Opinions

Why Did Google Scrap Its Location Service?

September 14, 2015By
Kevin Dennehy

Reasons Cited Include Privacy, Lack of Retail Support
Google Here, a proposed beacon-based location service operating within Google Maps, was reportedly cancelled due to a concern by Alphabet CEO Larry Page’s that it would be too invasive by the users of his mapping service. When the location industry has such a dominant player pull out of a nascent, and potentially lucrative, proximity service, does it mean that consumers will now have to wait for a full-scale rollout? Google will remain a major player with its Google Maps app, but where does it go from there? read more

Lost Over the Pacific

September 9, 2015By
Sextant courtesy of Landfall navigation.

There I was, well above Angels 40, sound asleep wearing a positive pressure oxygen mask and helmet with the droning of multiple jet engines in the background for company. Then, I was abruptly awoken by an aircrew member urgently calling my name. On waking I noticed that it was colder and darker than I remembered when I had nodded off. The only light was that strange ambient light you only experience at high altitudes, and there was zero radio chatter in my helmet headset. read more

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More, More, More. Accuracy, Accuracy, Accuracy.

September 2, 2015By
How accurate is good enough for the majority of this sector?

Reliable, consistent positioning accuracy has always driven new product development in the survey and mapping sector of the GPS/GNSS market. It’s remarkable how quickly the provided accuracy in successive new survey products over the years has increased the required accuracy from users and customers in the field, and consequently the desired accuracy in a feedback loop to the product developers.... read more

Out in Front: Addiction on the Rise

September 1, 2015By
How accurate is good enough for the majority of your market sector? This chart show the answers from those who identified themselves as members of the survey and high-precision community. For more results from this and other sectors, see the 2015 State of the GNSS Industry Report.

Memory fails as to who first said “Accuracy is addictive.” Or perhaps it’s my knowledge base that is deficient. At any rate, I’ll gladly publish documented evidence from anyone who can show the earliest — print or audio — expression of that dictum. It continues to hold as true for this industry as Moore’s Law does for computer technology as a... read more

Commercial Systems Touted for Indoor Emergency Services

August 27, 2015By
OnStar booth features wrecked car to portray emergency messaging capabilities at APCO.

It is refreshing to see such nascent technology as indoor location being used to enable accurate emergency services response. That’s what’s going on right now as beacons, Wi-Fi and other technology that works inside, where GPS doesn’t work, is being tested nationwide by companies hoping for government adoption. With new FCC regulations that are finally trying to keep up with commercial location products, it may be a reality soon. What really drove location into wireless handsets was the 1990s FCC regulations — will they now drive indoor positioning? read more

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Post-Mortem on Flight MH370 Crowdsource Search

August 27, 2015By
Janice Partyka

Last year, in a massive crowdsourcing effort, eight million volunteers from around the world sat at their computers and searched high-resolution satellite imagery looking for signs of Malaysia flight 370, which had left Kuala Lumpur and never arrived in Beijing. The effort was akin to putting thousands of digital helicopters into the sky above 340,000 square kilometers of ocean. The... read more

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NDGPS Destined for the Technological Boneyard

August 26, 2015By
"MARC AEM7s at BWI" by Ryan Stavely - Georgia_Trip_001. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.

Let us not exaggerate — nor prematurely announce — the death of a subsystem. However, the demise of the U.S. Nationwide Differential GPS (NDGPS) network can be confidently foretold. Although a Federal Register notice dated Aug. 18 merely seeks public comment on plans to shut down a large portion of NDGPS, the handwriting is on the wall. Once having writ,... read more

ION GNSS+ Preview: UAVs, Indoor Location and a Shark!

August 19, 2015By
The show floor at ION-GNSS 2014.

The Institute of Navigation (ION) GNSS+ conference Sept. 14-18 covers issues such as PNT privacy, includes a new UAV session, and brings back the popular indoor navigation demonstrations with a significantly larger group of companies demonstrating. read more

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