GPS is one of the most fantastic utilities ever devised by man. GPS will figure in history alongside the development of the sea-going chronometer. This device enabled seafarers to plot their course to an accuracy that greatly encouraged maritime activity, and led to the migration explosion of the nineteenth century. GPS will effect mankind in the same way. There are myriad applications, that will benefit us individually and collectively.
Latitude, Longitude, AMG etc etc etc
I get many requests to explain the different numbers used by different GPS at the same location. This is a valid and sensible question, and there are easily understood answers. You may also wonder about terms such as UTM
, position format
, and true north
. My customers get free assistance with these, and any other matter relating to their purchase, and the use of the GPS.
- What is GPS? (Explaining the system of satellites and how it works)
- Correction techniques for greater accuracy (DGPS)
- Elevation readings and GPS (How far are we above sea level?)
- The theory of positioning (How Sir Isaac Newton and others made GPS possible)
- Explanation of digital mapping forms and functions in relation to GPS
- Applications for GPS
- Applications for GPS - Fitness Watches
- In Australia
Find latitude and longitude of any town in Australia
Articles written by Kimball Thurlow, ©, Johnny Appleseed GPS, Brisbane
Volunteer marine Rescue in Southport, Queensland
Civilian accuracy, 15 metres or less (without accounting for selective availability, which was cancelled by the US Government on 1May 2000).
One of the most obvious uses for GPS is normal navigation. The shipping and boating industries were very early adopters of GPS (in spite of the early expense). Now any boat user has access to cheap but very capable GPS units. I was pleased recently to assist the Volunteer Marine Rescue organisation in Southport, Queensland upgrade their prime rescue craft with a Garmin GPSMAP230 unit.
The Garmin units are capable of interfacing with a vessel radar, to locate radar positions. Garmin units can also be used with DGPS
for greater accuracy (less than 5 metres).
Photos of the VMR craft, and the GPS.
Images are of the VMR in Southport. Many workaday tasks keep the volunteer membership busy. Members contribute their time on a roster basis. The operation is manned 24/7, and includes monitoring of marine radio traffic in the area, and logging exits and entries theough the sea-way leading from the Broadwater to the Pacific Ocean.
Steve and assistant returning to base after a routine operation.
Kris attends to one of the more mundane tasks handled daily at the VMR.
Using GPS to assist your travel and business arrangements
You're a salesman- you often travel intercity, from town to town, along open highways. You have a fuel card which entitles you to fill up at a particular brand, or perhaps any petrol station. You also carry a motel card.
But when your fuel gauge is low, where is the next fuel stop? With the locations of petrol stations logged in the simplest hand held or dash mounted GPS unit , the press of a button will tell you how far, and in what direction to the nearest fuel stop. Makes life on the road a lot leasier. You could of course pay a lot more for a portable in-car navigator, and this will do an even better job, with voice guidance to restaurants, fuel stops, and eateries already listed with phone numbers.
And the motel in the next town? Even a simple handheld can hold the location, and the phone number. After you have phoned ahead to make the reservation, the GPS will direct you right to the door.
Using GPS to track persons, animals, vehicles or boats
There are systems that are automatic, allowing the rover to be logged continuously on a central monitoring station. Utilizing a portable GPS (it can be personal, battery powered, or vehicle mounted), the unit location is overlayed in real time on a central internet site.