GPS's time has arrived

Started Oct 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
RobBurke
Regular MemberPosts: 121
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Re: Yes it will come
In reply to BigBarney, Oct 20, 2012

BigBarney wrote:

One of the problems with the present GPS system is that it has a monopoly supplier, the US government. Another problem is that it is not the most accurate system. Recognising this the EU (European Union) is developing a competitive GPS system, codenamed Galileo, that will be both more accurate and more precise (scientists here will recognise that accuracy and precision are not synonyms), although it may not be as 'free' as the present US GPS signals. Let us hope that by the time that GPS enabled m43 cameras are sold in Europe that they will record both the Galileo signals as well as the current GPS ones.

The Russian GLONASS system is operational, and is said to give better coverage at northern latitudes. Recent GPS devices like the eTrex 20 support it in combination with the US GPS. In practice I find the US GPS with or without GLONASS is more than accurate enough for photography.

I haven't found the EGNOS correction to be much use in practice with a hand-held GPS. It's too easy to lose contact with the satellite that sends the correction signal. I think it is really intended for use in aircraft or at sea, when there will always be a decent aerial and good path to the satellite.

The problem with current in-camera GPS seems to be that they have to economise on battery use. Switching on just when a picture is taken makes them less accurate. As Rambalac said, a separate GPS works really well with any camera. There are several programs that can match the times of pictures against a GPS track.

I wrote PicLocata mainly for contributors to the Geograph.org.uk web site, but it can be used (for free) by anyone in Great Britain or Ireland. It allows pictures to be sorted by British and Irish grid references, as well as adding the GPS position to EXIF data.

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