Tagged: gps

Modular bike routes

mailmail

[UPDATE June 14, 2014] I created a composite map of all five modules (loops). All loops are displayed with the same line symbol (red semi-transparent). Since some route segments are part of more than one loop, some segments appear darker than others. I hope this makes sense.

  • advertisement

 

 

 

 

All routes begin and end at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park (blue point marker). Click on the map below for a higher-resolution image. I will add route descriptions soon.

All five loops bike route module map Start-Finish point
All five loops bike route module map Start-Finish point

Some tech info for the geonerds: I collected the route data using my Google Nexus 4 phone and the Google My Tracks app (thanks to for the app recommendation). The app’s KMZ files proved to be somewhat unyielding to work with (thanks to for helping with that), so I ended up exporting the data as GPX (another Terry Stigers suggestion).

Next I used QGIS 2.2.0-Valmiera (64-bit) with the OpenLayers plugin to display the “tracks” segments of my GPX files over a Google Physical layer base map.

  • advertisement

 

 

 

 

***

[UPDATE June 08, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Johnson Park (Loop 5) is 4.88 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, .

In the next few days I will publish a composite map of all five modules along with general description of each.

Johnson Park (Loop 5) bike route module map
Johnson Park (Loop 5) bike route module map

***

[UPDATE June 01, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Busch – Golf Course (Loop 4) is 5.84 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, . More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Busch - Golf Course (Loop 4) bike route module map
Rutgers Busch – Golf Course (Loop 4) bike route module map

***

[UPDATE May 31, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) is 3.86 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, . More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) bike route module map
Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) bike route module map

***

[UPDATE May 26, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) is 4.11 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, . More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) bike route module map
Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) bike route module map

***

Inspired by , who designs modular software and cooks modular meals, I decided to design a modular bike route and share it with my fellow cyclists in the New Brunswick/Highland Park area. The idea is to compile a number of short bike routes that begin and end at the same point, which will allow cyclists to combine different modules into a composite ride of their choice.

I just completed the first module — Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1). The route is 6.02 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, . More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1) bike route module map
Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1) bike route module map

 

  • advertisement
Follow A.T. on these networks
rssrss

Can I use an iPhone/Android phone for marine navigation?

mailmail

Short answer: No

Longer answer: It depends

Full answer: Glad you asked

I spend a lot of time on the water – at least once a week from May to October. Years ago we used to navigate using paper nautical charts and analog compasses. Later handheld GPSs became ubiquitous. In the last few years, with an iPhone in every pocket, friends keep asking me: “Why can’t we ditch the altogether? I have GPS on my iPhone, and I just installed this pretty navigation app I bought from the App Store. Let’s use that instead.” Here’s why they should not.

  • advertisement

 

 

 

 

Smart phones are not GPS devices

A “Global Navigation Satellite System” (GNSS) is a system of satellites that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. It allows small electronic receivers to determine their location (longitude, latitude, and altitude) to within a few metres using time signals transmitted along a line-of-sight by radio from satellites. Receivers calculate the precise time as well as position. ()

The US-government-owned-and-operated GNSS is called GPS. GPS receivers are specially-designed devices that receive and process signals from the GPS satellites. Depending on the system and the process, GPS can yield from several meters to millimeters or better.

While modern smart phones have location capabilities, their – in the order of 30 meters, or 100 feet. Navigation apps for smart phones make navigation seem game-like easy, which is both deceiving, and (in my opinion) irresponsible. Smart phones have neither the positional accuracy nor the technological robustness required for a piece of navigation equipment. At best, they may be used as backup for a dedicated GPS unit, and then only to help visually locate a navigational marker.

I have been working with GPS since 1992, and I am well aware of the misconceptions surrounding the technology. The ubiquity of “GPS-enabled” smart phones has only widened and exacerbated the problem. Hardware and software vendors happily ride the wave of consumer ignorance, and do not do enough to alert consumers to the potential for misuse of the technology and the serious consequences thereof. Let’s hope it won’t take someone getting hurt for this issue to get more attention.

Summary:

  1. Smart phones are good for listening to music and taking pictures, NOT for navigation.
  2. GPS is universally misunderstood. Here’s .
  3. Smart phones DO NOT have GPS
  4. Smart phones use location technology (“assisted GPS”) whose positional accuracy is 30 meters, or 100 feet.
  5. Smart phones should NEVER be used to “navigate by instruments”.

The illustration below shows a hypothetical situation over a real NOAA nautical chart. The water depth goes from 40’ to 3’ over a distance of 50’. Using an iPhone for navigation, the skipper can think they are safely in the channel and run aground.

Navigation chart iPhone GPS
Hypothetical situation over a real NOAA nautical chart. The water depth goes from 40’ to 3’ over a distance of 50’. Using an iPhone for navigation, the skipper can think they are safely in the channel and run aground.

Many thanks to the numerous Twitter friends who provided input and feedback for this entry.

Follow me on Twitter 

  • advertisement
Follow A.T. on these networks
rssrss