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Moun10Bike

Can a Smartphone Replace a Dedicated GPS?

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"ease of use" is not vague.

Not vague, but subjective.

 

Asking which is "better" is an invitation for subjectivity. It is interesting that this thread started out discussing what was at least an attempt to provide an objective study but turned into asking for subjective opinions.

 

 

I find a handlheld GPS easier to use when preparing for and geocaching in other countries. The process for adding a list of cache (using Pocket Queries) and adding basemaps to the GPS is just simpler than it is with a smart phone.

I'd say that depends on the app. Couldn't be easier with Geosphere - run pocket query, load into my db. Done. (or, load into its own custom group so I can view only those caches; done. or, view the system group that shows new caches not already loaded into the database if I want to scan over the ones I may not yet have seen; done.)

Quite subjective.

 

I haven't used Geosphere. I've used the official paid app on an iPhone, the official free app on an Android and have tried Locus Maps and Cachesense (both highly rated). I have just found that getting the results of a PQ onto a handheld is just easier *for me* or smartphone using the apps that I have tried. I don't have to worry about databases, or custom/system groups or saving it as an offline list and other app specific features for managing waypoints. When it comes to base maps (which I recognize as something that isn't actually required) I can create a set of map tiles for anywhere in world (selecting only the areas where I'll actually be geocaching) in a couple of minutes then just copy the map image file to my GPS.

 

With a handheld GPS I don't have to download, learn, and evaluate (and optionally pay for) apps to determine what works best.

 

I also find it easier to manage battery life with a handheld GPS. It's quick and easy to swap out a set of AA batteries rather than bring along an external charger and remember to keep it changed for when it's needed.

I hate charged external packs too. But I have the AA pack for the phone so I can just swap'em out too, and holding it isn't a concern for me. Again, quite subjective :)

 

With a handheld GPS I don't have to *buy* an external battery pack (or an external case to make it more resistant to what the environment can through at it).

 

Whether or not a data connection is "needed" for caching is irrelevant. It's entirely possible to cache without a GPS or Smartphone at all. You asked what special functions make a handheld GPS "better". For me, I find it much easier to prepare for and use a handheld GPS when caching in places when I don't have a data connection.

Agreed.

 

Though a smartphone without data connection is technically as capable as a hendheld gpsr. Neither have data connections, both must be preloaded in preparation for (offline) usage. Both can do so. Ease of use will vary depending on personal habits, desires, and for the phone side the apps being used.

So it's more like there's a lesser range of experiences to be had with the handheld, than the large swath of hard-to-easy experiences based on factors with the smartphone. In that sense, handheld is a more reliable experience than smartphone (a safer bet for GPS use), until you narrow down and specify things like models and brands and software, at which point direct comparisons become more useful knowledge.

 

That goes to ease of use as well. Just the fact that a smartphone can obtain a GPS fix using satellites and/or cellular/wifi data adds to it's complexity. With a handheld device I don't have to look at and change settings to see if it's trying to use cell towers to obtain an initial fix even when cellular data is not available.

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you.

 

1 People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight,

 

2 you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

 

1 "i like eggs but not bacon" doesn't give much usable information for people that may search for it here.

 

2 best is subjective /preferential. i don't think that could be stamped on any one device, but I'm sure someone could disprove that.

 

It's cute that you are presenting it like some philanthropic exercise, but it's patently obvious what you're actually doing . You have an agenda. Admit it.

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you. People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight, you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

 

It's strange because this geocacher wants particular details about people's tests of different devices, but rejects result from actual scientific testing of devices. Starting to smell like an agenda to me.

 

If I think I've smelled an agenda in the forums, it's been from the gpsr advocates.

 

My only theory is that by using a dedicated device, things seem more "official" to some.

 

Just a theory, of course. :)

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you. People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight, you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

 

It's strange because this geocacher wants particular details about people's tests of different devices, but rejects result from actual scientific testing of devices. Starting to smell like an agenda to me.

 

oh, this is interesting.

 

tell me more.

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you.

 

1 People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight,

 

2 you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

 

1 "i like eggs but not bacon" doesn't give much usable information for people that may search for it here.

