Entries tagged "gps"
One of the questions I like to ask at the start of some courses is this:
If you walk ten paces north, then ten paces east, then ten paces south, what would you need to do to find your way back to your start point?
The answer is at the bottom of the page.
If you got this right, or even if you got it wrong but made a logical attempt to solve it, then you are already familiar with the concept of 'dead reckoning', even if the name is new to you.…
Scientists at Stanford University in Palo Alto have unveiled a car navigation system capable of following basic instructions without the need for speech or touch from the driver.
The system, called Bicker 2.0, uses the disturbance in magnetic fields around our brains generated by thought patterns, to interpret the destination we are thinking of.
“It is the early stages of what we believe to be the future of navigation systems,” Professor Unlikeliski told the New York Times, “And by early I mean that there are inevitably some glitches in this Beta release. Last week I thought hard…
Although microchips have a childlike tendency to steal our attention away from almost anything else, I am not against technology itself. Once we have steeled ourselves to the risks of using any device, it is possible to have the best of all worlds: convenience, information, safety and awareness.
If I was forced to choose my favourite piece of navigation technology, I would find it hard. The GPS, for all its many known vices, really is an extraordinary piece of kit. But it will never be my favourite, because... of all its many known vices. Also, because I'm very…
Welcome Radio 4 listeners! You have found your way to the home of natural navigation on the Internet. (A podcast of my walk with Evan Davies for the Today programme can be found here. The short article that I wrote to go with the interview and the video that accompanied the broadcast can be found here.)The book reviews are starting to come in:'In a sat-nav dominated world, where GPS and a host of other acronyms designed to get us from A to B have overtaken paper maps, it is refreshing to meet someone who understands technology, but prefers…
This is not the glorious image of the winter solstice sunrise that I had been planning for you. Events conspired against that.
The original plan had been to drive up to a semi-secret location in the South Downs and take a picture of the sun rising in what were originally forecast to be clear cold skies.
Yesterday morning I was driving the four miles from home to the gym but all four wheels of the Land Rover Defender lost traction on black ice and I slid headfirst into a substantial tree at about 25 miles-per-hour. I walked…
I'm just back from giving a short talk at the Royal Institute of Navigation's Land Conference at the National Physical Laboratory.I learnt plenty from the other speakers and chats during the breaks. One little gem: the Apollo program nearly lost two astronauts, literally. They were roaming the lunar surface and became temporarily unaware where 'home' was. Without a map, compass, GPS or any other instrument there were some tense moments before they found their way back successfully. Definitely an opportunity for some natural navigation training in this niche market, as I was not too shy to point out…
If you are feeling peculiar then it is probably best not to venture outside tonight. The gravitational pull of the full moon's alignment with the sun might have strange effects as it pulls on the water in your brain. Or so the ancients believed.Alternately, you might want to do something that GPS users would see as a symptom of madness and use it to find east in the early evening, south at midnight and west before dawn.I took this photo about ten minutes ago (18.23 GMT), looking east.
While sorting my photos from our summer holiday I came across this one on the way to Les Ecrehous islands. It shows a critical moment in the use of a transit line to navigate the potentially hazardous approach. Transit navigation works by the very simple (and totally natural) principle that if you can see any two objects lined up then you must be somewhere on an extension of that line. The approach to Les Ecrehous, northeast of Jersey in the Channel Islands is so strewn with rocks that even GPS is of limited use, since by the time it tells…
I took this photo in St Peter Port, Guernsey, about ten days ago. This big fat gin palace probably doesn't get lost very often, all they need do is squint at the setting sun through their ice cold sundowners, think about the season and latitude, then wait for the blue to turn black and the stars to appear. Or they could just turn on one of the many lovely gizmos sprouting all over the top of the boat. GPS would do it, radar would too, or they could make a satellite call and 'phone a friend'.
During a mild tidying effort this morning I came close to throwing out the Jan/Feb issue of Navigation News, but then spotted something that I had originally overlooked. A news item that hinted that the role of GPS in our lives may be waning:'Investment bank Goldman Sachs has voiced the concern that 2009 could usher in several years of decline in the portable navigation device market. It made the comment while moving stocks in Garmin, one of the leading satnav manufacturers, to its 'conviction sell' list.'I was mistaken. Unfortunately the reason it gave was…
The worlds of technology, navigation and nature convened in a mildly surreal way over the past month.
Satellite navigation development, like all things space-related, often appears to be governed more by national pride than calm pragmatism. Nobody has yet explained effectively to me the need for billions to be invested in Galileo, the European alternative to the American GPS system. The Russian version of GPS, GLONASS, has not been a story of relentless success or necessity either, but apparently the system has now been tested on Vladimir Putin's dog.
'Mr Ivanov said…
Navigation may fill my working hours, but even I couldn't pretend that it is a high profile topic. Last week however a story about cows pointing north and south started appearing everywhere, there is a good summary on the BBC website.
On Saturday the Times newspaper ran a main news story and editorial piece describing how GPS navigators are not getting the full experience and are being denied the benefit of the rich detail of traditional maps. They put it well, 'Turn left on to the A303 for Andover, ignoring the ancient stones: those without a…
A blog is not a blog without an occasional rant, so...It strikes me that the world of navigation training has strayed a little off course. If you type "navigation courses" into Google you get nearly five and a half million results. I'd be prepared to wager that more than five million of these are associated with 'traditional' training. To my mind the majority of these are falling between two stools. They focus on using tools but not the best ones. The two ends of the spectrum are electronics and nature. Nobody, myself included, argues that natural methods are more accurate…