U.K. based navigation company TomTom announced yesterday that they will now be including weather conditions when calculating routes for driving, enabling drivers faster routes, safer travels and the ability to arrive prepared for all weather. The weather alerts will tie in with the traffic jam information that TomTom already connects, informing drivers about upcoming slow areas due to heavy rain, snow, or washed out areas. read more
Garmin has finally released information on the next generation in the popular ecoMAP series for mariners of all types. The newest iteration of ecoMAP chartplotters will include scanning sonar capabilities without the need to purchase additional devices or mess with complicated hookups. The series will come in 4, 5, 7 and 9 inch color displays and is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2015. read more
SkyGolf has announced a new mobile app designed to complement their golfing watches and other accessories. Utilizing the GPS in your phone, SkyCaddie Mobile allows golfers to search SkyGolf’s extensive library of more than 35,000 courses. The app is available for free on Android and iOS, but also has a premium version available for $30/year. The premium app includes additional features such as mapping, detailed green information, auto-hole information and various other metrics.
The free version of the app, however, has some pretty good functionality and allows golfers to score their rounds, capture basic stats, find course ratings, scorecards, dress code, prices and even includes in integrated camera function to record highlights and moments. read more
Fall is the time to launch satellites, it would seem. The Air Force and United Launch Alliance have scheduled a launch of their eighth GPS IIF satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station this Wednesday. The launch window is around 18 minutes and will begin at just after 1 p.m. EDT. You can view the live webcast here on Wednesday starting at 1:01 p.m..
The GPS IIF satellite is one of the newer next-generation GPS satellites intended to improve accuracy and enhance performance of the U.S. GPS satellite constellation. The satellite that will be replaced with the next-generation GPS IIF was launched in 1997 and has been operating for 17 years—more than 9 years past it’s expected functional service life. read more
It’s all over the news in New York: on Tuesday a new law went into effect that makes stalking via GPS a Class B misdemeanor, which generally means a fine of up to $500 or up to 3 months in jail if you’re convicted. But there’s a catch. In order for the law to apply to you, you would have to first be aware that you were being tracked, and then commuincate to your tracker that their actions were unwelcome.
While I applaud the sentiment of the law—GPS tracking is becoming quite the problem in many cases of domestic abuse in particular—I can’t help but feel like it gives those tracking quite a bit of leeway. How many people in such situations are willing to confront their suspected stalker and ask them to stop? There is a lot of gray area in the law as-is, so it will be interesting to see how the law interpretations develop and whether or not a federal law will follow. read more
GolfNow, the popular golfing technology platform, has launched their new GolfNow app for both Android and iPhone. The free version of the app allows for tee-time reservations and booking along with some basic information about prices, time and rating.
However, for the serious golf enthusiast, the premium app adds some pretty nifty features like golf course mapping. The premium version of the app costs $29.99 for a year subscription and allows access to more than 5,000 courses in the US and a few international courses as well. It might be a little pricey, but if you golf a lot I can see how it would be totally worth the money. read more
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 one of Magellan’s three new massive GPS units released this week. All three units measure 7 inches and are designed for larger vehicles. read more
It’s natural for geocachers to want to showcase their accomplishments but all too often that can boil down to simple numbers or statistics. Some geocachers aren’t interested in the number of caches they find but just want to showcase that they attended a special event or found a cache in a different location.
For a number of years, cache owners have created online virtual badges for attendees or finders to display on their profile page. These can range from showcasing attendance of a specific geocaching event to having completed a series of caches. The problem with these is severalfold. They are arbitrary and depend on the cache owner taking the time to create the graphic and provide the code for you to add to your profile. You then need to go in and manually add them, meaning that if you’re not familiar with HTML or web programming languages you can easily get yourself into a mess. read more
Magellan introduced three new device yesterday dubbed the RoadMate family. All three devices feature huge seven inch screens designed for safer driving and navigation in larger vehicles. With screens this size, the days of squinting at the map while driving down the road are long past.
The three new devices introduced are the RoadMate 9400-LM, 9412T-LM and 9465T-LMB. All three have brightly colored touchscreen displays and spoken street names. Here are some of the other features the GPS family shares:
From what it sounds like, Fitbit has refocused its attention on serious athletes with the upcoming release of several new fitness trackers. Two of the new trackers seem to be remodeled versions of the Fitbit Force with a few extra features. But the one that caught my attention was the Fitbit Surge—a new ‘superwatch’ that is designed to have all of the activity, fitness and sleep tracking you could ever want, complete with built-in GPS capabilities.
Nothing official has been announced yet, and I am aware that normally fitness trackers aren’t the sort of thing that we would cover. However, the built-in GPS rumored to be in the Fitbit Surge is what caught my attention. In addition to the normal fitness tracking abilities, this new watch/tracker will also be able to map your routes and combine it with fitness data to get a complete look at your run. read more