LooseCrew-JeffO: GPS and the CO Trail


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

GPS and the CO Trail

I plotted out my data from my Timex GPS watch.
I'm blown away by the accuracy. So many have tried to convince me that GPS is totally unreliable, but I took 50 readings and many were in open terrain. As far as I can tell, none of the readings were more than 3-5 feet off.
I plotted them on Google Earth. There must be error in Google Earth, too. I'm no expert on their processes. I'm sure the margin of error for both GPS and Google Earth could be said to be +/- 30 feet, but usually the error is far, far less.
All I know is that my waypoints that are near easily-identifiable landmarks are within a few feet.
Also, I happened to write down when my GPS hit 8.70 miles. Google Earth jived exactly, even with all the bends and elevation changes.

Technology these days is astounding.
And they're talking about live feeds in the next few years over metro areas. No one will be able to complain about "Big Brother" spying on them - just blame "Bob", "Stacy", or "mom". The LoJack industry is growing. People want to stick tracking devices in their cars, laptops, children, and even on themselves - so that they never get lost and can keep track of possessions and latch-key kids.

I guess when I was post-holing in the deep snow Sunday, I must've scraped a rock or branch and it bruised the side of my heel. (It was a really jagged, rocky trail, that last mile.) It's nothing that bothers me when I run, but it hurts when anything rubs it. Considering how bad the bruise is, and how close it is to important spots, I guess I lucked-out.


At 5:42 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

I've heard that civilian GPS is deliberately less accurate than what the military uses. The military is supposed to be accurate to within a foot or two, but I'm not sure if that's 100% true or not.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

True, Kevin, but things keep plotting-out for me quite accurately in spite. I can't explain it - I only report the results. For whatever reason, they keep checking-out very close.


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