Tag Archives: GPS

No I’m Not Stupid

A few hours ago at work I went for a quick drive to collect some GPS data. This isn’t all that weird, we are a company that revolves around GPS, what is more surprising is how infrequently we actually drive around the streets and get some GPS data.

To collect the data I had a good quality GPS antenna attached to a magnetic mount placed on top of the roof of the car. A tea towel was used to protect the paint on the car and the antenna cable was thin enough for me to close the door on. I thought it best to leave most of the tea towel flapping around in the wind as the only way to secure it I could think of would have been to fold it in half, which would have reduced the strength of the attachment, making the whole set up much more likely to fall off.

Half way through my drive I notice the community service truck next to me hasn’t left about 10m in front of it self when it pulled up at the lights. Glancing at the driver he franticly points at my roof, and I make him know that everything is ok.

This repeats it self another 4 times till eventually some woman walking along the side of the road spots me driving past and starts jumping up and down, running towards me and away from her children. Now I could make this more dramatic and say that she jumped out in front of me and waved me down, but I was pretty much past her by the time she had noticed so there was no danger. Except for my increased chance of driving into a tree due to my amusement at her antics.

Have people never seen someone driving with a GPS antenna on the roof before?

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IGNSS

I spent the past week in Sydney working the booth at the IGNSS conference. The International Global Navigation Satellite Systems Society Inc hold two conferences every year one somewhere in asia and another in Australia, I believe it alternates between UNSW, Brisbane and the Goldcoast. This year was UNSWs turn again.

My company had decided to set up lots of demos this year including an interactive one with a flight simulator game driving GPS simulator. People were quite interested in it, anything with a moving image draws something of a crowd.

Apparently my company has a bit of a tradition for staying at the Coogee Bay Hotel. I’m not sure why, it might have a great position but lacks most of the amenities I like in a room. Such as air conditioning, bed side lights and clock radios. Some may call me picky but that’s just me.

After the rush to get everything together for the show, the show it self was quite a relief. Other than forgetting to print some labels, which amazingly was never mentioned by anyone, all of our demo’s worked fairly well. There was some issues getting the NovAtel Galileo receiver to track Galileo satellites that was just a issue of us not knowing the commands we were meant to be using.

It was great having a refreshing swim after setting things up on the Monday though. Sydney does have its benefits.