Sunday, March 18, 2012

GPS App Helps Those in Need


Smartphones aren’t just for Instagram and bird-related games. A smartphone app creator in Philadelphia wants to encourage you to use your device for micro-philanthropy to help the needy. And, all it requires is the push of a button.

This week, the app Donafy–a play on the words ‘donate’ and ‘notify’–debuts on iTunes for the Philly area. Created by a tax attorney in the city who wanted to give people an easier way to help the needy and those on the street, Donafy is meant to make doing your part to help as simple as pressing a button. read more

Top 10 Non-Garmin Auto GPS

TomTom VIA 1535TM

Garmin is one of the most popular makers of GPS devices, and when you browse Amazon’s best seller list, the amount of Garmin devices listed is staggering, no matter what category you’re considering. And while Garmin does make some pretty solid devices, sometimes it’s nice to take a look at the other guys and see what they have to offer.

Here are some of the most popular devices made by Magellan and TomTom, according to Amazon:

read more

GPS Trivia Quiz

GPS Block IIIA satellite

GPS is far more pervasive than most people realize, and it impacts most people’s lives daily. But how much do you actually know about GPS? Last week, I put together a brief article about the common GPS myths.

Today, just for fun, I we have a short GPS quiz with some common (and not-so-common) questions. Let me know how many you got right in the comments! read more

This Week in GPS — February 27, 2015

GPS Block IIIA 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 GPS satellite to go with our article on the top 10 most common GPS myths, which we debunked on Saturday.

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

Meet the Flashlight that Does Everything


I tend to hesitate to write about crowdfunded Kickstarter projects because a lot of times, they don’t actually pull through. There are complications associated with crowdfunding and such, so the device must be something really interesting to for me to even bother with more than a brief writeup. Well, today, I read about a flashlight that wants to replace, well, everything… and I just had to share.

Meet Fogo, a “smart flashlight” that has probably as many sensors as your smartphone and does just as much. Here’s the list of features that are expected to be included according to the Kickstarter page: read more

HERE for Android Adds Indoor Maps


We’ve talked a lot about indoor location and navigation in the last few months. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the main movements in GPS right now, and there are dozens of companies that are working towards finding a solution to helping people find their way inside of large buildings.

One of the newer names to the indoor location scene, Nokia, announced earlier this month that it will be including indoor mapping of more than 11,700 locations in 76 different countries as part of its HERE Maps app, available for Android. The company hasn’t released a whole lot of information about the indoor mapping or how it works, but from what I’ve seen, it looks pretty decent. Maps are 3D digital renderings of buildings, and users can swipe, swivel and probably even zoom to their hearts content while searching for directions. read more

Will Self-Driving Cars Be on the Road in 2017?

Volvo Car Group initiates a world unique Swedish pilot project with self-driving cars on public roads

One of the more common stereotypical futuristic technologies–aside from holograms and intelligent robots–is a self-driving vehicle of some sort. Usually something airborne, because who wouldn’t want to travel fast AND have great views while getting there? When I was a kid, I imagined when I was an adult, I would climb in my hover car, tell it where I wanted to go, and then sit back and relax as my intelligent flying car shuttled me there with no delay.

While I’m pretty certain that flying cars are never going to happen (at least not in my lifetime), self-driving vehicles are actually almost here. In fact, according to Volvo, we might start seeing them on the road as soon as 2017. read more

Garmin to Continue Auto GPS Despite Decline in Sales


I must say, ladies and gents, the automotive GPS market is not looking really great. Garmin, undoubtedly the largest and most popular provider of GPS devices in general, posted their 2014 financial reports late last week, and the numbers showed an 11% decrease in automotive devices and an 8% drop in outdoor devices (which includes handhelds and sport devices). Fitness devices, on the other hand, saw a whopping 70% increase, while marine and aviation saw moderate increases as well.

Here’s what Cliff Pemble, president and CEO of Garmin Ltd. said in the release as far as the auto market goes: read more

Galileo Satellites Declared Fit for Launch

galileo satellite

Arianespace has confirmed that the third and fourth Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites built for the Galileo constellation are “fit” for the launch expected in March. The satellites have been undergoing a series of rigorous tests since the EU announced that the Galileo system would continue forward with three launches.

Early last week, the two satellites made initial contact with the mission’s dual-payload dispenser in French Guiana, and were installed and removed separately during the tests. The dispenser itself will be fully integrated closer to the launch, and will hold one satellite on each side. read more

10 Common GPS Myths

GPS Block IIIA satellite

GPS has been around since the 80s, but even today a lot of people don’t really understand how it works, and there are tons of myths floating around that are just not true. Today, I wanted to take a look at 10 of the myths that I hear more than anything else, and try and set the record straight.

Myth: GPS comes from signal stations

Fact: GPS signals are actually transmitted from a constellation of 30 satellites orbiting the Earth. While GPS signal stations are integral to the mathematical formula that calculates distances and makes GPS satellites function, the signals themselves are actually from space–not the ground.

Myth: The military controls GPS signals

Fact: Well, this is only partially false. While GPS signals and satellites are monitored and operated by the 2nd and 19th Space Operations Squadrons at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, the GPS program itself is actually owned and regulated by the U.S. government and funded through tax dollars.  read more