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GPS 24+3 Configuration: A Closer Look Posted on 03 Feb 2010 in the Newsletter Editorials & Opinions & Survey & Survey Scene categories.

In the few years I’ve been writing this column, very few subjects have warranted back-to-back newsletter coverage. The new GPS 24+3 configuration is one of them. The reason I’ve continued with this discussion is because it will significantly affect your GPS operations, especially if you’re using RTK or DGPS. Read more»

Going 3D Posted on 01 Feb 2010 in the Personal Navigation categories.

To enrich user experience of location-based services and personal navigation, three-dimensional models such as those used in urban planning are added to a smartphone platform, without the requirement of additional hardware. Read more»

The New GPS 24+3 Constellation: What Does it Mean to the Surveying and GIS User? Posted on 19 Jan 2010 in the Newsletter Editorials & Opinions & Survey & Survey Scene categories.

Last week, the U.S. Air Force announced it is reconfiguring the GPS constellation. The Air Force is changing the constellation from a 21+3 configuration to a 24+3 configuration. The result will be more satellites in view, on average. This is great news for the GPS surveying and GIS mapping user. In my opinion, it was the only achievable short/medium-term solution to the GPS "brownout" problem that has plagued GPS surveying and mapping users for years, and has worsened in recent months. Read more»

The Federal Radionavigation Plan Posted on 05 Jan 2010 in the Newsletter Editorials & Opinions & Survey & Survey Scene categories.

I’ve intended to write about the 2008 Federal Radionavigation Plan (FRP) for quite some time. It is an important document because it is the official policy document that drives the United States’ radio navigation (including GPS) program planning. According to the FRP, it includes the introductions, policies, radionavigation system user requirements, system descriptions, and operating plans of various radionavigation systems. Read more»

Directions 2010: It’s the Economy, Stupid Posted on 15 Dec 2009 in the Newsletter Editorials & Opinions & Survey & Survey Scene categories.

At the end of every year, I devote this column to Directions 2010 in which I discuss significant developments, trends, technologies, and companies in the GNSS industry. Two years ago, I wrote about the Year of the Who. Not GNSS technology; rather, the people and companies they run. Last year, I highlighted 2009 as being the Year of the Other GNSS. The little brother of GPS…GLONASS. Read more»

As Loran Fades, Attention Shifts to DGPS and SBAS Posted on 30 Nov 2009 in the Newsletter Editorials & Opinions & Survey & Survey Scene categories.

Few precise-positioning users have employed Loran in a professional sense, although maybe you have in your personal life if you’re a airplane pilot or a mariner. Then again, if you've flown as an airline passenger or cruised onboard a ship, you've benefited from the back-up to GPS that Loran provides. That back-up is about to go away. As attention and resources shift away from Loran, they focuses more intensely on GPS augmentations, specifically differential GPS (DGPS) and satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) such as WAAS and EGNOS. Read more»

A Little Q&A Follow-up and Feedback on My Last Column Posted on 19 Nov 2009 in the Newsletter Editorials & Opinions & Survey & Survey Scene categories.

I received some feedback on my last column entitled "What’s the Difference Between a Used Car Salesman and a GPS Salesman?" Most of the comments were positive in that the technical content was reasonably deep and thorough. However, I did receive a couple of e-mails from folks who were offended by the comparison. Read more»

What’s the Difference between a Used Car Salesman and a GPS Salesman? Posted on 03 Nov 2009 in the Newsletter Editorials & Opinions & Survey & Survey Scene categories.

I didn’t attend the Minnesota GIS/LIS Annual Conference last week, but I received a report from someone who attended a session in which the presenter seemed to fit the maxim quite well. One of the presenter’s messages was that people should stop using WAAS immediately as a GPS correction source due to the inability of data collection software to handle the ITRF00 > NAD83/CORS96 datum shift. Following is a statement from one of his slides… Read more»