is a new site that enables bikers, hikers and runners to upload GPS info, along with photos and comments, from their routes that get mashed up with Google Maps to create an ever-expanding trail resource. Mostly Bay Area now but that is changing.
: on the 9th of September three Cambridge engineering students launched
a balloon equipped with a camera and tracking devices. It reached a height of 32km and took 857 photographs
during its three hour flight, some
showing the curvature of the earth. You can also download a KML file
to follow the balloon's flight path in Google Earth.
makes use of the Google Maps API
to make it easy to learn new bicycle paths. Select any path (example
) and export
path into your GPS tracker (e.g.
, cell phone
) — or share your own favorite bike rides.
David Pogue is the rudest man alive!
"My wife and I were excited to receive, as [a] very generous Christmas present from a relative, a Magellan RoadMate 300." He then goes on to absolutely obliterate the gift, *on the New York Times website*, for 20 paragraphs, after which he demands, "For the gift-giver: Do your research. Read the customer reviews. Beware outdated products on store shelves." It's a gift! Learn some tact dude.
traces San Francisco's taxi cabs as they travel throughout the Bay Area. The patterns traced by each cab create a living and always-changing map of city life. This map hints at economic, social, and cultural trends that are otherwise invisible."
Surreptitious cell phone
Stalkers are no longer limited to just your call history. For a small fee and with a few minutes access to her cell phone the author was able to track his girlfriend's cell phone location within a hundred yards or so and the cell phone provides no trace that it was happening. Traceamobile.com
appears to be one site offering such a service. Mologogo
was discussed here previously but does not appear to be surreptitious. (Appears to be limited to UK for right now.)
The Celestron SkyScout
(Flash page) is an amazingly cool portable device combining an celestial object database with GPS abilities. It's not quite the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but it's definitely one of the most compelling applications I've yet to see of GPS - it takes note of your viewing location, and uses text and audio to guide you around the night sky. Announced at the CES show, there's no pricing info yet, but dang, I want this badly
Merry Christmas! Santa knows if you've been bad or good. The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to know where you're driving. Where you're driving, right this very minute, tracking you in real-time using GPS.
If the GPS signal is obstructed, your car's engine will turn off, Citizen!
is a free editable map of the whole world, using uploaded GPS traces. So far: London
and several other cities
have been mapped. (via dataisnature)
Track any Java/GPS enabled phone through a convienent Google Maps based interface with mologogo
Not Lost After All
Given recent posts proving
various meanings of the ongoing numbers references on the television program Lost, I figured that some of you would be interested that a person over on Flickr seems to have a much better explanation: they're simply geographic coordinates.
Put your mettle to the pedal:
A website with maps of bike routes around the country, along with GPS points. via Linkfilter
GPS to the rescue!
With all the hoopla over California's proposal to tax consumers
by adding GPS trackers to cars, has anyone thought about more useful things like tracking criminals on probation?
What do you think? Is this useful, or just a slippery-slope? (via /.
Does relativity have any practical significance? In fact, relativity had to be taken into account
by the designers of the Global Positioning System. The GPS satellites are affected both by special relativity
(since the satellites are moving, clocks aboard them appear to run slower as seen from the ground), and by general relativity
(since the satellites are farther away from the mass of the earth, clocks appear to run faster as seen from the ground). The net effect of both is that clocks aboard GPS satellites would gain 38 microseconds per day relative to the ground, if relativistic effects were not corrected for--a figure which can be confirmed by using Google calculator
In case you've been wondering about Europe's nascent GPS system, the Economist has an update.
is a program that allows users with GPS-linked handheld computers to record, collect and analyze observations in the field
, thereby improving scientists' ability to monitor changes in an ecosystem and turning traditional tracking into a modern scientific profession. [Via World Changing.]
Give a group of Amsterdamers a GPS tracking device for a couple of months, plot their movements over a black background, and the resulting traces map the city
through the movements of its inhabitants. Alternately, make your own
GPS art, or play GPS Hide and Seek
Girl to get tracker implant to ease parents' fears...
The parents of an 11-year-old British girl are having her fitted with a microchip so that her movements can be traced if she is abducted. The doctor involved believes we "should consider implants for all children"
-- Making giant virtual drawings by moving around with a gps. I found this site searching google with words from cut-ups, and it turns out that the New York Times has recently covered it
. There are recognizable figures, but also experiments exploiting characteristics of the technology and more.
The Global Positioning System
is now commonly used for navigation in hundreds of ways worldwide. Some very innovative things
are now being done with the system beyond simply finding out where you are. However, according to this BBC story
, "emerging applications are being hampered by concerns that information from the global satellite network, which is run by the United States, could be switched off or restricted in the event of a security threat." Am I the only one worried about what will happen to all the hikers, rescue services, ships, small planes and geeks that would suffer if the network is switched off?
