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Coords: How on should they be?


thecolorwheels
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I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I searched and scanned through past threads and couldn't find it. If it has been, a response with a link to the thread would be appreciated.

 

How responsible is a CO to provide super accurate coords? Is posting coords that are slightly off on purpose an acceptable way to add difficulty to a hide? Is doing this negligently an acceptable way to add difficulty?

 

With Google maps it is often possible to provide dead-on coords, especially with urban caches. Sometimes being just a few feet off increases the difficulty level of a hide significantly. It seems to be acceptable for people who find the cache to post suggestions for improved coords in the logs, which makes me think it is not a respected method of increasing difficulty.

 

As a seeker of caches, I am sort of split on it. On one hand, perfect coords may make a hide too easy. On the other hand, it can be taken advantage of as a cheap and easy way of adding difficulty to a hide, and I don't like that. I found a cache recently that had been praised in the logs as being clever and tricky and difficult when in fact if the coords had been more accurate by about 5 yards it would be a piece of cake.

 

What is the opinion on this? Thanks.

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How responsible is a CO to provide super accurate coords? Is posting coords that are slightly off on purpose an acceptable way to add difficulty to a hide? Is doing this negligently an acceptable way to add difficulty?

Groundspeak guidelines specify, "Listings must contain accurate GPS coordinates." They should be as accurate as you reasonably can make them. Providing "soft" coordinates is NOT an acceptable way to add difficulty.

 

With Google maps it is often possible to provide dead-on coords, especially with urban caches.

The accuracy of Google maps varies by location. It's good to take your own coordiantes and then verify them with Google, especially with urban caches. If there is a difference, then go back and try to get better coordinates yourself. After publication, be open to updating your posted coordinates if multiple people indicate significant problems with your coordinates.

 

As a seeker of caches, I am sort of split on it. On one hand, perfect coords may make a hide too easy.

It's unlikely that the posted coordinates will be "perfect." Taking measurements involves errors, which easily could be at least three meters off. Even if the hider gets lucky at posts the "perfect" coordinates, the seekers' GPSrs also involve errors. Combine the hider and seeker errors, and you'll often have a fairly large area to search.

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Is posting coords that are slightly off on purpose an acceptable way to add difficulty to a hide? Is doing this negligently an acceptable way to add difficulty?

 

The practice is known as posting "soft coordinates".

 

forum search for "soft coordinates":

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=285587&st=0&p=4896205&hl

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=285616&st=0&p=4896290&hl

 

The Guidelines:

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=307

 

Having accurate coordinates won't necessarily make finding the cache "too easy". The "clever" hides usually involve good camouflage, or a good hiding spot.

 

Whereas posting soft coordinates is a lazy way to add difficulty to a cache hide, as well as creating more destruction to the environment as cachers trample down everything in a wide area looking for the cache.

Edited by Pup Patrol
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From the guidelines

 

1.Technical Requirements

1.Listings must contain accurate GPS coordinates. You must visit the geocache site and obtain all the coordinates with a GPS device. GPS usage is an integral and essential element of both hiding and finding geocaches and must be demonstrated for all cache submissions. Projecting waypoints from locations defined by coordinates is permissible. For geocaches that include Additional Waypoints, see the guidelines specific to those cache types.

 

*** Edit: a bit slow on the trigger. +1 the above

Edited by Totem Clan
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There are a lot of issues with this question. When taking a set of coords after hiding a cache, many hiders do not have the option of averaging coordinates to ensure accuracy. They won't take the time to navigate back to the hide to double check either. You can take 10 people with 10 GPSr to the same spot and they will all come up with something different. If a cell phone of any type is involved the inaccuracy becomes even greater. A lot of environmental factors mess with accuracy of coordinates and those factors can vary by the day and time of day, weather, etc. In our area we generally accept that within 20ft is allowable. However, as a CO, I appreciate a note in the logs if someone finds the coords "off". Several notes tells me I need to go back out and recheck. I've actually found a few of my caches to have been moved by another cacher, explaining why the coords are off! What a lot of people in my area do is average a set of coordinates if they feel they are off, and when posting their log they check the box for "adding coordinates" and then type in their coords. That helps future cachers and if they are agreeing with the new coords, again, its time for the CO to take a look. As for misrepresenting the coords intentionally to make the hide more difficult, I agree, it is cheap but we have a lot of cheap players who lack creativity. Not much you can do about that. However, if the coords are known to fluctuate based on the terrain and environment, it makes sense to increase the difficulty level. I would say, if you have a hider who intentionally hides with sketchy coords, just filter them out and don't look for their hides. Or, if you do and you find it post updated coords and move on.