 

2 best is subjective /preferential. i don't think that could be stamped on any one device, but I'm sure someone could disprove that.

 

It's cute that you are presenting it like some philanthropic exercise, but it's patently obvious what you're actually doing . You have an agenda. Admit it.

 

I'm all ears.

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you. People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight, you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

 

It's strange because this geocacher wants particular details about people's tests of different devices, but rejects result from actual scientific testing of devices. Starting to smell like an agenda to me.

 

oh, this is interesting.

 

tell me more.

 

Again, what is your real motivation? Don't say you're trying to help people out. People can look this up on their own quite easily.

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at this point I'm going to ask for a light cleaning of the thread, in hopes that it won't be locked, and information can continue to be listed about real world uses.

 

if someone would like to continue the "ohgood is going to take over the world" thread somewhere, I'll succumb to whatever theories are listed THERE, but prefer to keeping this threaded on topic.

 

mods? thank you

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at this point I'm going to ask for a light cleaning of the thread, in hopes that it won't be locked, and information can continue to be listed about real world uses.

 

if someone would like to continue the "ohgood is going to take over the world" thread somewhere, I'll succumb to whatever theories are listed THERE, but prefer to keeping this threaded on topic.

 

mods? thank you

 

Don't come into a thread with an agenda if you don't want to be called out for it.

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at this point I'm going to ask for a light cleaning of the thread, in hopes that it won't be locked, and information can continue to be listed about real world uses.

 

if someone would like to continue the "ohgood is going to take over the world" thread somewhere, I'll succumb to whatever theories are listed THERE, but prefer to keeping this threaded on topic.

 

mods? thank you

 

Don't come into a thread with an agenda if you don't want to be called out for it.

 

what is the agenda?

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at this point I'm going to ask for a light cleaning of the thread, in hopes that it won't be locked, and information can continue to be listed about real world uses.

 

if someone would like to continue the "ohgood is going to take over the world" thread somewhere, I'll succumb to whatever theories are listed THERE, but prefer to keeping this threaded on topic.

 

mods? thank you

 

Don't come into a thread with an agenda if you don't want to be called out for it.

 

what is the agenda?

 

That's smart phones are better for caching. Every time someone comes up with evidence or a feeling that GPS units are better, you always have to question it. Pro-smart phone posts aren't questioned.

 

Yes, no agenda at all.

Edited by Arthur & Trillian

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at this point I'm going to ask for a light cleaning of the thread, in hopes that it won't be locked, and information can continue to be listed about real world uses.

 

if someone would like to continue the "ohgood is going to take over the world" thread somewhere, I'll succumb to whatever theories are listed THERE, but prefer to keeping this threaded on topic.

 

mods? thank you

 

Don't come into a thread with an agenda if you don't want to be called out for it.

 

what is the agenda?

 

That's smart phones are better for caching. Every time someone comes up with evidence or a feeling that GPS units are better, you always have to question it. Pro-life smart phone posts aren't questioned.

 

Yes, no agenda at all.

 

It's really odd, because the general consensus at this point seems to be that either type of device will get you to the cache well enough, and the rest is just cosmetic personal preferences.

 

I can understand pointed questioning on actual technical details, but nobody needs to qualify why they personally find a device not suited to their tastes.

 

"I prefer Pepsi."

 

"Your opinion is not valid unless you have tried at least ten other colas and have detailed notes on what you didn't like about them."

Edited by narcissa

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... Pro-life smart phone posts aren't questioned. ...

 

As for caching, I'm pro-choice.

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... Pro-life smart phone posts aren't questioned. ...

 

As for caching, I'm pro-choice.

 

#dangyouautocorrect :D

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"ease of use" is not vague.

Not vague, but subjective.

 

Asking which is "better" is an invitation for subjectivity. It is interesting that this thread started out discussing what was at least an attempt to provide an objective study but turned into asking for subjective opinions.

