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Sunday, March 18, 2012

This Week in GPS — December 19, 2014

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 new luxury GPS wallet that is available from Macy’s. It would make for a pretty nifty gift for someone, or even just for yourself! Here’s what else is going on in the world of GPS this week: read more

Tracking Baby Jesus

nativity

The Christmas season is upon us and it seems that everywhere you look, there are Christmas decorations. One of the staples of Christmas decorations here in the South are nativity sets. Whether they are plastic or cardboard or a real living nativity, these biblical scenes grace the fronts of churches across the country during the month of December.

However these churches across the country also share a common problem: the theft of Baby Jesus. Personally, I can’t imagine why someone would want to steal a plastic Baby Jesus, but it’s apparently a huge a problem this time of year. So much so, in fact, that several GPS companies have stepped forward during the last few years and offered free GPS trackers so that parishes and chapels can ensure their Baby Jesus stays with his flock. read more

GPS Tech Means You’ll Never Lose Your Wallet

GPS Wallet

When looking for a gift for that impossible someone (because let’s be honest–we all have one) I have found the best thing is to look for something unusual that they might not consider getting for themselves. If you have someone on your list who is interested in technology (GPS or otherwise) or who is constantly forgetting things, then the Royce Leather Freedom Wallet is definitely something to consider.

This genuine Italian Saffiano leather wallet features GPS tracking technology (via Bluetooth) so that you’ll never have to worry about losing your wallet again, and a stolen wallet suddenly isn’t as terrifying as otherwise. The wallet uses the Trackr mobile platform and Bluetooth technology in order to send alerts to your cell phone and allow you to pinpoint the location on a map. This new luxury wearable technology is available at Macy’s and retails for around $100. read more

Last Day for Free Shipping from GPS City

gpscity xmas shipping

I will openly admit that I’m something of a procrastinator when it comes to doing Christmas gifts, and I’m sure some of you are as well. But, if you’re planning on getting a new GPS unit for your outdoor enthusiast, then make sure that you order it soon!

GPS City‘s offer of free shipping and their guarantee that packages will arrive by Christmas day ends today at 3:00 p.m. PST. So hop to it, and make sure you grab everything that you need and get checked out. Here’s the fine print on the shipping if you want to read it, but basically your order has to be at least $25. read more

Satellite Storage Could Exceed $200 Million

GPS Block IIIA satellite

The United States government is constantly upgrading the GPS satellite system, and frequently does something that we all do occasionally—orders them in bulk. But, while ordering satellites in bulk does save on some money, as it turns out it brings with it other challenges and costs.

According to a study released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Department of Defense (DOD) has spent a whopping $130 million dollars on storing various satellites and in the next five years it could easily surpass more than $200 million. Of course, not all of that money is simply for GPS satellites, but the GPS II-F system was specifically mentioned in the article as one of the satellite models that was stored for a length of time. read more

FAA Grants Commercial Drone Flight Exceptions

DJI Phantom Quadcopter Drone

In yet another victory for drone enthusiasts, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently approved four companies to use commercial drones for various reasons including research, construction and data collection. The companies that gained approval include Trimble Navigation, VDOS Global, Clayco Inc and Woolpert Inc. In addition to the approvals granted earlier this year to six film and photography companies and two Alaskan oil projects, it is starting to look like commercial drone use might actually become a reality sooner than you’d think. read more

Amazon Best Selling GPS Lists

amazon

I admit it: I’m a nerd. I’m also kind of weird, and I find watching Bestselling trends on Amazon to be extremely interesting to watch over the course of time. While their bestselling lists update hourly I’m not a big enough nerd (with enough free time) to check it more than once every couple of days, but the trends are kind of neat. read more

This Week in GPS — December 12, 2014

what3words-app-large

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 screenshot of a new app that uses three words instead of lattitude and longitude for navigational purposes. It’s pretty nifty! Here’s some other things happening in the world of GPS this week: read more

New GPS/Nav App Provides 3D Views

iphone-en

If you’re looking for off-road navigation then you probably have a dedicated GPS device that you use instead of a smartphone. Even with off-network capability, these apps aren’t incredibly helpful most of the time when you’re backpacking in the middle of nowhere, or trying to find your way through a rural area. And, while I’ll never try and sell you that smartphones are better than GPS (they aren’t) if you have an iPhone, this new app might be something worth looking into.

Maps 3D Pro costs about $5 on iTunes, and is actually designed for hikers, cyclists, skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. Not only does it give you terrain and altitude details and download to your phone, but you can actually select what kind of map you want based on where you’re going. Maps 3D Pro draws maps from NASA satellite views, 3D topographic maps, Open Street Maps (for city navigation) and USGS maps just to name a few. You can look at the maps in regular 2D or in beautifully rendered 3D, depending on your needs. You can even zoom and rotate around the 3D version–sort of like a Google Earth for your phone. If nothing else, it’s kind of pretty to play with. read more

NTSB Rules on FAA Appeal about Drones

GPS drone (UAS) with GoPro camera

GPS drone (UAS) with GoPro camera; Creative Commons image courtesy Don McCullough

I know we haven’t really covered drones all that much on here, but I saw a new ruling by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that clarifies the noncommercial use of drones a little further and wanted to share.

According to the GPS World article, the NTSB has ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration does have the authority take enforcement action against anyone operating an aircraft system a careless or reckless manner. They have defined aircraft as “any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air” which, of course, will include Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) such as drones and larger model airplanes. This sort of muddies the drone regulatory water even further, as model airplanes were formerly not considered to be under the FAA regulatory rights (and are allowed to fly under 400 feet with no problems). read more