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I like my coords to be as accurate as possible. I think it's obnoxious to get to "ground zero" and then find out it's not really ground zero at all.

 

Realistically, the GPS should put you in a spot and then you have a certain radius to search out. My little GPS only zooms in to 20 feet, so when I get my arrow on the waypoint, I have a certain radius to look at. If I have great satellite coverage and my accuracy is within 7 feet, then awesome. Lots of times I've my arrow right over the top of my waypoint and when I look up, there's the cache! :) Yay! Other times, I'll be right on top of it but it turns out the cache is on the cliff above me, or in the valley below.

 

If someone is up front that "oh, these are iPhone coords" or "the coords are off but it should get you close enough" then fine. As long as I know my ground zero isn't necessarily the exact ground zero. "Soft coords" are a cheap way to bump the difficulty. I don't know if I agree with doing it on purpose to bump the difficulty or not. I guess as long as it's reflected in the difficulty and maybe acknowledged somewhere in the description then whatever :unsure: I sure don't like being played though.

 

As a beginner and still pretty dumb with this, I like the coords spot on :) If someone acknowledges that they're wrong, then I have a choice to search or not to search. If there is no acknowledgment on anyone's behalf (CO or cachers) and I just don't know any better because it's a difficulty of 1, then I'll get fussy with it. It seems like most cachers will say something if the coords of the CO are off :)

 

So that's what I want, but that can very well be not what everyone else wants :)

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Co-ordinates should be spot on. No exceptions.

 

If you are taking people to a lovely spot/view etc then it shouldnt really matter to the CO so they should simply publish the most accurate co-ordinates possible.

 

If you are creating a more sneaky cache then, my view is that, the more accurate the co-ordinates but searchers still struggle to find the cache then the better cache they appear to have created. When a finder states that they looked and looked and then they saw it in exactly where the arrow pointed then I feel pleased with the hide that I have created and vice versa if I am the seeker.

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Step one: Use the "average" feature, if your GPS has it.

Step two: Use multiple "takes" for a set that works best.

Step three: HUNT YOUR OWN CACHE using your coordinates. Walk ~.25miles away and give it a shot. Can you get to your own GZ within 10-15 feet?

Step four: Use a hint. There is no reason to have "soft" coordinates and not provide a hint. It will only lead to damage of surrounding flora, landscaping or the like. Nothing will ruin our game faster, or give land managers quicker reason to ban geocaching, than if an area becomes victim to thrashing about due to poor coordinates and no hint.

 

Even "difficult" hides should give enough information to make sure that you don't damage the surrounding area. Be sure to outline what you do or don't need to do to find a cache, so that people don't disassemble fences, fire hydrants, or other hardware.

 

Step five: Be humble. If your coords are off, and someone posts more accurate sets, use them. Thank them. Edit your page to reflect the new, better set. YOU are solely responsible for your listing. If it is "soft" or intentionally vague, leading to damage, it will get reported at minimum, and lead to a management ban at maximum.

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Co-ordinates should be spot on. No exceptions.

 

If you are taking people to a lovely spot/view etc then it shouldnt really matter to the CO so they should simply publish the most accurate co-ordinates possible.

 

If you are creating a more sneaky cache then, my view is that, the more accurate the co-ordinates but searchers still struggle to find the cache then the better cache they appear to have created. When a finder states that they looked and looked and then they saw it in exactly where the arrow pointed then I feel pleased with the hide that I have created and vice versa if I am the seeker.

It is very important as well to ask "Who am I hiding this from?" If you want to keep it muggle-free to live a long, maintenance-light life, but findable for a cacher, give a good hint. It can still be a sneaky hint, but should help people find the cache in the field if the coordinates alone can't get them there.

 

If you are hiding from we geocachers, be aware of how vague description, lack of hint and/or poor coordinates will lead to possible collateral damage. Be sneaky, without being actually mean. The best challenging hides are still findable and have good coords.

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Almost is good enough in horseshoes, hand grenades and geocaching. You should try to obtain accurate coordinates, but there is no need to spend an undue amount of time fussing over them. I think most geocachers are OK with coords bring them to within 25-30 feet.

 

However purposefully posting soft coords to make the hunt more challenging is unacceptable and your caches might wind up on a lot of people's ignore lists if you make a habit of doing that. There are lots of ways to make your hides challenging and posting soft coords is the least imaginative way of doing it.