I think there's just as much a problem when people provide objective results and claim it for "handhelds" or "smartphones" entirely. Objective reports are only as valuable as the brands and models they're associated with. So I agree, it's also problematic when people provide their experience without enough objectivity to be helpful; it comes off as subjective opinion. :(

 

That said, there have been a number of helpful posts. I tend to reply to the portions where it's not clear that a claimed result is applicable only to a model but may rather be attributed to the device class overall (which is typically met with alternative solutions, because the test case now contains an entire class of device rather than just a model), in the name of clarity. I'm detail oriented :)

 

I haven't used Geosphere. I've used the official paid app on an iPhone, the official free app on an Android and have tried Locus Maps and Cachesense (both highly rated). I have just found that getting the results of a PQ onto a handheld is just easier *for me* or smartphone using the apps that I have tried. I don't have to worry about databases, or custom/system groups or saving it as an offline list and other app specific features for managing waypoints. When it comes to base maps (which I recognize as something that isn't actually required) I can create a set of map tiles for anywhere in world (selecting only the areas where I'll actually be geocaching) in a couple of minutes then just copy the map image file to my GPS.

 

With a handheld GPS I don't have to download, learn, and evaluate (and optionally pay for) apps to determine what works best.

With your handheld you still had to learn and evaluate, presumably multiple devices, before choosing the one that works best for you. Otherwise, if you just picked one and went, you were lucky to get a device that worked for you, just like you were unlucky to use an app that didn't work for you :P

But yes, the handheld comes with its software, afaik tied to the hardware (firmware), whereas a smartphone you do have to choose and download an app. A little more work in the "choosing" step from buying to actively using.

 

To note, I don't like the official app, and the other apps I've tried - meh (even Cachly which the Geocaching Vlogger now swears by :laughing:). Can't speak to Android use though.

 

I hate charged external packs too. But I have the AA pack for the phone so I can just swap'em out too, and holding it isn't a concern for me. Again, quite subjective :)

With a handheld GPS I don't have to *buy* an external battery pack (or an external case to make it more resistant to what the environment can through at it).

Yep, I've said that out of the box, handhelds are better at battery life. The tradeoff is that smartphones are multi-use devices. So it depends which you value more. For purely out of the box battery life, handhelds on average fair better than smartphones (and that is indeed a class comparison =P).

 

 

Just the fact that a smartphone can obtain a GPS fix using satellites and/or cellular/wifi data adds to it's complexity. With a handheld device I don't have to look at and change settings to see if it's trying to use cell towers to obtain an initial fix even when cellular data is not available.

...with my iPhone, I also don't have to look at and change settings to see if it's trying to use cell towers to obtain an initial fix even when cellular data is not available, either.

I don't think about that or even care about that. If the gps is on, I know I'm getting the best connection it can provide. Just like I would with a handheld.

Edited by thebruce0

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at this point I'm going to ask for a light cleaning of the thread, in hopes that it won't be locked, and information can continue to be listed about real world uses.

 

if someone would like to continue the "ohgood is going to take over the world" thread somewhere, I'll succumb to whatever theories are listed THERE, but prefer to keeping this threaded on topic.

 

mods? thank you

 

Don't come into a thread with an agenda if you don't want to be called out for it.

 

what is the agenda?

 

That's smart phones are better for caching. Every time someone comes up with evidence or a feeling that GPS units are better, you always have to question it. Pro-smart phone posts aren't questioned.

 

Yes, no agenda at all.

 

the only agenda here is getting real information instead of generalities.

 

bring up a negative for smartphone and I'll either counter or agree. here let me help the anti smartphone camp....

 

very very devices have external charging points

very few devices work with gloves

very few devices are rights enough to throw in a Creek and survive

very few devices have sub meter accuracy

 

I'm fine with REAL POINTS, but I'll "call out" every single thing that sounds like market speak, in both camps. try me, I'm fair.

 

if you have an agenda to present here, do it or retract your comment. I'm fine either way. go for it.

Edited by ohgood

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I'm out of this thread... it's getting pointless

 

I'm hoping it gets cleaned and back on topic.

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With a handheld GPS I don't have to download, learn, and evaluate (and optionally pay for) apps to determine what works best.

This is an advantage?!?

 

With a handheld GPS there is one app and it's built-in; you can't change it. Every few months at best, you may be able to update it to a newer version (at risk of bricking), but that's all.

 

Imagine if Garmin, Magellan, et al operated app stores...

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if you have an agenda to present here, do it or retract your comment. I'm fine either way. go for it.

