DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Furchgott, Roy. "TomTom’s GPS App Arrives at Destination."  Getting Smart About Personal

            Technology. September 2009: The New York Times. Web. 16 Nov. 2009

 

Summary

            This article is about a new application on iTunes from TomTom, a company known for its dashboard GPS systems.  The GPS application, much like other phone GPS applications from AT&T, Navigon, and Gokivo, is easy to set up and has familiar features (e.g. showing your route in map form of 3-D style representation).  It can be set to avoid tolls, to pick a different route if you do not like the one it initially chooses, and it can work with both bicycles and cars.  You can also set the application to display points of interest you want to be aware of as you travel (such as gas stations) which then appear on your map.

 

Application to Research

            The article describes many positive things about the application, but it is fair: it also includes the many negative aspects of it.  Similar to my research, the GPS application has some problems and uncertainties.  An interesting quote that exemplifies this describes the application: “A result is laggy directions and position readings that are less than perfect. In a test, I set the app to direct me to a local restaurant, but I sailed past the first turn without a warning and was a quarter-block away by the time it recognized my error. Here’s the kicker: I was on foot.”  This is similar to my research project, which includes many uncertainties and problems of GPS equipment.

 

Wortham, Jenna. "Sending GPS Devices the Way of the Tape Deck?"  Getting Smart About

            Personal Technology. 20.    July 2009: The New York Times. Web. 16 Nov. 2009

 

Summary

            This article describes how the Smartphone and iPhone technology may be making GPS technology (such as the GPS receiver) obsolete.  Both the Smartphone and the iPhone have applications that are becoming a more convenient way for drivers to get directions to unknown destinations.  The article states that more than 40% of all Smartphone owners use their mobile device to get directions.  The figure is even higher for iPhone users; almost 80% of all iPhone users use their device for directions.

 

Application to Research

            This article also includes some problems with these new and exciting GPS technologies -- problems that are comparable to the problems seen with the GPS device with which I experiment at APL.  For one, Smartphones are susceptible to interruptions from incoming phone calls.  The GPS device that I use at APL is susceptible to many different interruptions, and often can not fix an accurate signal because of this.  However, as the article states, “…tech-savvy Smartphone owners find that GPS capabilities of their phones are good enough for ordinary use.”  A question I have regards the popularity of the iPhone and Smartphone GPS technologies; can most of the reason they are doing so well be attributed to the simplicity and easiness of needing only one device to do many different tasks?

 

Sasha, Cloe. "Will GPS Make Us Dumb?"  Technology & Science. July 2009: ABC News. Web.

            16 Nov. 2009

 

Summary

            This article explores the idea that as GPS devices become increasingly popular, we will further rely on them, which could be incredibly detrimental.  Our dependence on them can already be seen in the use of GPS in cars, which has become increasingly prevalent.  Interestingly, the article points out that getting lost helps develop our sense of place which contributes to a functioning society.  The social function of being lost is discussed – think about how many times in the last month or so you have asked somebody for directions, or somebody has asked you for directions.  This bit of social communication will slowly be lost, and people may not need to have any sense of direction whatsoever.

 

Application to Research

             This article brings up an interesting point – and one that I discussed in my oral presentation last week.  When I used the introduction about the man who relied so much on his GPS that he drove into a river, the argument that we are beginning to rely far too much on GPS technology was examined.  This article explores the idea that, as Ian White, founder of Urban Mapping, states, “When we develop a crutch for technology, we lose the ability to do that which we did previously.”  An interesting question that this article discusses is: as GPS technology increases rapidly, will we feel as if we are natives everywhere or strangers everywhere?

 

Neergaard, Lauren. "Going High-Tech to Track Alzheimer’s Patients."  Health.ABC News. Web. 

            16 Nov. 2009. 

 

Summary

            This incredibly recent article (from this morning!) introduces a very interesting concept.  Although through my research I have read about many different exciting uses for GPS technology, this one was a new notion.  The Alzheimer’s Association is adapting technology developed for monitoring prisoners to let caregivers track where their loved ones drive or walk – and alert them if they go beyond the virtual fences each family can set.  When a loved one’s Alzheimer’s gets bad enough that one is often finding themselves searching on 4-mile daily strolls, the idea of watching the meanderer via computer becomes popular and appealing.  Cleo Dougherty, who pilot-tested the service with her 67-year-old husband last summer and is awaiting arrival of the official version, is incredibly excited about the idea.