Edited by briansnat
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I found a cache recently that had been praised in the logs as being clever and tricky and difficult when in fact if the coords had been more accurate by about 5 yards it would be a piece of cake.

 

Assume 30 feet off under the best of conditions. Get to ground zero as best you can and then put the gps away and start searching. Tree cover and cliff walls are going to push it out even further.

 

You might stumble over a level 3 cache within a minute and then spend an hour looking for that 1.5. I wouldn't carry round a fork on any cache.

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Back when I had the Megellan it would take me right to the cache, but averging coordinates to hide a cache was a pain in the neck. (It's just the opposite with the garmin.) I used to test and retest and reretest my coordiantes when I hid a cache (still do, but the garmin gives me better coords). To me it is a point of honor when someone says that my coordinates are spot on. Getting those coordinates to my hides to be spot on is as much a part of the game for me as finding caches is.

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Almost is good enough in horseshoes, hand grenades and geocaching. You should try to obtain accurate coordinates, but there is no need to spend an undue amount of time fussing over them. I think most geocachers are OK with coords bring them to within 25-30 feet.

 

However purposefully posting soft coords to make the hunt more challenging is unacceptable and your caches might wind up on a lot of people's ignore lists if you make a habit of doing that. There are lots of ways to make your hides challenging and posting soft coords is the least imaginative way of doing it.

 

I'm sorry, in due defferance to Briansnat's status as a moderator and geocacher of the year time and time again, I disagree, 25-30 feet is not good enough. With todays devices and other tools at our disposal there i no reason for anything being off by more than 20 feet and less than 15 feet is the preferred target.

 

Granted, differences in devices, conditions on the day the cache was hidden, and overhead obstructions such as trees, tall bulidings and even gravitational sources such as power lines and large rock formations are going to hinder some devices in obtaining accurate coords but the CO's primary responsibility is to provide the most accurate coords possible, for any type of hide...

 

There is more than one group of people around where I cache that think they are clever in posting soft coords for micros in wooded areas with hints like "moss", "stump", or "typical NW hide" in areas where there are dozens if not hundreds of such locations within a 50 ft raidus of GZ and GPS accuracy at 20 feet or worse. The results are, that every piece of moss gets torn off what it is attached to and every rotting stump gets ripped apart while geocachers search for too small of caches 50 feet or more from where they actually should be looking. Post accurate coords, It's the right thing to do!

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...even gravitational sources such as power lines and large rock formations are going to hinder some devices in obtaining accurate coords...

Unless you happen to be next to a black hole, I'm pretty sure gravity doesn't play that much a part in accuracy. Large rock masses may cause multipath or block line of sight to a satellite, and power lines may cause electromagnetic interference.

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...even gravitational sources such as power lines and large rock formations are going to hinder some devices in obtaining accurate coords...

Unless you happen to be next to a black hole, I'm pretty sure gravity doesn't play that much a part in accuracy. Large rock masses may cause multipath or block line of sight to a satellite, and power lines may cause electromagnetic interference.

 

Point?

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...even gravitational sources such as power lines and large rock formations are going to hinder some devices in obtaining accurate coords...

Unless you happen to be next to a black hole, I'm pretty sure gravity doesn't play that much a part in accuracy. Large rock masses may cause multipath or block line of sight to a satellite, and power lines may cause electromagnetic interference.

 

Point?

Gravitational sources does not affect accuracy in any perceptible way.

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Step one: Use the "average" feature, if your GPS has it.

Step two: Use multiple "takes" for a set that works best.

Step three: HUNT YOUR OWN CACHE using your coordinates. Walk ~.25miles away and give it a shot. Can you get to your own GZ within 10-15 feet?

 

I have hidden using this method and a mobile phone.

I have regularly got 'coords spot on" logs.

 

Maybe the one thing to change is visit on different days to re-check.

 

The one cache that I did not do stage 3 was way out and I needed to change the coords for!

I usually like to get to within 5 feet or less if I am hunting my own cache.

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Almost is good enough in horseshoes, hand grenades and geocaching. You should try to obtain accurate coordinates, but there is no need to spend an undue amount of time fussing over them. I think most geocachers are OK with coords bring them to within 25-30 feet.

 

However purposefully posting soft coords to make the hunt more challenging is unacceptable and your caches might wind up on a lot of people's ignore lists if you make a habit of doing that. There are lots of ways to make your hides challenging and posting soft coords is the least imaginative way of doing it.