 

Nice attempt at transference. Again, why are you *really* seeking this information?

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With a handheld GPS I don't have to download, learn, and evaluate (and optionally pay for) apps to determine what works best.

This is an advantage?!?

 

It is for me. My unofficial job title includes something called "technology strategist". I'm evaluated on my ability to download, learn and evaluate various technologies and then recommend (or not) their use to my colleagues.

 

For what is, to me, just a game I play casually I'd rather not spend a lot of time playing with various applications, downloading filters and plugins so that I can get the perfect map on my smartphone. I've only owned two handheld GPSr in almost 10 years and never upgraded the firmware on either one of them.

 

 

 

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With a handheld GPS I don't have to download, learn, and evaluate (and optionally pay for) apps to determine what works best.

This is an advantage?!?

 

With a handheld GPS there is one app and it's built-in; you can't change it. Every few months at best, you may be able to update it to a newer version (at risk of bricking), but that's all.

 

Imagine if Garmin, Magellan, et al operated app stores...

 

you know, nypaddle he has a pretty good point....

 

with all the applications available (tons) there is a really good chance of almost getting the right one and wasting a weekend trying to make it work. look how complicated it is to setup offline routing in locus, caches in osmand, and offline maps in oruxmaps....

 

and those are the GOOD applications!

 

think about the poor schmuck that tries to get one of the $20 apps going that is nothing more than a scam app that attempts to get more money out of users for additional features like track and map imports? that guy/girl is going to hate trying to use their phone for navigation, and rightly so.

 

i can't imagine the headaches involved with proofing applications for corporations before deployment.

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Unfortunately, the people who want to use a phone but don't want to fuss with choosing an app - or the many who aren't even aware there are choices beyond "the app" - will get directed to an incomplete and beginner-oriented one.

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For what is, to me, just a game I play casually I'd rather not spend a lot of time playing with various applications, downloading filters and plugins so that I can get the perfect map on my smartphone. I've only owned two handheld GPSr in almost 10 years and never upgraded the firmware on either one of them.

And that's a valid position. However, it's a position that doesn't allow you to say that one is better than the other because you don't want to deal with choosing from multiple apps. (not that this is what you're saying, just making a point :))

A difference (benefit or drawback depends on the person) between handhelds and smartphones is that the former only has one "app" and you don't have to deal with comparing multiple to find the best personal experience; the other allows you to choose from an assortment of apps that may best suit you personally, but can take more time and effort.

Which is a more valuable experience? Depends who you talk to.

Personally, I'd hope you don't universally recommend the former over the latter because it's what you prefer (unless of course that's what you're explicitly paid for :P), but rather inform people what the benefits of both are so that they can choose which is best for them.

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I use both for caching but prefer my GPSr when I'm on a geocaching specific run and my phone when I'm on an impromptu run. BOTH are capable now (unlike in the past) and each has their pros and cons. I'm looking at this debate from the viewpoint of either one coming right off the counter and into your hands for use with no accessories purchased to make either one more like the other and no extra use of external programs (downloading of maps for offline use and GSAK for example).

 

Pros - My GPS unit can survive nicely when it gets wet, either inadvertently or as a by-product of the activity. A nice hike on uneven terrain with rocks all around, the GPS is usually going to survive a fall on the rocks in better shape than an unprotected smartphone. Battery life will be significantly better on the GPS unit, lasting 8-12 hours. No data plan needed so no extra cost beyond the initial purchase.

 

Cons - You need to load the caches onto the GPS unit to begin caching. The basic maps aren't very good at 100K. Only have one user interface so you're stuck with what you get. Can't log from the field. The larger units are considered bulkier than phones. Can't do turn by turn without extra add ons. Can't do anything else.

 

Pros - The phone will provide you with more information (more logs, pictures) on each individual cache than a dedicated unit. The phone can certainly do more than just cache specific things. You can log immediately from the field when caching instead of having to wait until you get home. If you're driving from cache to cache, the phones can navigate turn by turn. Satellite view can be done with no extra cost. More choice when it comes to apps, although that might be construed as a negative as well, depending on your views. It's a multi-use handheld tool.

