Newsletter Editorials

2011 Showed Better LBS Market Gains, But Was It All About Google?

December 14, 2011By

2011 was a decent year for the location-based services industry. It was an even better year if your company was lucky enough to get bought out by an eBay, Google or Intel. While acquisitions stood out as the key LBS news in 2011, privacy stood out as an ugly issue that threatened consumer acceptance. In addition, automobile manufacturers are viewing social media as a new profitable technology for vehicles and were trying to convince consumers that the connected vehicle is the way of the future. read more

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A Nationwide RTK Network: A Great Idea, But…

December 12, 2011By

Some folks are proposing that a nationwide RTK Network (RTN) be piggy-backed on the controversial LightSquared communications network. That could be cool, if it can be done. No one is saying that it can’t be done, but there are reservations on whether it would be worth the massive investments needed to pull it off, and that there might be little gain at all over the existing presence of RTN in the U.S. read more

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Directions 2012: A Look Ahead

December 7, 2011By

At the end of every year, I title this column Directions, in which I discuss significant developments, trends, technologies, companies, and so on, in the GNSS industry. This year, two entities have captured my attention and have the potential to significantly transform the GNSS industry: the FCC/LightSquared and Galileo, the European satnav system. read more

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The Hits and the Misses

November 29, 2011By

LONDON — Technical conferences usually feature hits: advances in technology, new form factors, improved signal processing. But the opening day of the European Navigation Conference in London has dwelt instead on misses: vulnerabilities, threats, weaknesses that leave GNSS increasingly open to attack and disruption. Gaps in our armor, with scant help in sight. read more

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LightSquared: Five Questions of My Own

November 10, 2011By

In true Wall Street lawyer fashion, LightSquared Executive VP Jeff Carlisle thinks he’s entitled to receive answers with regards to LightSquared’s GPS-jamming problem instead of providing answers. He seems to forget that LightSquared is the one applying for approval to proceed, and needs to provide the answers and solutions. I have five questions of my own. read more

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The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly

November 9, 2011By
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This month there is good news — great news, actually — where GPS and PNT (Position, Navigation and Timing) systems are concerned. On October 22, a Russian Soyuz rocket placed in orbit the first two validation satellites, built by EADS Astrium Germany, in the Galileo PNT constellation after making its maiden launch from Kourou. Don’t confuse these recent satellites with the earlier experimental satellites, GIOVE-A launched in 2005 followed by GIOVE-B launched in 2008. These initial satellites served to preserve the Galileo ITU frequency filings and test the first-ever space borne Hydrogen Maser atomic clock, which by all accounts is proving to be extremely accurate. read more

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Google to Charge High-Volume Users for Map Use

November 9, 2011By

It couldn’t stay free forever. Google’s recent decision to charge high-volume users may force some of the larger companies to look elsewhere for alternatives. In the meantime, attendees at two San Francisco Bay Area conferences learned that push location marketing is not the cool thing to be into, privacy still is a big deal that thwarts consumer acceptance…and that the word “experience” is being used too much. read more

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Indoor Location Apps Lead to Compelling User Experience

November 9, 2011By

Indoor location technology is evolving; indoor mapping is coming along and apps that seamlessly work in and out of doors will make a compelling experience more compelling. Bringing mobile location to indoors will stimulate our industry. The killer app? Apps that can self learn to be personalized to a user’s life, lived in and out of doors (check traffic before... read more

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