June 14, 2006

Weather Bug launches service for GPS Based Mobile Phones

weatherbuglogo.gif WeatherBug has launched the Smart Notification Weather Service, a GPS equipped mobile phone based weather alert service. The next step in their mobile alert system involved GPS based phones that allow Weather Bug to send you very specific weather related data to you not based on a zip code that may or may not be right at the current time, but instead on your current location.

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

Garmin Fires up New GPS Production Line

Garmin's business is on fire - earnings are through the roof and their volume is doing well (see our post Garmin Profit up 86% - Announce Stock Split). I would imagine that the production lines were screaming late last year trying to keep up with the holiday demand. Well, they have started production on their newly aquired production line in northern Taiwan. According to DigiTimes, "Garmin Corporation, the Taiwan subsidiary... began operation of its second GPS (global positioning system) device production line in northern Taiwan last month with trial production occurring this month, according to company chairman Min Kao.

Via DigiTimes

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June 13, 2006

Father's Day Gift Idea: A GPS (of Course)

With Father’s Day fast approaching, we decided to offer up a few simple suggestions of what to buy that gadget freak dad who really wants a GPS. Even if he’s not a gadget freak, he may just be “directionally challenged” which can be overcome with the addition of a GPS. Either way we have some suggestions: a mobile GPS to take with you in the car, or a handheld GPS to take with you in the woods for hiking and playing around in nature that can help solve those arguments about how to get somewhere.


Father’s Day Pick for Mobile GPS: Garmin StreetPilot C330
This mid-tier GPS is a solid performer and is very easy to use. It is also a good value for the money. It is the first unit in the Garmin mobile line that has all maps pre-loaded onto the unit. This makes it easy to use right out of the box, with its good-sized touch screen and easy to understand buttons. It is a good balance of functionality and cost. Check out the Garmin StreetPilot C330 at Amazon with Free Shipping.

Father’s Day Pick for outdoor GPS: Garmin eTrex Legend Cx
This is a small handheld has all the power to take you out into the woods and back with long battery life, a color screen, a state of the art chipset, and the memory expandability to grow with you as you want more out of your GPS. The Legend Cx is also a good value in the Garmin line because you get these important features above without paying for other extras many might not use. Check out the Garmin eTrex Legend Cx at Amazon with Free Shipping.

GPS Basics
Want to learn more about how a GPS works? – See our Basics of GPS section.
Want to know more about Mobile GPS Units and what features are important? – See our Mobile GPS Basics section.
Want to know more about Outdoor GPS Units and what features are important? – See our Outdoor GPS Basics section.

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

u-blox Launches New GPS Chipset - Highest Sensitivity and Low Power Use

u-blox and Atmel, announced the availability of their latest weak-signal tracking GPS technology in an ultra- small form factor. Its high tracking sensitivity of -158 dBm allows for weak-signal tracking in urban canyons and even indoors. "Combining indoor GPS capability with a low-power, single-chip GPS receiver perfectly fits the needs of our customers and enables them to address new, fast-growing market segments like PDAs and smartphones," said Atmel's GPS Product Line Manager, Frank Gruson.

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Google Earth 4 Beta Released - Improved GPS Features

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There’s a new Google Earth 4 out in Beta. The improvements include a new clearer user interface, and better 3-D rendering of objects like buildings and landscape detail. From the Google Earth Website: “Seeing buildings in 3D is one of the coolest things about Google Earth. And with this release, this feature is even better. For the first time, we support "textured" 3D buildings, meaning the bricks look like real bricks, the glass like real glass, and overall, the world looks more like, well, the real world. It's just one more step on the path of creating a life-like 3D model of the whole planet.”

Recall that the Google Earth Plus ($20 per year subscription) has GPS support for Garmin and Magellan units; they claim to have improvements in the GPS area as well.

ReadMore at Google Earth

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June 12, 2006

Verizon Launches Chaperone - GPS Based Kid monitoring Service

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Verizon released news that they are getting into the kid monitoring market with their new Chaperone program that allows parents to monitor where their kids are while giving their kids the ability to call a select few people with this easy to use mobile phone. The phone itself is the GPS equipped LG Migo phone, and the program that is wrapped around it seems to have been well thought out. Now to be able to monitor where the kid is, you probably need to keep the phone with the kid and the phone needs reception. So this assumes that kids can take mobile phones to school (our school doesn’t allow it), and that the school isn’t in a dead zone (ours it totally void of any mobile phone signal due to its location behind a hill). But if you have younger kids, and don’t have these problems, read on if you want to be able to monitor them from your own mobile phone or via a password protected part of the web. There are some innovative features and precautions that make the program interesting.

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

Moving Testimonial From Garmin Fan

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So we know you love your GPS, but does your life depend on it? We Garmin has been working hard to make high quality GPS units, and we have previously reported on Garmin GPS units going over to Iraq pre-loaded with local maps. Well over a the Garmin Blog there is a testimonial that lays it all on the line and tells you the importance of this Garmin GPS in one soldier's life:

" I am a convoy Security Escort Team Leader in Iraq. My job is to escort cargo anywhere the military wants it to go, in Iraq. We travel to the worst places while escorting truckloads of equipment that is usually being turned over to the Iraqi National Guard or the Iraqi Police....

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GPS Directions on Mobile Phones - Not Ready for Prime Time

After using a lot of dedicated mobile GPS units, and handhelds, I have become accustom to some of the features that are present in these devices, like readable screens, easy data entry and high quality directions. The idea of having an easily usable direction service from your GPS mobile phone seems like a stretch right now. Well an article popped up today relating the uses of a GPS equipped mobile phone based directions service, and the message is that they are not quite ready for prime time. If you have been using GPS’s for a while, you probably remember some of the earlier days when there were a lot of shortcomings, and you made up excuses for why you couldn’t pinpoint your exact location in seconds and navigate to another location flawlessly.

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

June 9, 2006

Winners Announced in Up your Budget Contest

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Hey, the winners were announced in the "Up Your Budget Treasure Hunt" road trip contest that ran this week. The contest laid out clues for locations going down the East coast. You needed to figure out the distance between the locations and figure out the total distance for the entire road trip. You like mapping and road trips. So, you want to win your share of the money? First place is $25K, awarded each week. Sounds pretty good.... it's being run by those guys from Weird US.

See their site for more details: Click on the Ad (Wanna win $25,000?) on the left side of our homepage for more information.

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

u-blox Launches AssistNow: Assisted GPS Service

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u-blox AG, has introduced AssistNow, a complete Assisted GPS ("A-GPS") service package that brings instant positioning to any u-blox GPS-enabled device with mobile phone connectivity. Te new technology cuts a GPS receiver's Time To First Fix ("TTFF") to seconds by providing the receiver with assistance data that practically eliminates download times of data originating from the satellites.

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

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