 

Cons - Not as durable (without any accessories). Screens sometimes hard to read in direct sunlight (better but still an issue in many phones). Won't work with gloves. Battery life traditionally not as long as a dedicated unit. Too much choice when it comes to apps. No service means no updated maps as you move from area to area.

 

Once you toss in accessories and external programs and apps, the two end up being very similar as it pertains to caching. The big advantage the smartphone has is that it can do other things outside of caching, but it's not a big advantage that affects geocaching specifically.

 

CAN a smartphone replace a dedicated GPS unit? Yes.

 

Should it? That's the personal decision each person makes on their own.

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last weekend i navigated (Street) three hundred miles, recorded tracks of that navigation, then followed old tracks along single track through fairly hilly and well shaded areas. there are no geocaches in the area, but about ninety waypoints for specific places along the trail. finding those waypoints was trivial, even though some of them were moved by fire lanes recently cut.

 

the poor phone suffered two drops face down into rocks, add it rained all weekend. no biggie, I'm posting this via the same phone. it loves mud/rain

and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

my only worry is that the four lipo batteries i have might start aging, since they're for years old now. :-(

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...and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

Somehow I doubt this. That would be dang good accuracy even with a dedicated handheld.

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last weekend i navigated (Street) three hundred miles, recorded tracks of that navigation, then followed old tracks along single track through fairly hilly and well shaded areas. there are no geocaches in the area, but about ninety waypoints for specific places along the trail. finding those waypoints was trivial, even though some of them were moved by fire lanes recently cut.

 

the poor phone suffered two drops face down into rocks, add it rained all weekend. no biggie, I'm posting this via the same phone. it loves mud/rain

and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

my only worry is that the four lipo batteries i have might start aging, since they're for years old now. :-(

 

My phone likely wouldn't survive the rough handling, though on the rare occasions I have used the GPS it seems to have accuracy more or less on par with the GPS I use for outdoor stuff. What's most important is to have the right device for you and it seems like you're very happy with what you have.

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...and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

Somehow I doubt this. That would be dang good accuracy even with a dedicated handheld.

 

my almost four year old smartphone thanks you for the compliment !

 

I'm glad there are skeptics, they just need to get out and try it next!

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...and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

Somehow I doubt this. That would be dang good accuracy even with a dedicated handheld.

 

my almost four year old smartphone thanks you for the compliment !

 

I'm glad there are skeptics, they just need to get out and try it next!

 

It wasn't a compliment. I am calling out your male bovine excrement...

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Once again replying to the question in the thread title (with the unstated caveats, that we are talking about handheld GPSr's and applying them to geocaching.), the answer is obviously yes.

 

ohgood

 

Suggesting that a smart phone can outperform a dedicated GPSr in the area of accuracy and precision is not supported by the available science.

 

The best studies to date are those by Dr. Paul Zandbergen at the University of New Mexico. In 2009 he published findings showing that an iPhone 3 had an average accuracy of 8 meters.
Numerous anecdotal studies indicate that the iPhone 4S/5 has become more accurate. In 2011 Dr. Zandbergen tested several Android smart phones. Here he found the accuracies to be slightly better than the 2009 study. They ranged from 5-8 meters. It is likely that the iPhone 4S/5 is within this range as well. It can also be assumed that iPads and other Android tablets will be comparable.

https://communityhealthmaps.nlm.nih.gov/2014/07/07/how-accurate-is-the-gps-on-my-smart-phone-part-2/

 

In the fields of science, engineering and statistics, the accuracy of a measurement system is the degree of closeness of measurements of a quantity to that quantity's true value. The precision of a measurement system, related to reproducibility and repeatability, is the degree to which repeated measurements under unchanged conditions show the same results. Although the two words precision and accuracy can be synonymous in colloquial use, they are deliberately contrasted in the context of the scientific method.

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Suggesting that a smart phone can outperform a dedicated GPSr in the area of accuracy and precision is not supported by the available science.

 

Of course in 2009, I used my iPhone 3 more for cache management than caching. In 2012, the iPhone 5 changed that for me. Now it's 2016. For me, I do not notice any appreciable difference between my gpsr and phone. Studies from five and seven years ago are interesting in terms of the history of technological development, but not a measure of available science. Make and model will vary on either side of the equation, but use what you want for whatever reasons you want. You will likely get close enough for the purposes of this game.

