The precursor to the EU’s Galileo satellite positioning, EGNOS is now live for 27 EU states! The basic idea behind the system is to take the US’s GPS system and make it more accurate – from 60 feet to 6 feet. This will be a big boon to navigation system in the EU since they’re already EGNOS capable (at least most of them).
There has been tons of coverage of TomTom and Intermap’s foray into iPhonedom over the last week but I wanted to link to the videos highlighting the new tools. One hopes these techs will find their way to Android and others in the future.
Glympse is the next location sharing app to come to the surface. Though only available for Android at this time it looks like an interesting app…especially for the timer functionality. You can head to their website to get more information or watch their video.
Electronista posted suggesting that TomTom might be hiring an iPhone dev to create a turn-by-turn app for the upcoming iPhone 3.0 OS/firmware/whatever. While I am pretty sure that if TomTom was building an iPhone app (and they probably are) they wouldn’t need to hire outside devs, the real issue is whether or not turn-by-turn on your cell phone is the best option. We have had the “all-in-one vs many devices” conversation a couple of times on the podcast with no real lead on either side, but I still lean toward one device to always have with you (the ever growing ‘swiss army’ phone approach) and a device that does the job well. My iPhone is great at being a phone and a pocket computer, but is mediocre at GPS, pictures, recording audio…and still can’t do many things like video. But I don’t need it to do everything well since I have a camera, an audio recorder, a video camera, etc that I take with me when I need them.
Yes, I am finally back online after a week with limited internet and then a brief bout of cold/flu. I was going over this year’s predictions on all sorts of tech sights, and the list at Trendwatching.com had “Mapmania” as their number 5 consumer trend for the new year. Big surprise for most of us, I know, but I just had to post this quote from their entry-
Will 2009 be the year in which all things ‘contextual’, ‘app’, ‘local’, ‘urban’, ‘tags’, ‘lidar’, ‘smartphone’, ‘convenience’, ‘Cell ID’, ‘spontaneity’, ‘infolust’, and ‘GPS’ come together in one orgasmic celebration of map-based tracking, finding, knowing and connecting?
And I say Yes!, let the Mapmania begin!
Via Poynter Online
While looking through the new apps feed for the iPhone this morning I came across the OSMTrack app. OSMTrack is an application that allows you to use the iPhone 3G’s GPS to capture tracks and waypoints and upload them directly from the iPhone to the OpenStreetMap servers. Other than heading over and registering for an OpenStreetMap account if you do not have one, and entering the information under Settings on the iPhone, you are ready to go once you have downloaded the app. The interface appears straightforward though I haven’t had a chance to take it out for a trip yet to test it. If it is as simple as it appears I will definitely be submitting WV data to OSM in the near future.
Researchers are Cornell have discovered that GPS signals can be spoofed! By placing a signal near the receiving device, gradually the navigation device would accept the spoofed signal as real. The article doesn’t say exactly how near “near” is, but I’d bet that it would have to be at least a couple dozen yards or more for this to be effective. Apparently the researchers are confident they could get around any protections suggested by the DOD back in 2003!
Does anyone start thinking of the bad guys in Die Hard 2 when they think about this? It’s kinda scary to think about from a safety point of view. However, I’m equally confident that someone industrious will use it to muck up location based services so that all queries for “Joe’s Pizza” in such and such area get diverted to “Bob’s Pizza” instead.
Engadget is reporting an interesting new system that’s being created. Researchers over at Ohio State University (a hop, skip, and 4 hour drive from here) are attempting to make a GPS like system for navigation on the moon. The system is supposed to be ready by 2020, and the linked article from Engadget’s site says the team is working on making lunar navigation less frustrating than its terrestrial counterpart. The quotes state they’re hoping “to avoid the stress of getting lost, or getting frustrated with the equipment” with their research. As one who’s dealt with technology gadgets pretty much his whole life, I wish the researchers luck, but I have to say that’s one big charge to take on. Here’s hoping some of their research makes it back to the consumer side before 2020!
So Sue has the iPhone 3G and I was FINALLY able to upgrade the iPod Touch to the 2.0 firmware. I am quite happy with the number of times that the devices have asked to use the location settings. The camera and maps are the two Apple apps that use the location info and I have downloaded most of the location aware apps…at least the free ones…so far. Many people have been hating on the lack of telenav-like turn by turn directions, but with the Google routes through the Map app and your current position blinking on screen it is great for areas you now well enough, though a dash mounting will be good if you don’t have a person in the passenger seat to convey the directions. While I am editing a quick video run through of the iPhone location capabilities for VSTV Episode 35 we haven’t had a chance to do a side-by-side with Frank’s Windows Mobile based phone like I had hoped. Click through the break to see a few screen grabs from some of the iPhone location apps.
Since this is becoming so common I will probably not highlight individual podcasts talking about GPS/LBS after this but MacBreak Weekly Episode 87 had a great discussion on the utility, usability and future on in-car navigation. The discussion wandered around a users perspective of GPS, LBS, and geotagging. Yes I am a fanboy, but that you should definitely take a listen.