Sunday, March 18, 2012

Couple Uses GPS To Announce Pregnancy

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Here at GPS Tracklog, we write about a lot of hard news like product releases and technical information about the state of GPS in the country and world. It can be easy to forget that GPS is way more than Garmin’s latest navigation device, or that cool new Kickstarter program, or even geocaching tips. But, GPS can be used for a variety of more fun things, including hiding art, jogging for marriage proposals and everything in between. Today, I wanted to pause in all the technical stuff to write about an adorable human interest article I stumbled across at Little Things.

Recently, a couple posted a video online of a pregnancy announcement made in a very unusual way: through the device’s GPS voice navigation. There aren’t a lot of details on exactly how it was done, but watching the video, it looks like the woman may have used Siri from Apple Maps for the announcement. The reactions of the mother were pretty priceless.

You can watch the video below:
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Simplifying Buying a Handheld GPS

geocache GPS use

When you star researching to buy your first handheld GPS, it can be a little daunting. There are so many different options, plenty of advanced features (including some like a camera which seem kind of useless at first) and often multiple versions of the same unit with different numbers, slightly different features, and a huge difference in price. So how do you pick?

Turns out, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think. Obviously you have an idea of about what you want to spend, and that’s the simplest way to narrow down your choices. Then, there are really only three things you need to decide: read more

This Week in GPS — December 30, 2016

airplane

This week in GPS is a weekly link roundup of (mostly) GPS related odds and ends, from GPS Tracklog and other places around the Web. This week’s featured image is an airplane because GPS and Galileo both have announced that they will be working together for airline safety. Read more below, and other GPS news as well: read more

GPS, Galileo to Work Together For Airliner Navigation

airplane

If there’s one thing that never fails to make people sit up, pay attention, and finally work together, it has to be air travel and safety. In 1983, President Reagan opened up GPS for civilian use after the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was shot down when it strayed into Soviet airspace. Then, in 2000, GPS accuracy was increased as President Clinton ended Selective Availability. Now, it looks like the aviation community may get yet another tech bump in the near future.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the United States and the European Union have agreed to work together to allow aircraft to access both GPS and the yet-unfinished Galileo signals, providing better and more accurate navigational information. With this initiative, each system would be working as a backup for the other, providing more protection against hacking, jamming, spoofing, and other similar threats.

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Norad to Track Santa’s Trip

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Christmas Eve is finally here again, which means that the countdown has begun for Santa and his elves to get all of the presents loaded up, the naughty and nice list checked again, and the travel plans made. But, have you ever wondered how Santa manages to visit all of the children in one night? While I’m don’t know what we’ll ever know exactly how he manages it all, one thing that we can be sure is that he definitely visits all the children of the world, giving out presents. And how do we know? Well, by tracking him via GPS, of course!

In fact, since 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve to make sure that the jolly man doesn’t run into any problems on his flight. While originally they used radar to hone in on Rudolph’s shining red nose, in the modern era, advanced GPS technology, specially-designed SantaCams, and input from the elves that make up Santa’s flight team allow NORAD to track exactly where the jolly man himself is delivering toys throughout the night.

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Amazon’s First Customer Drone Delivery Completed

Amazon GPS drone delivery

This is one of Amazon’s early drone prototypes, but not the kind which made the most recent delivery.

Drone delivery has been on the horizon for a couple years now, and it’s no secret that Amazon has been the front runner for this futuristic convenience. As officials here in the United States have not been overly willing to let drone deliveries go through, Amazon moved its operations and testing grounds abroad and it looks like we’re finally starting to see results.

This month marks Amazon’s first commercial drone delivery to a customer. According to ReCode, the delivery took place on December 7, and consisted of an Amazon Fire TV and a bag of popcorn. The customer, who lives near the testing facility in Cambridge, England, received his package about 13 minutes after the order was placed. read more

This Week in GPS — December 16, 2016

galileo-satellite

This week in GPS is a weekly link roundup of (mostly) GPS related odds and ends, from GPS Tracklog and other places around the Web. This week’s featured image is a rendering of a Galileo satellite in honor of the EU’s navigational constellation finally going live this week! Read more about this and other GPS news below: read more

Galileo Set To Go Live Thursday, December 15, 2016

galileo-satellite

Although it has undergone numerous setbacks, launch miscalculations, and is over budget by more than 8 billion euro, it looks like Europe’s Galileo satellite constellation is finally complete enough to begin sending out signals. In fact, according to GPS Daily, the constellation is set to begin transmitting as soon as tomorrow, December 15, 2016, and it’s been a long time in coming.

This project has been in progress for at least 17 years and cost European taxpayers an estimated 10 billion euros ($11 billion) although it was originally expected to cost around 1.8 billion Euros. Of course, the numerous errors, including launching two satellites into the wrong orbit in 2014, caused the entire program to take nearly twice as long as initially intended.
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Does Overuse of GPS Alter Your Brain?

Auto GPS buyers guide

GPS is simultaneously one of the most important and prevalent technologies of our age. Whether you use a dedicated GPS device, own a smartwatch, have a smartphone in your pocket, or use a computer built in the last couple years, there’s a good chance that GPS is a heavy part of your day-to-day life, whether you realize it or not. And, as with any technology, as the uses grow and the privacy concerns blossom, it leaves people wondering if GPS doesn’t have any unintended consequences.

Overall, GPS is a wonderful thing. I don’t think anyone would argue that the ability to not get lost when driving to your Aunt’s house once a year isn’t useful, or that being able to avoid traffic on your way to that awesome sushi place isn’t nice. But, with the constant outsourcing of mapping and navigational tasks, is it possible that GPS is also affecting your brain? read more

GPS Anomaly in Central Russia May be Spoofing

moscow-gps-spoof

Photo by Pavel Kazachkov | CC BY 2.0

For the last few months, there have been plenty of odd reports coming out of Russia that there is a GPS anomaly in central Moscow. And, as the reports have become more and more frequent and the Russian government continues to stay quiet on the matter, some people believe that it may, in fact, be a case of GPS spoofing.

According to the CNN report, many people are experiencing glitches in their GPS devices when nearing the Kremlin. This glitch, or anomaly, suddenly forces their device to show users located in Vnukovo airport—nearly 20 miles away from the Kremlin. It’s notable that it’s not just the Kremlin—the signal reportedly fluctuates all around Moscow but is most noticeable closer to the Kremlin.  read more