Opinions

Mapping Upheavals, Indoor Location Headway, FCC on LBS Privacy

June 19, 2012By

Big changes. Apple finally ended its long time dependence on Google Maps. As part of its latest operating system upgrade to iOS 6, Apple is launching its own, home-grown mapping service. It is an impressive offering. In a very different move, Microsoft is replacing its own Bing maps in all Windows Phone devices. Nokia maps, previously Navteq, will replace Microsoft’s home-grown Bing Maps. Micello has a new indoor location trial that isn’t just indoor mapping. This month the FCC has something to say on the topic of privacy in LBS apps. ABI Research has high expectations for indoor location. read more

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New Offerings and Retarded Growth

June 13, 2012By

NEW ORLEANS — CTIA was both about new offerings and the issues retarding industry growth. The hyper local mobile advertising contingency proclaimed 2012 as the year of its breakthrough. Indoor location companies hoped that 2012 would be their year. Although the car manufacturers didn’t exhibit, mobile apps for the connected vehicle were prominent. Mobile wallet and safety apps were hot. The connected home raised its hopeful head once again. Winning back consumers’ trust that their privacy would be safeguarded, including location information, was acknowledged as standing in the way of deeper, more personalized offerings. Carriers sounded alarms about running out of spectrum to support ballooning mobile data consumption. read more

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Google Enhances 3D Maps: Is It Enough To Keep Competitors at Bay?

June 12, 2012By

Google’s recent announcement that it plans to enhance its 3D maps on the Android platform was seen as a preemptive strike against Apple, which is planning a similar announcement. In other recent news, some analysts and trade press are saying Verizon is paying way too much for Hughes Telematics. All of this is making for an interesting summer for the location industry. read more

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NIST and Metrology

June 11, 2012By

A few months ago at a speaking engagement, I took questions from the audience after my presentation. The audience was made up of GPS enthusiasts, GPS equipment vendors, and evidently GPS neophytes as well, because the last question was asked by a young lady, from a large well known government user segment, who was intrigued by but obviously knew little about the inner workings of GPS. Her question so stunned me and the audience that it brought the questions to an abrupt end. Thank goodness no one actually laughed out loud, and frankly I was so incredulous that I almost gave an impertinent answer that would not have served any purpose other than to embarrass the young lady and expose some insensitivity on my part. No, fortunately, after recovering from the initial shock due to the naiveté of the question, I answered her with a straight face, because it seemed to be an honest and sincere question. read more

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Out in Front: State of the Industry

June 1, 2012By

It’s not been done before, so we’re going to do it now. In the September issue of this magazine will appear the very first State of the Industry report. On the GNSS industry, of course. It will cover such topics as the global economy and how it affects business in your sector. Customers’ availability of capital to invest is top-of-mind for most industry professionals, whether designers, manufacturers, integrators, suppliers/dealers, or end users. read more

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Expert Advice: Location by Database

June 1, 2012By
Figure 6. Predicted signal strength for one transmitter in the San Francisco financial district.

Radio-Frequency Pattern Matching By Tarun Bhattacharrya, Hassan El-Sallabi, Jian Zhu, Jeff Wu, and Per Enge Radio-frequency pattern matching (RFPM) is the engine that enables the use of mobile-phone signals to locate wireless devices in any environment, including dense downtown areas and indoors. This exciting technology leverages the power of the database to improve location accuracy to within 50 meters in... read more

Guest Editorial: Commercial GPS Receivers See Combat Action

May 23, 2012By

This month we present a guest column by James D. Litton, who attended the 2012 GPS Partnership Council, jointly sponsored by the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association and the U.S. Air Force GPS Directorate. The key topic of this year’s council quickly emerged as the tension between commercial off-the-shelf GPS receivers and official military issue; the two are used side-by-side in active military theaters. read more

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CAST Navigation: Signal Diversity and the PHGPST

May 8, 2012By

I have long been an advocate of signal diversity as a solution to many of the ills that plague the GPS user, especially outdated user equipment. The best equipment, if it were available today, would be the PHGPST or Perfect Handheld GPS Transceiver. I cannot count the thousands of letters and emails from warfighters, first responders, and civil users who immediately see the value of software-defined receivers and want to know where to purchase the PHGPST. For now, some early GPS software-defined user equipment does exist, but to reach the goal of the PHGPST receiver manufacturers must first be able to accurately and reliably simulate/generate all the diverse PNT (position, navigation and timing) signals available, which include some signals not ordinarily categorized as PNT signals today. Certainly not an easy task; however, there is hope. Recently I heard about a small GNSS/INS simulation company that may be paving the way to the PHGPST — CAST Navigation in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. read more

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