Edited by geodarts

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Now it's 2016. For me, I do not notice any appreciable difference between my gpsr and phone. Studies from five and seven years ago are interesting in terms of the history of technological development, but not a measure of available science.

I understand your point and I find geocaches equally well with either as I have already stated.

 

However my counterpoint such as it is, was to question ohgood's empirical "accuracy" statement and attempt to refute it with factual evidence; and as there are no recent studies or results comparing the accuracy and precision of GPSr's vs. phones thus the "historical" studies (2009 and 2011) are the only measure of available science we have. Implying its five years later and assuming technological advances would much improve the comparison does not stand up to much scrutiny...

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Suggesting that a smart phone can outperform a dedicated GPSr in the area of accuracy and precision is not supported by the available science.

 

Of course in 2009, I used my iPhone 3 more for cache management than caching. In 2012, the iPhone 5 changed that for me. Now it's 2016. For me, I do not notice any appreciable difference between my gpsr and phone. Studies from five and seven years ago are interesting in terms of the history of technological development, but not a measure of available science. Make and model will vary on either side of the equation, but use what you want for whatever reasons you want. You will likely get close enough for the purposes of this game.

 

Additionally, at some point the technical capability of a device crosses a point of irrelevance in the context of geocaching. If a device is as accurate as needed for geocaching then arguing how good a device is really isn't very helpful; it would come down to user experience and preference alone. A device accurate to 10cm vs a device accurate to 1m? Considering posted coordinates are probably on average off by 4-5m (educated guess) and there's no guarantee whatsoever that posted coordinates are accurate in the first place, that amazing level of accuracy is really pointless when geocaching.

Hone the geosense for 5-10m and you'll have a better time caching than trying to narrow down the precise GZ every time before searching for the container...

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...and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

Somehow I doubt this. That would be dang good accuracy even with a dedicated handheld.

 

my almost four year old smartphone thanks you for the compliment !

 

I'm glad there are skeptics, they just need to get out and try it next!

 

It wasn't a compliment. I am calling out your male bovine excrement...

 

but, when you call bs, you have to prove it. or you lost credibility every single time.

 

good luck !

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...and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

Somehow I doubt this. That would be dang good accuracy even with a dedicated handheld.

 

my almost four year old smartphone thanks you for the compliment !

 

I'm glad there are skeptics, they just need to get out and try it next!

 

It wasn't a compliment. I am calling out your male bovine excrement...

 

but, when you call bs, you have to prove it. or you lost credibility every single time.

 

good luck !

 

Not quite. You made the claim, so...

 

However, I'll play along. Read enough threads around here and information on various websites, and you'll find +/-10 feet to be good in optimal conditions. You claim it in bad with an old phone. You're full of it.

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Additionally, at some point the technical capability of a device crosses a point of irrelevance in the context of geocaching. If a device is as accurate as needed for geocaching then arguing how good a device is really isn't very helpful; it would come down to user experience and preference alone. A device accurate to 10cm vs a device accurate to 1m? Considering posted coordinates are probably on average off by 4-5m (educated guess) and there's no guarantee whatsoever that posted coordinates are accurate in the first place, that amazing level of accuracy is really pointless when geocaching.

Hone the geosense for 5-10m and you'll have a better time caching than trying to narrow down the precise GZ every time before searching for the container...

 

Very good post. When it comes down to it, if it works well for geocaching, then all is well.

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Now it's 2016. For me, I do not notice any appreciable difference between my gpsr and phone. Studies from five and seven years ago are interesting in terms of the history of technological development, but not a measure of available science.

I understand your point and I find geocaches equally well with either as I have already stated.

 

However my counterpoint such as it is, was to question ohgood's empirical "accuracy" statement and attempt to refute it with factual evidence; and as there are no recent studies or results comparing the accuracy and precision of GPSr's vs. phones thus the "historical" studies (2009 and 2011) are the only measure of available science we have. Implying its five years later and assuming technological advances would much improve the comparison does not stand up to much scrutiny...

