Is 6D GPS useful?

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Peter Kwok
Peter Kwok Senior Member • Posts: 2,300
Why smartphones can get GPS position faster than cameras

Both smartphones and cameras use the same type of GPS receiver chips.  But smartphones have 2 advantages, both because of their network connections.

  1. Smartphone can sniff nearby WiFi hot spots and ask sites like Google for its approximate location.  It can also ask the telco to get approximate location based on cell sites.
  2. GPS satellites broadcast their orbital information, but at a very slow rate of 50 bits per second.  These information do not vary much from day to day.  But if you have not power up your GPS recently, then it needs to get fresh information before its position can be calculated.  If your view of the sky is partially blocked, receiving this info from less satellites takes more time.  Smartphones can get such information from their network provider much faster.  This is known as AGPS.

That is why smartphones can get a GPS fix within a few seconds.  But GPS units with no network connection can take half a minutes even with full view of the sky.

I am not sure whether the 6D can get these information from its WiFi link.

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Peter Kwok
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