GPS Articles

Air Force Launches GPS IIR-21 NAVSTAR Satellite

In an Article from the Air Force Space Command it is reported that on Aug 17th the United States Air Force Launched the last of a series of 8 modernized satellites to replace aging GPS satellites. The latest launch was somewhat of a milestone in the history of GPS. The latest satellite is the final IIR satellite to be launched, and is the final satellite to be launched on the Air Force's United Launch Alliance Delta II Rocket, which is the only launch vehicle that has been used since the beginning of the GPS program in the 1970's. According to …

GPS Going Down?!?

The recent news that there is a risk of the GPS satellite system failing has raised serious concerns among many travelers, researchers and professionals. Chris Lefkow recently wrote an article for the Agence France-Press (AFP) that discussed the possibility of GPS satellites failing because the U.S. Air Force has not taken steps to maintain the currently used satellites. Additionally, it is not clear if the Air Force is going to be able to replace failing satellites at a fast enough rate. Lefkow reported that the U.S. plans to invest 5.8 billion dollars in the GPS system by …

Egypt's GPS Ban

Ogle Earth has a very interesting article about the ban on GPS devices in Egypt. Egypt, Syria, and North Korea are said to be the only countries in the world that still have consumer GPS bans. The key impact appears to be on local GIS organizations that need to use other means to gather data.

TomTom on iPhone already working

Thanks to Gizmodo, Reuters, and Derek (no link), we're now aware that TomTom has a working version of their navigator for the iPhone. It's going to be an interesting couple of months.

MacOS X 10.5.3 fixes support for Sony GPS devices

For those of you who use our LoadMyTracks program along with the Sony CS-1 (or similar) device, you'll have noticed that for a large portion of the last year, it has been nearly useless. From 10.4.9 on the device hasn't worked correctly on some machines, and as of 10.5 it didn't work with any. Well, the waiting is finally over as Apple's new 10.5.3 works great with LoadMyTracks and the Sony CS-1.

Shameless plug for LoadMyTracks—It's Free!

It's been a while since we talked about LoadMyTracks, software from ClueTrust (our sponsor) and there've been a lot of changes in the past few months. Since March, we've been doing a lot of development, and adding support for a lot of new devices, including the latest from Garmin, and some old standbys from Magellan (serial-based receivers now), as well as a new crop from GlobalSat, including the GH-615 Sport Watch and the DG-100 Data Logger (which US GlobalSat was kind enough to send us for development purposes). Click the link for more... We've also improved the scripting capabilities of …

Garmin announces Training Center for the Mac

According to an article in MacWorld today, Garmin has announced that Training Center for the Macintosh is "now available" (although they also indicate that the software will be available for download in Late January, it will be distributed on CD at MacWorld in a week and a half). No word on firmware upgrading and support of non-training devices, but this is a step. Congratulations, Garmin.

Sat Nav systems put to the test

The Daily Mail is again reporting that when put to the test, people need to pay close attention to what their satellite navigation systems are telling them instead of following blindly. The report stems from an article in Which? magazine (available to subscribers or free for 30 days from their site) that contains head-to-head tests of 14 different systems.

Cornell team cracks Galileo access codes

As reported in Newswise, students and faculty working together at Cornell University have broken the pseudo-random number codes used to obscure data in the experimental version of the Galileo satellite that is currently orbiting the earth. As part of the current testing, the satellite that is orbiting the earth is using a system of pseudo-random numbers to obscure the data being sent down from the satellite. After requesting the codes and being denied access, the researchers at Cornell decided that a little computing power would do the trick, and set out to break the code. Slated to begin operation in …

Romantic use for GPS

According to this article from the Green Bay Press Gazette, an employee of the Farm Service Agency of the Department of Agriculture used a GPS, GIS software, and the help of a local farmer in Wisconsin, to propose marriage to his (now) fiance. The plan worked. Editor: Sadly, this article is no longer available online or in

Motionbased releases Mac agent beta

Motionbased announced availability of the Macintosh Agent for the web site today. It is a beta and it works with the Forerunner 205/305, the Edge 205/305, and the Forerunner 301. Motionbased is a owned by Garmin, so perhaps they announced this today to show they still cared.

