Sunday, March 18, 2012

FCC Looking for Comment on U.S. Use of Galileo Signals


Since Europe’s Galileo system went live in December, the satellites have been transmitting navigational signals all across the world with only a few difficulties (such as clock malfunctions). And, now that the system is in the first stage of operability, it looks like the United States government is finally taking notice.

Last week, the FCC submitted a public notice that it is looking for comments on possibly waiving the licensing requirements for the use of Galileo in the United States. Currently, it is illegal to use other nations’ satellite systems in the United States without the sat-nav owner (the country who owns the system) applying for a license through the FCC. According to the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation blog, Europe applied in 2012 and the government is just now getting around to actually looking at the application. read more

New Cycling Navigation Device, Beeline, Launches


With the prevalence of GPS technology, sometimes it seems like we have lost the ability to really enjoy the journey and explore. With a mechanical voice constantly telling you to turn hear or there, rides suddenly can become stressful and even dangerous. However, a new GPS device, Beeline, is bringing some of the adventure and spontaneity back to finding your way around.

Originally launched via a successful Kickstarter campaign, this unique device works with your phone to provide directions in an unusual way: via an arrow literally pointing in the direction you need to go. The device was created in the UK by developers looking for a way to help cyclists take more control of their rides. The device, which pairs with an app on your phone, allows cyclists to choose their own path, bike safely with fewer distractions, and actually helps users build mental maps over time. read more

Garmin Debuts New Dedicated RV Device


RVs can be a lot of fun, but if you’ve ever taken a road trip in one, then you know that RV drivers have completely different needs than your average driver or even a trucker. So, of course, Garmin is here to the rescue with its own line of RV-specific GPS devices, the most recent of which was announced last week.

The device, RV 770 LMT-S was built specifically with RV lovers and camping enthusiasts in mind. In addition to the normal navigation and routing options, it offers a host of features that RV owners need while on the road. And, much like the new Garmin Drive line, this device features free live services to go along with Garmin’s award-winning navigation. read more

What All is GPS Used For?

gps satellite IIF

It might seem like something of a trick question, as everyone knows that GPS is used to help provide location and navigation information. Whether you’re driving across country or hiking back to base camp, we’ve probably all used GPS at least once. But, what most people don’t realize is that GPS actually does way more than just providing directions. In fact, it’s absolutely critical to our national infrastructure and the economy.

Below, you’ll find a list of the different industries and uses for GPS, and nearly all of them either provide safety or efficiency in some way. From helping tractors drive in straight lines to delivering aid to disaster victims and even providing entertainment value, GPS is one of the most fascinating technologies out there today. And, as if that wasn’t enough, new innovations and uses are constantly being explored.

Check it out: read more

TomTom Debuts new GO and VIA Devices


TomTom, a Dutch company that has become known more for its mapping and navigational solutions recently, has announced that it will be adding new devices to its popular VIA and GO lines. At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, the GPS pioneer debuted the GO 520, GO 620, VIA 1425, VIA 1525, and VIA 1625 to consumers. All devices are expected to be available in March 2017.

As  continuation of two of TomTom’s most popular dedicated GPS device lines, all five new products are expected to ship with the latest TomTom maps, and both feature lifetime map updates so that users never have to worry about losing their way with an outdated map. The GO line is designed more for the connected consumer with a lineup of features aimed towards convenience, while the more advanced VIA devices have dedicated searching and navigational functions for the easiest and best routing.

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Garmin Launches New Third Party Connect IQ Apps


Garmin’s Connect IQ has, up until fairly recently, been kind of unimpressive. Designed to help users customize their wearables and other devices, most of the apps on the Connect IQ store were pretty much designed specifically for location tracking and fitness—not super surprising, considering the market they were aimed for, but it definitely limited the usefulness of a Garmin watch outside of workout tracking.

However, at the recent 2017 CES, Garmin announced that it was debuting several third party apps from bigger companies including Strava and Uber. At the time of writing, the apps appear to all be available on the Connect IQ store, but they aren’t all available on all devices, obviously. Here are some of the cool new apps and data fields that you can try out on your compatible Garmin: read more

Artist Hides Work in Central Park, Sells GPS Coordinates

When most people go to an art gallery or an art studio, it is with the intention of viewing and perhaps even purchasing the art. However, a New York artist has an entirely different concept for his art shows: selling art that has been geocached and providing clues and coordinates to the actual artwork. The project, called Freecaching, combines thriftiness, art, and and geocaching.

“Imagine if Geocaching’s use of GPS technology, concealment, and open space were applied to passive storage rather than active treasure hunting,” Brad Troemel. the artist behind the experiment, wrote in a press release. “Through Freecaching you could leave art physically protected and concealed in an uninhabited area outside a major center of arts commerce and provide buyers with the exact latitude and longitude of a purchase…  Collectors could choose to pick their work up or just as comfortably leave it concealed and protected outdoors, knowing with confidence that no one but they and the artist have knowledge of where the work is located.

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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

Garmin Wearables Were Bestsellers this Holiday Season

Garmin vivofit fitness tracker

The GPS industry has been changing for several years, but no matter what everyone says or the dire predictions, Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom are still around. Every industry goes through ups and downs and some major changes, and from all appearances, it seems that Garmin has come out ahead in the game.

In fact, Garmin held two of the top three spots on the “Holiday Best Sellers” list on Amazon this 2016 season. Although there weren’t any stats for how many sold, that’s still pretty good news for a company that most, a couple of years ago, were convinced was on its way out.

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New GPS App Shows Geological Points of Interest Along Route


Geology is one of those sciences that either you love it, or you don’t. Most people who aren’t geology nerds haven’t really studied it much past a high school science class or, at best, a 101 gen ed course in college. I know that I certainly haven’t, but that doesn’t change the fact that geology is a rather fascinating subject. I like it so much in fact, that I always try and include a geology section on the weekly news roundup here at GPS Tracklog.

So, for anyone who is like me and has the habit of peering out the window on a flight or road trip and wondering, the app Flyover Country is going to become your new best friend. This app, created by the University of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences and funded by the National Science Foundation, allows users to download a track and then use GPS to learn about interesting geological and fossil sites on a hike, road trip, or even flight. read more