 

I'm sorry, in due defferance to Briansnat's status as a moderator and geocacher of the year time and time again, I disagree, 25-30 feet is not good enough. With todays devices and other tools at our disposal there i no reason for anything being off by more than 20 feet and less than 15 feet is the preferred target.

 

Granted, differences in devices, conditions on the day the cache was hidden, and overhead obstructions such as trees, tall bulidings and even gravitational sources such as power lines and large rock formations are going to hinder some devices in obtaining accurate coords but the CO's primary responsibility is to provide the most accurate coords possible, for any type of hide...

 

There is more than one group of people around where I cache that think they are clever in posting soft coords for micros in wooded areas with hints like "moss", "stump", or "typical NW hide" in areas where there are dozens if not hundreds of such locations within a 50 ft raidus of GZ and GPS accuracy at 20 feet or worse. The results are, that every piece of moss gets torn off what it is attached to and every rotting stump gets ripped apart while geocachers search for too small of caches 50 feet or more from where they actually should be looking. Post accurate coords, It's the right thing to do!

 

I think the issues there would be an inappropriately sized container and/or a poor hint and the inadvisability of hiding a difficult cache in a sensitive area.

 

I've never done an actual count, but I'd be willing to bet over half of my finds are in the 20+ ft off range. Between the inaccuracy in my unit and that of the hider, 25 feet off is a reasonable distance. Even if the hider used a $9,000 commercial grade GPS unit accurate to centimeters my GPS can still put me 20 or more feet away. It is a limitation of all consumer grade units.

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A tangential but basically on-topic anecdotal story.

 

For about a year and a half, an iPhone was my primary caching device. I had even placed a number of hides with it -- successfully mind you -- carefully using an app that averaged the coordinates over several minutes. Didn't have any issues with poor coordinates. Finding caches with the iPhone on the other hand was definitely more of a challenge.

 

Then one day, after a frustrating day of caching and hiking along the Taconic Crest Trail, I decided that since I cached A LOT, that it would be worthwhile for me to pick up a Garmin 62s. So then I decided to hide a cache. So I drove out about 8 miles and hid The Lost Village of Hell's Half Acre with my brand-new FOUR HUNDRED DOLLAR high-end precision GPS receiver. I turned it on, waited for it to report 12-foot accuracy, and then snapped the coordinates.

 

Needless to say, the coordinates taken by my FOUR HUNDRED DOLLAR GPS were off by ONE HUNDRED FEET, across the road in private property. I noted that the coordinates showed up across the road in Google Earth as well, but I dismissed this as simply an inaccuracy of Google Earth. After all, I had a FOUR HUNDRED DOLLAR precision instrument that could not possibly be wrong. After the initial DNF, I went back, and this time (having ditched the iPhone at this point), I whipped out brand-new Android phone. I figured, if the a 2-year-old iPhone could take usable coordinates, a newer smart phone with two extra years of technological advancement under its belt should be even better. So I set the phone on top of the cache site and waited for the coordinates to settle. I was pleased to note that the coordinates it gave me were about 90 feet different from the Garmin's coordinates, so I posted the corrected coords. Now, the next cacher did find the cache, but only because he was able to use the provided hint -- coordinates #2 were ALSO almost 100 feet off! Thankfully, this cacher posted updated coordinates from his GPS, and those are the coordinates that the cache now uses, and has been found 100% of the time since that first DNF.

 

As a side note, I am 100% certain that the site in question is haunted, but in any case, I ate some humble pie that day when not one but two GPSs gave me terrible coordinates. Long story short, now I always make sure my GPS is warmed up, and I use coordinate averaging, and then I test them out. If the coords come up soft (happens maybe 10% of the time), I re-average them. Now, while I think hiders should take care to take good coordinates, I do agree with briansnat that it's not necessary to obsess over them. Multiple visits in my book is not a requirement for most modern GPS units -- just use the coordinate averaging feature and do a spot check afterwards. Oh, and while Google Earth is not always 100% accurate, it's a REALLY GOOD sanity check.

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I turned it on, waited for it to report 12-foot accuracy, and then snapped the coordinates.

 

... I whipped out brand-new Android phone. ... I set the phone on top of the cache site and waited for the coordinates to settle.

Almost all caches I've seen with "unintentional" bad coords were done like this. Turn the GPS on (or start the GPS app on the phone) and quickly mark the coords. It seems that a GPS needs to be on for a while, with some movement from one place to another, before they are really accurate and reproducible.