Rental car firm ordered to stop GPS speeding fine (CNN via Wired)
Those Acme Rent-A-Car guys in New Haven who were using the GPS units in their vehicles to track and fine customers who were speeding (mental image of Coyote holding just-opened credit card bill with eyes bugging out, mouth wide open, and ears straight up) have been ordered to stop and pay back all the fines they have collected so far. Big Brother held back for another day....
For Paranoid Parents everywhere
. A global satellite positioning wristwatch, in happy-happy day-glo colours, that you can security-clamp onto your kid's wrist
. Then, at your office terminal, you can find out exactlywhere they are
the 911 button. How about actually playing
with your kids, rather than launching them out into the urban wilderness, on a wireless tether? "Latch-key" takes on a whole new dimension.
is a way to put your useless GPS device, and your lazy internet to work for your important fun needs. People hide Stuff on earth, and mark the spot. Publish the coordinates, and you go find the stuff. Sometimes toys and cameras are involved. Link via my good friend J.Bu
, who probably did not realize he was giving away a perfectly good Old School style MeFi post.
The Day My Car Ratted Me Out.
Dear Winston Smith,
Your 1984 Corvette has informed us that over the past month, you have failed to obey the speed limit 36 times, at times reaching speeds exceeding 130 MPH. As A result, we feel that we can no longer provide you with coverage. We have also supplied this information to the proper authorities, their jackbooted thugs should be in your driveway momentarily. Thank you.
First it was the rental car companies, now it is GM and the Insurance companies. This is the top of a very slippery slope of privacy issues and technology, specifically GPS.
WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
Car rental GPS speeding fines illegal.
As discussed earlier
on MeFi. The state of Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection has determined that "There is no legal ability for them to charge a penalty when there has been no damage." Win one for the little people.
Big Brother is sorry, but all we have for you is a hatchback.
On the one hand, he knew full well that they were monitoring him. On the other, they took the money out of his account without his knowledge, which could have led to all sorts of problems. Inevitable progress, or invasive technology?
Government GPS surveillance through your digital camera.
A DOJ project to go after pedophiles and obscenity-mongers by regulating digital still and motion cameras is slated to be introduced in Congress:
A DOJ project code-named "Indecent Images" plans to implant technologies developed to automatically recognize hard-core Internet sex images into the next generation of cameras. An II-compliant camera will refuse to take illegal photographs or videos, and could even quietly tip off law enforcement to illicit behavior. . .
The II draft says that "any variant" of digital still or video camera must include a GPS device and a transmitter that is compatible with U.S. pager networks. When a child pornographer takes an illegal photo, the camera recognizes it and transmits an encrypted message containing the image, the date, and the location to the local police -- who would then raid the home and save the child from continued erotic exploitation.
to be kidding. I'm not endorsing exploiting kids, natch, but I can't believe this this kind of surveillance is even being contemplated. . .
Then again, remembering Ashcroft's beady little eyes. . . (via J. Orlin Grabbe
All your spaceship are belong to LEEIF.
Someone stole the source code to the guidance package for the US space program, including GPS. Tomorrow Never Dies
Erik Davis on Feed:
"I feel compelled to mention the strangely underreported fact that, thanks to the FCC, all U.S. cell phones will soon be required to pack GPS units (or some equivalent tech) that will allow their location to be fixed the moment that 911 is dialed... the FCC has also ruled that wireless carriers, and not users, own GPS location data, and can freely sell it to third parties... your radio-cum-PDA-cum-cell phone... may want to tell you about the great deal on Beanie Babies or Canon’s 15 x 45 image-stabilized binoculars that awaits you two shops down to the right."
the degree confluence project
is an attempt to photograph and document some 11,000+ intersections of longitude and latitude and you can help!
"Keeping track of the kids is easy
in this smart kidswear concept which incorporates GPS-driven locators and miniature camera's allowing parents to ensure they're safe, while a computer game console worn on the sleeve keeps the kids happy." As a parent, I would pay any price to avoid actually watching or playing with my child. Where do I order?
MSNBC's Robert Wright seemes confused
in this story about the Global Positioning System. He misinforms the reader about how terrorists can now use the military's encrypted GPS signals for more accurate positioning. (FYI: you are still unable to use the military's encrypted GPS signals, contrary to what Wright claims.) more inside>>
Advertising on Your GPS Reciever
It looks like advertisers are already dreaming up new uses for the higher quality GPS signals.
"You're walking down the block, your phone goes off as you pass every store and tells you that there's a 50-percent-off sale."
Someone remind me why it was a good idea to deregulate the GPS?