Garmin delays Mac releases

Garmin has announced in a press release that they will not be releasing their Macintosh-compatible GPS software until the end of the year (that would be Training Center) and that time they would announce the plans for when they would have complete Macintosh support, which they had indicated they would have by the end of the year. A good time for a plug for ClueTrust, our parent, creator of LoadMyTracks for downloading and uploading data with Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance, and Timex receivers when using a Macintosh.

LoadMyTracks can now send data to GPS devices

ClueTrust (owner of this site and creator of LoadMyTracks) is proud to announce that the latest version (031) supports sending data to Garmin and Magellan (Thales) GPS devices. If you're a Macintosh user and looking for a way to get information into and out of your Macintosh from Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance, or Timex devices, you should check it out. Exportable file types are GPX and KML (for use with Google Earth).

TV GPS helps provide location indoors

Apparently TV isn't the soul sucking waste of time that my mother always told me it was. Redwood City, CA based Rosum Corporation has developed a TV-GPS chip that triangulates TV signals to provide location information indoors and is working with Trimble to bring it to the consumer. While this isn't in any way "new" news, it is the first time that I have seen or heard about it. Popular Science has a good overview article about the technology. If this works as stated and can be produced cheaply and in a small enough package, this seems like a great …

GPS accuracy data for the USA

Just in case people in the US were feeling left out due to the article last night about Ordnance Survey in the UK providing GPS differential data, people with readings in the USA can go to CORS, the Continuously Operating Reference Station site from the National Geodetic Survey. As with the Ordnance Survey systems, this is really only useful to dual-frequency users, although it is planned to have OPUS (see below) available for L1-only users in the future. CORS provides data in RINEX format for GPS point referencing and covers over 650 stations in the US and its territories. There …

Ordnance Survey tries to make GPS in UK more accurate

Thanks to a pointer from Ed Parsons' blog, we know of a new set of services offered by Ordnance Survey (the UK's master map maker and Mr. Parsons' employer) aimed at improved accuracy of GPS information in the UK. The services center around mapping GPS information to the UK national coordinate systems, specifically ETRS89, OSGB36, and ODN from WGS84, the primary GPS coordinate system. The key benefit is that the resultant coordinates match exactly what you would expect to find on ground-surveyed maps and take into account all of the peculiarities of the GPS network. For example, the RINEX data …

NY Times Overview of GPS

It is always interesting to me to see when mainstream media decides to discover a trend that has been around for a while. Today, the trend is the growth and improvement in GPS units and the mainstream outlet is the NY Times. The article is basically an informative piece about how to choose a GPS unit and what features to look for. Overall it is nothing ground breaking, but it is still an interesting piece especially if you are a novice in the ways of GPS and the changes in the market as of late.

ClueTrust releases LoadMyTracks beta for the Mac

ClueTrust, the company that owns and runs, has announced immediate availability of LoadMyTracks, a program for the Apple Macintosh that reads track, waypoint, and route data from selected GPS devices and converts them to GPX or KML formats. The software is available in beta form immediately and we encourage any interested users to give it a try. We're looking for feedback, especially on GPS compatibility and output file compatibility for both KML (Google Earth and Google Maps) and GPX (widely used GPS XML format). Programs such as PhotoLinker for the Mac can be used to add GPS data …

Battle of the GPS all-stars

It appears that there is a big fight brewing in the GPS business as Garmin is suing Tom Tom over the use of several patents. Specifically, Garmin filed two suits against Tom Tom stating that they have infringed on 5 Garmin patents used to make using their GPS systems easier to use. The patents cover a range of functions including the removal of unimportant streets from the view to make it easier to view the car on the map. Not a whole lot more information has been published about the lawsuit as of yet, but expect to see more as …