 

I've seen the same when out caching with someone, and they just turn their handheld GPS on when we approach GZ. Their GPS ends up taking them in a big arc around the cache, eventually finding the right spot after 5-10 minutes.

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I turned it on, waited for it to report 12-foot accuracy, and then snapped the coordinates.

 

... I whipped out brand-new Android phone. ... I set the phone on top of the cache site and waited for the coordinates to settle.

Almost all caches I've seen with "unintentional" bad coords were done like this. Turn the GPS on (or start the GPS app on the phone) and quickly mark the coords. It seems that a GPS needs to be on for a while, with some movement from one place to another, before they are really accurate and reproducible.

Same experience here. I try to remember to turn on my Oregon 10 minutes before I arrive at GZ. The EPE is not always a good estimate.

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Needless to say, the coordinates taken by my FOUR HUNDRED DOLLAR GPS were off by ONE HUNDRED FEET, across the road in private property. \

One really cool feature of most cell phones is the use of multiple location triangulations. You have GPS, with +/-12 satellites, and the cell phone towers. Used in concert, coordinates can be very, very accurate. However, devices are not foolproof. Not your 62, and not your iPhone. (Both are technically $400+ devices, mind you)

 

I think the real problem becomes slap-drop caches, where owners don't take the time to try it themselves before heading home to activate the new cache page. Beta testing is a very, very good thing to do.

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I think we all put too much faith in these hand held devices. Even with the best equipment it is almost impossible to calculate an exact position with only one device. The survey GPS I use will resolve to about +/- 2m consistently

When used in tandem with a known base station I can expect an accuracy of around 10mm and can refine that a fraction by multiple occupations in a closed network

I'm not really sure how smart phones operate but I believe their GPS is actually derived from a triangulation of the phone tower locations rather than satellites. If this is the case and you are only acessing two towers then it would be very hard indeed to calculate accurate coordinates for any mark and as such these devices shouldn't really be utilized to source cache coordinates from

How close do you want to get anyway?

It would take away the thrill of the hunt if every device supplied pin point accuracy and you could just walk up and grab it

Mind you if it helped me get a FTF at Bifrost in NSW I probably wouldn't complain

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I'm not really sure how smart phones operate but I believe their GPS is actually derived from a triangulation of the phone tower locations rather than satellites...

They will rely on that to get an initial fix. And some will also triangulate on WiFi hotspots also, using databases of known hotspot locations. But further, most cellphones that advertise a GPS capability really do have a GPS chipset and receive satellite signals.

 

For example, this article says the iPhone 4 uses a Broadcomm BCM4750 single chip GPS receiver, and that the 4S uses the Quqlcomm MDM6610 to get both GPS and GLONASS signals.

Edited by Portland Cyclist
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If there's such a thing as a phone (or other device) that claims to have GPS but does not actually use satellite signals, I'd like to know what it is so I can call its manufacturer a criminal.

 

Such a thing would be useless in remote areas with no cell phone coverage. Fortunately my HTC Android phone's GPS is the real thing and works just fine in parts of the Adirondacks where there is no phone signal. I would expect the same of any other cell phone that claims to have GPS... but I suppose the contrary shouldn't surprise me.

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If there's such a thing as a phone (or other device) that claims to have GPS but does not actually use satellite signals, I'd like to know what it is so I can call its manufacturer a criminal.

 

Such a thing would be useless in remote areas with no cell phone coverage. Fortunately my HTC Android phone's GPS is the real thing and works just fine in parts of the Adirondacks where there is no phone signal. I would expect the same of any other cell phone that claims to have GPS... but I suppose the contrary shouldn't surprise me.

 

Do you have any idea if that applies to all HTC smartphones with "GPS"? Just wondering, I have one too (Windows Phone). And there's a heck of a lot of "rumors" floating around about phone GPS's and how they work, and no one seems to be able to find a verified study on the accuracy of smartphone GPS, either.

 

Oh, I hate soft coords. And there have been a couple of Teens in my area (totally independent of each other, they lived several Towns apart), who thought posting soft coords were cool, and even blatantly admitted such in cache descriptions, and in notes posted to their cache pages. And in both cases there was eventually "reviewer intervention" to make them fix the coordinates.

 

You know, these things can be hard to find. :ph34r: It's not like if you have a GPS that reads 0 feet and easily find the cache every single time.

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One really cool feature of most cell phones is the use of multiple location triangulations. You have GPS, with +/-12 satellites, and the cell phone towers. Used in concert, coordinates can be very, very accurate.

