your GPS, you can probably call 911, so there ya go. Problem solved

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#54256 - 08/25/10 08:05 PM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: RangerRob]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Well, that was another point, that the GPS reception works without cell coverage. Or it should, unless the service provider has blocked it to make it a part of a paid service.

You're right, most people don't know and will never think of it on their own. But who knows, maybe it'll help someone when they crash in the jungle and they remember hearing that they can use the GPS in their phones to navigate towards the ocean and rescue...
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#54303 - 08/27/10 12:42 AM Re: Newbie GPS question [Re: quanto_the_mad]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
does anyone know if you need any special software for a garmin to work in europe?
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