 

Application to Research
            The device discussed is similar to mine from APL in that one can see the route taken on the computer.  The screenshot shown in the article was similar to the screenshots I showed in my presentation last week.  Because I am incredibly interested in different applications of GPS technology, this article was especially attention-grabbing.  Certain points from this article, such as the fact that “The accuracy of GPS, for instance, depends on clear access to satellites powering the navigation tool, meaning a tunnel or tall buildings can block signals,” corresponds strikingly well to my presentation, which explicitly discusses this point.

 

Roberts, Steven K.. "The GPS Datalogger."  NoMadness: Geek Expressionism at Sea.  14 Dec.

            2008. Web. 30 Nov. 2009


Summary
            This article is similar to a review or evaluation of GPS data logging devices.  It is an article written by a man who uses GPS data loggers when going on boating and water trips.  It describes how the GPS receiver (which is piggybacked on a microcontroller board) grabs the location every second, puts it in latitude/longitude/elevation data, and then writes that to an SD memory card (which is plugged into a socket at the bottom).  It lasts a couple of full days on water (it uses four AA batteries) and an LED blinks with every data point recorded.  The article includes many great visuals of his trips (the most interesting being a zig-zag route from La Conner to Camano Island, Washington) displayed on Google Earth -- very similar to the ones that my device can create.

 

Application to Research
            This year, I am working with and testing different GPS data logging devices, just like the one described in this article.  The device (by pasting many coordinates into a template and naming the file with the .kml suffix) can also display the route in Google Earth.  One sentence, “I have also taken it on kayak trips, and even used it to plot the trails through the forest near my home (during the winter when the heavy leaf canopy would not interfere with GPS reception),” reminds me of the GPS reception problems that my GPS logger often has, which were discussed during my county-wide presentation. 

 

"ITrek Z1 GPS DataLogger Precision Test."  Map Aspects.  6 Apr. 2008. Web. 30 Nov. 2009

 

Summary

            This is an incredibly interesting and helpful article about the precision of GPS.  In this article, the results of an experiment (very similar to one I have completed) are discussed.  The GPS was placed on a rooftop for about 30 minutes and set to a three second sampling interval.  The 660 points are shown in a graph shown in the article entitled “iTrek Z1 Data Logger Test,” showing the different points, the mean center, and two circles – one has a radius one standard deviation from the mean center, the other has a radius two standard deviations from the mean center.  The horizontal and vertical distributions showing distance from mean positions from horizontal, vertical, and vertical absolute values are displayed in graphs later in the article, but they are very difficult to read and understand.

 

Application to Research

            Because my research is primarily on the uncertainties of GPS data logging equipment, this article is very pertinent to my studies.  The fact that I did an experiment incredibly similar to his experiment is amazing – I now want to make a visual like the author’s visual (finding standard deviation radii and displaying the points.  One thing not discussed in the article is whether or not the author was happy with the GPS data logging experiment – did he or she find the precision of the data logger to be disappointing or adequate?


Vazquez-Prokopec, Gonzalo M. and Stoddard, Steven T.. “Usefulness of commercially available

             GPS data-loggers for tracking human movement and exposure to dengue virus.”

              International Journal of Health Geographics. 30 Sept. 2009. Web. 30 Nov. 2009.

 

Summary

            This very long article, in essence, shows the results of an experiment done with a GPS data logger.  It tested the effects of human movement on dengue virus spread, and assessed the usefulness of GPS technology to track individual mobility patterns.  They conducted a series of evaluations focusing on GPS device attributes key to reliable use and accuracy.  GPS observations from two participants were compared – units were worn on a neck-strap by a carpenter and a moto-taxidriver for 14-16 days.

 

Application to Research

            This shows another use for GPS data loggers, which are the center of my research this year.  It is very interesting, although confusing.  The experiment, based on the abstract of the article, “demonstrates the feasibility of a novel, commercially available GPS data-logger for long-term tracking of humans and shows the potential of these units to quantify mobility patterns in relationship with dengue virus transmission risk in a tropical urban environment.”  It also included many aspects about the accuracy of the devices (GPS wearing mode increased spatial point error by 6.9 m).  Although I do not know much about Dengue virus (which is related to the Hepatitis C virus), this article was very interesting.

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.