 

That's a common misconception. Location information obtained from the cell network cannot be used to improve the accuracy of a location obtained from GPS. Never ever.

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One really cool feature of most cell phones is the use of multiple location triangulations. You have GPS, with +/-12 satellites, and the cell phone towers. Used in concert, coordinates can be very, very accurate.

 

That's a common misconception. Location information obtained from the cell network cannot be used to improve the accuracy of a location obtained from GPS. Never ever.

 

Citation?

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One really cool feature of most cell phones is the use of multiple location triangulations. You have GPS, with +/-12 satellites, and the cell phone towers. Used in concert, coordinates can be very, very accurate.

 

That's a common misconception. Location information obtained from the cell network cannot be used to improve the accuracy of a location obtained from GPS. Never ever.

 

Citation?

 

Common sense. Network based location is so incredibly inaccurate that it simply can't improve the GPS-based location, because it's already so much more accurate.

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Location from cell towers and/or wifi hot-spots has a "cool" factor only in improving time to get a first fix and in begin able to give a rough fix indoors or other places where you can't get a satellite signal. But it will NOT improve the accuracy if you have a satellite fix.

 

Dang, that's the second time this month I've agreed with dfx. What is the world coming to?

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One really cool feature of most cell phones is the use of multiple location triangulations. You have GPS, with +/-12 satellites, and the cell phone towers. Used in concert, coordinates can be very, very accurate.

 

That's a common misconception. Location information obtained from the cell network cannot be used to improve the accuracy of a location obtained from GPS. Never ever.

Seems like it should be possible to use cell towers to broadcast LAAS over the data channel and obtain greater accuracy, but doesn't make much sense to do so with cell phones.

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I'm incredibly picky on my hides. I use 3 different GPS devices to mark a location and often re-mark several times for each one. I use an etrex vista, a tom-tom one, and an iPhone 4S. The iPhone and the etrex are both quite accurate and with a clear view I can get both of them to within 10ft, which is why I make my hides on sunny days. The tom-tom usually stays in the car so I can verify they're acting appropriately before I step out to "hunt" my own cache. I tend to turn my units on before I even make my way out to GZ, it helps. I usually hear good things about the location later.

 

Granted not every cache is placed out in the open on a sunny day so your coords are at the mercy of the cache hider.

 

That's also a big NO on soft coords. Unless something is physically keeping you from standing on or next to the cache and getting a read your coordinates should be as good as you can get them within the limitations of your device and condition. I found one just a week ago where the owner had hidden the cache underground and the coords were dead on the above ground location. It really baffled me for a bit before I thought to travel several hundred feet away to find the entrance to a massive storm drain. This sort of out-the-box tactic is how you can increase difficulty while still being dead on.

 

If you're really concerned about it being too easy then why not post a multi-cache? Use clever riddles or something to add difficulty. There was one cache that did a multi with coordinates to each stage and the last was so well camouflaged it took me several hours across two tries to find it. The goal is to present a challenge but not to ruin the fun. Think outside the box and you'll figure something out. =)

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i've set 3 caches, and have used online maps to verify each of them ... i use an android smartphone with no less than 3 different apps to determine coords and also use two to three different formats of them and cross-verify between them too.

 

my current 3 caches are intended to be exactly where expected... however, i have one in the works that will be (hopefully) more hidden, and i will also be using those same methods to locate that one too.

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One really cool feature of most cell phones is the use of multiple location triangulations. You have GPS, with +/-12 satellites, and the cell phone towers. Used in concert, coordinates can be very, very accurate.

 

That's a common misconception. Location information obtained from the cell network cannot be used to improve the accuracy of a location obtained from GPS. Never ever.

Seems like it should be possible to use cell towers to broadcast LAAS over the data channel and obtain greater accuracy, but doesn't make much sense to do so with cell phones.

 

It's possible, yes. I don't know if they actually do that. But, that's really a difference concept than "improved accuracy because of multiple sources of location information".

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If you want a laugh go to any GPS accuracy contest at a event and watch the large distance that the flags will cover. Each and everyone of the cacher's think that their GPS is the best. Always a different winner every time that I have been. The system that has won the most was etrek10 (not the brand I own) which is probably one of the least expensive system out there.

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If you want a laugh go to any GPS accuracy contest at a event and watch the large distance that the flags will cover.

 

Never seen one of these, how do they work?

 

Give everyone a set of coordinates and a small flag to set in the ground. The person who is closest, wins.

 

I don't know how they determine who is correct, but the flags are often all over the place.

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