July 27, 2007

Cabbies Ready to Strike in NYC over GPS

According to USA Today, Cabbies in NYC are pretty upset over the idea that they will be tracked by GPS if they install the mandated GPS system in the coming months and years. The NY Taxi Alliance is talking about a strike for some time in September if they don't get relief from putting in the GPS and touchscreen capable systems for their occupants. I guess other than the fact that the system is going to cost them a few grand, they are afraid that they might get tracked to that store that sells all those flower wilting power-air fresheners twice a week? The secret will be out!

More at USA Today

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

PixGPS - New Geotagging Software

There's a new photo Geotagging available for Microsoft Windows called PixGPS. PixGPS is software that will calculate the exact location where you took your photos and store this in the photo file. You can also view the location of photos on maps, in Google Earth, or save the coordinates as a comma separated text file.

PixGPS offers an inexpensive way of tracking the exact location of your photos. All you need is a GPS Receiver with tracking capabilities (most GPS' will do this). Turn on the GPS and put it in your camera bag or a pocket. Take the photos. When you get home, download the photos and the GPS track file to your computer. Run PixGPS. PixGPS will now read the track file and calculate the latitude/longitude for each photo. This takes only a couple of minutes for hundreds of photos.

These positions are stored as EXIF-GPS meta data in the image files. This way the position will stay with the photo. PixGPS can export the positions in KML format so you can see where the photos were taken in Google Earth. Positions can also be exported as CSV (Comma Separated Values), ready to be used with any software supporting this format, for example Microsoft Autoroute.

PixGPS can be used on PC running the Microsoft Windows® 2000/XP/Vista operating system. The price is $19.95 (US), which includes two years of free upgrades.

More at BR Software

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

July 20, 2007

Spain Considers GPS Mis-use Illegal

Wow in a bold move, Spain is considering making it illegal to use/type on a GPS system while driving. The fine would be €300 as well as three points removed from the driving license. Apparently the lawmakers said that navigation systems and interacting with/typing on them while driving can cause a distraction and that about half of car accidents are caused by driver distractions.

If this type of law gains momentum, expect voice recognition capabilities to become widespread. It's now featured on the Magellan Maestro 4050.

Via GPS Business News

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

July 19, 2007

Sanyo Ships EasyStreet NVM-4070 & NVM-4050

Sanyo announced that htey are shipping their EastStreet NVM-4070 and NVM-4050 GPS units int he US. These were announced back at CES in January. The NVM-4070 offers text to speech (TTS), maps for North America, and 1.8 million POI (a little light for a higher end unit). The 4 inch semi-widescreen unit is also TMC traffic capable, and a free 90-day trial is included with the unit; subscription fees apply after that. The unit also features Bluetooth Handsfree calling, MP3 and WMA playback, as well as MPEG-4 video capabilities. The unit also features an FM trasmitter to play music over your card stereo. The NVM-4050, does not offer the TMC, video player, or the FM transmitter.

More from the press release below...

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

July 17, 2007

Boeing Talks about Future GPS Capabilities

Boeing is getting ready to submit a proposal to the US government for the next generation of GPS satellites. The potential $1.8 billion contract award for the first eight Block A GPS III satellites along with an option for four more, is anticipated by the end of 2007 to meet a projected 2013 launch.

"GPS III will further evolve navigation and positioning capabilities," said Howard Chambers, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "Boeing’s GPS III solution delivers accelerated warfighter capability on time with a low-risk, high-confidence program. Our solution, which combines signal and power improvements, is the best value for the nation and will provide a more capable GPS service for both civilian and military users."

GPS III is set to take navigation timing and accuracy to the next level. Its more powerful broadcast signals will incorporate a new civil signal making it interoperable with Europe’s upcoming Galileo system, advanced anti-jamming capabilities and the military signal known as the M-code, which provides more secure operations for the warfighter.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 16, 2007

GPS and Galileo to Play Nice Together

Word has it that the US and Euro governments are planning nice in the navigation satellite game, and letting both the GPS and Galileo systems to work together instead of being two separate incompatible systems. This has got to be good news for the struggling Galileo system administrators who are having trouble fully funding the entire system.

The plan is that navigation units will be able to work off both satellite systems and not just one or the other. The good news for all is that if there are more GPS satellites in the air, the better the accuracy in more parts of the world. Does it mean you will be able to get sub-foot accuracy on your street? Well, not yet, but it certainly will give better coverage in areas that are struggling either because of the remoteness, or the urban jungle effect because you can’t get a solid clear shot of the skies.

This news doesn’t affect the Russian Glosnass system, Chinese, or Indian plans, that have been mentioned in the news….

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 11, 2007

Intellinav 2, 3, 4 & 5 GPS Units


Intellinav has announced a new line of four GPS units that have some pretty good features despite the pretty boring model numbers. The Intellinav 2 & 3 are standard screen sized units (3.5-inch), while the Intellinav 4&5 are widescreen models with a 4.3 inch screen. So while the GPS market is taking off, with big gains had by the big names in the market, smaller innovative makers are also coming to the market, like Intellinav. The Intellinav units are bringing features like the “Parked Car locator”, “ Fog assist”, and Fatigue Alarm”. Not sure how these features work, but the market certainly is ripe for extending the capabilities of the navigation device into the infotainment center of the car also bringing much needed safety capabilities to the driving experience.

The Intellinav 2 has US and Puerto Rico maps, and offers text to speech capabilities; it also features a slightly anemic 1.2 million location POI database. The Intellinav 3 adds Canadian maps, and a more robust 6 million POI list, and some more sophisticated trip time tools. Both have on-board batteries that claim 3 hours of life.

Press release (pdf) link

More at Intellinav

Via Ubergizmo

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 3, 2007

Places to Rent a GPS

Garmin StreetPilot C330
A lot of readers have written in asking about places to rent a GPS for a summer trip, so I thought I would compile a list of them for you to take a look at. Generally the prices are reasonable, and often include shipping labels for the return. With the prices running what they are, you may consider renting for shorter times, and anything over a two-week period; you should consider buying a unit. There are a lot of low priced, high quality units that give you the option to sell the thing if you find that you aren’t using it after your trip.

Below is a list of the offerings:

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

July 2, 2007

Track Teen Drivers with GPS

Safeco has announced a new teen driver insurance program that includes GPS tracking. The program will allow parents and clever hacker teens set up alerts that trigger when teens go out of bounds, drive too fast or curfew limitations. What if mom puts that "Inspiration Point" parking place out of bouunds? Argh! Can you say Big Brother is watching you?

Wow, this is a slippery slope; you’ll have one mandated in your car by your insurance company in the not-to-distant future.... uh, oh.


Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 25, 2007

MicroFix Personal Locator Beacon

ACR Electronics has introduced the world’s Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)—the MicroFix, a one-button activated, emergency signaling device for hunters, pilots, hikers, climbers and outdoorsmen. The MicroFix, which has just received FCC approvals, is 35% smaller and 25% lighter than its predecessor, the ACR TerraFix, a PLB that aided in the rescue of a number of distressed outdoors enthusiasts around the world over the course of the last two years.

“In spite of developing a more technologically advanced Personal Locator Beacon that requires a more efficient use of power, features a more sensitive, built-in GPS receiver and employs components more typically found in the latest generation cell phones, we managed to keep the MicroFix at the same consumer price point as the TerraFix I/O, its predecessor,” said Chris Wahler, director of marketing for ACR.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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