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Sunday, March 18, 2012

GPS III Program, Ground Systems Grossly Over Budget

gps satellite IIF

The United States GPS program was the first real successful venture into global satellite navigation, but as more countries enter the GNSS market, for the U.S. to stay ahead we have to continue to innovate and expand. That means updating satellites and ground stations, which is exactly what the GPS III satellites were expected to do. However, these satellites have seen setback after setback and now the USAF is reporting that the project is more than two years behind schedule and already $700 million over budget. read more

Garmin Removes Viago App With No Fanfare

viago

Do you remember the Garmin Viago app? Unless you were one of the several thousand people who downloaded it, I am going to guess probably not. We covered its release in June, but I admit after the article was published, I never really gave it a second thought. And as it turns out, I’m not the only one who wasn’t very impressed with the app.

Immediately after launch, the app had poor reviews on both Google Play and iTunes and now, eight months later, Garmin has officially and quietly shuttered the program. The Viago launch page currently features a message that the app is no longer available for download although all the rest of the PR marketing material is still there to read through, strangely enough. I’m not sure when, exactly, this happened (as I wasn’t using the app) but Android Police claims it was earlier this year. read more

This Week in GPS — May 22, 2015

eTrex20x_HR_200_300

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 Garmin’s new eTrex models which were announced late last week. Preorders are going on now, and the price is pretty nice. All models feature a rugged design and bright color screens. Read on for more info! read more

Garmin Oregon, eTrex on Sale at GPS City

eTrex 10 vs 20 display

If you’re a fan of handheld GPS devices, then this might just be your lucky week. After the recent announcement of Garmin’s new eTrex devices, GPS City has been reducing price like crazy on their old eTrex devices. And, just for good measure, also has discounted the extremely popular Oregon 650 which is still one of the better handheld GPS devices on the market. read more

Apple Buys Navigation Company, Signs with TomTom Anyway

tomtom-logo_1

Apple is one of those huge corporations that, whenever it does anything, it’s all over the news. Recently, the technology behemoth purchased a small navigation startup by the name of Coherent Navigation, and the internet exploded with theories as to why. With the dismal state of Apple Maps, I can’t say that I found the move particularly surprising or even all that noteworthy. I hadn’t even heard of Coherent Navigation until Apple purchased them.

After doing a bit of research (mostly out of curiosity because it kept popping up in my news feed) this little GPS company apparently was pretty small, based on the coast and mostly handled navigation and location research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Pretty cool, but again, nothing super noteworthy. The company’s primary claim to fame was its work on High-Integrity GPS or “iGPS” which is meant to help improve GPS reliability. Which, if you’ve ever looked at Apple Maps, then you know Apple certainly is interested in. read more

GPS City Offers Forerunner Discounts

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Garmin’s Forerunner series of running and cycling watches while not really the top of the market, are still reasonably popular in the GPS watch market. These devices can track runner/cyclists paces, distance, speed, track and, with the addition of a heart monitor, heart rate.

Well, all of that changed with the recent introduction of Garmin’s new Forerunner 225. This device comes with a built-in heart monitor which allows it to record user’s heart rates without the addition of an uncomfortable and bulky chest strap. The Forerunner 225 is expected to be released in the next couple of months, but if you’re in the market for a new Forerunner device, then now is definitely the time.
read more

GPS and Map-Reading Skills

Street Photography in NYC

I came across a really interesting article published by the BBC earlier this month regarding the use of sat-navs and GPS navigation and how the proliferation of these technologies is a threat to basic map-reading skills. The article itself talked a lot about how the younger generation doesn’t know how to read basic maps and is, therefore, losing a lot of basic skills and independence.

“Many cannot read a landscape, an ordnance survey map, or find their way to a destination with just a compass, let alone wonder at the amazing role astronomy plays in establishing a precise location,”  the president of the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN), Roger McKinlay told BBC in the article. “Instead, generations are now growing up utterly dependent on signals and software to find their way around.”

But, is that really a problem? read more

Garmin Introduces New eTrex Handhelds

eTrex20x_HR_200_300

Just about every handheld top 10 features at least one, if not more, of Garmin’s eTrex line. These durable and affordable devices are incredibly popular, so it’s no surprise that Garmin has finally announced the next-generation eTrex devices: the eTrex 20x and 30x. The new eTrex units are expected to be available this summer and will share many features with the original eTrex line including the simple, easy-to-use interface. read more

Will the Department of Defense Replace GPS?

GPS is one of those technologies that has completely changed the way that people function, and I would argue completely for the better. While I talk a lot about how knowing how to use a paper map is a good skill, at the end of the day, GPS is incredibly useful and helpful. But, according to an article by the National Defense Magazine, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is somewhat less of a fan, and would be all too happy to see GPS reliance gone completely.

“[GPS] is very expensive to launch and operate,” Carter said during a podcast in April. According to Carter, GPS makes the United States vulnerable and “is impossible to use in the valleys of Afghanistan or in a big city, or in places where the signal is poor.” read more

This Week in GPS — May 15, 2015

Forerunner_225_HR_6488.10

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 Garmin’s newly introduced Forerunner 225, which is the first Garmin watch to include heart rate monitoring without a chest strap! About time, Garmin.

Here are some other things going on in the world of GPS this week: read more