 

if only we could get a person to test the science in their pockets, right now. :-)

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...and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

Somehow I doubt this. That would be dang good accuracy even with a dedicated handheld.

 

my almost four year old smartphone thanks you for the compliment !

 

I'm glad there are skeptics, they just need to get out and try it next!

 

It wasn't a compliment. I am calling out your male bovine excrement...

 

but, when you call bs, you have to prove it. or you lost credibility every single time.

 

good luck !

 

Not quite. You made the claim, so...

 

However, I'll play along. Read enough threads around here and information on various websites, and you'll find +/-10 feet to be good in optimal conditions. You claim it in bad with an old phone. You're full of it.

 

if you prove me wrong I'll really enjoy the evidence and completely agree. unfortunately we have no proof you've provided. politeness still counts in the process. I am not provoked.

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Suggesting that a smart phone can outperform a dedicated GPSr in the area of accuracy and precision is not supported by the available science.

 

Of course in 2009, I used my iPhone 3 more for cache management than caching. In 2012, the iPhone 5 changed that for me. Now it's 2016. For me, I do not notice any appreciable difference between my gpsr and phone. Studies from five and seven years ago are interesting in terms of the history of technological development, but not a measure of available science. Make and model will vary on either side of the equation, but use what you want for whatever reasons you want. You will likely get close enough for the purposes of this game.

 

Additionally, at some point the technical capability of a device crosses a point of irrelevance in the context of geocaching. If a device is as accurate as needed for geocaching then arguing how good a device is really isn't very helpful; it would come down to user experience and preference alone. A device accurate to 10cm vs a device accurate to 1m? Considering posted coordinates are probably on average off by 4-5m (educated guess) and there's no guarantee whatsoever that posted coordinates are accurate in the first place, that amazing level of accuracy is really pointless when geocaching.

Hone the geosense for 5-10m and you'll have a better time caching than trying to narrow down the precise GZ every time before searching for the container...

 

nailed it!

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...and always keeps me on the right trail, thanks to +/- 10ft accuracy, on the fly, in tree cover, on the side of a mountain.

 

Somehow I doubt this. That would be dang good accuracy even with a dedicated handheld.

 

my almost four year old smartphone thanks you for the compliment !

 

I'm glad there are skeptics, they just need to get out and try it next!

 

It wasn't a compliment. I am calling out your male bovine excrement...

 

but, when you call bs, you have to prove it. or you lost credibility every single time.

 

good luck !

 

Not quite. You made the claim, so...

 

However, I'll play along. Read enough threads around here and information on various websites, and you'll find +/-10 feet to be good in optimal conditions. You claim it in bad with an old phone. You're full of it.

 

if you prove me wrong I'll really enjoy the evidence and completely agree. unfortunately we have no proof you've provided. politeness still counts in the process. I am not provoked.

 

You made the claim, the burden of proof is on you. Go.

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Now, ohgood, since it seems that you like making claims and not backing them up, I will engage you no further on this topic until you have definitive proof of such accuracy that only you have claimed.

 

Basically, back up your claims or stop spouting nonsense.

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nailed it!

 

Interesting reversal of perspective, that position has been presented all along from both sides of the discussion...

 

Unfortunately, the obligation on a party in a dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position was placed on ohgood. To that end ohgood has provided no evidence to support his assertion, while in actuality factual evidence has been presented that disproves the assertion.

 

It's been good troll m8 (8/8 for b8) but the "prove it to me" ship has done so...

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nailed it!

 

Interesting reversal of perspective, that position has been presented all along from both sides of the discussion...

 

Unfortunately, the obligation on a party in a dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position was placed on ohgood. To that end ohgood has provided no evidence to support his assertion, while in actuality factual evidence has been presented that disproves the assertion.

 

It's been good troll m8 (8/8 for b8) but the "prove it to me" ship has done so...

 

If you look a few pages back, this forum user makes some amusing accusations about the validity of studies, which ties things up in a neat little bow. Any evidence that contradicts his/her claims is dismissed in favour of folksy anecdotes that support his/her claims. It's charming in its transparency, and it's kept things going for several pages longer than it needed to go. Anyone of consequence has long conceded that these devices are all good enough for geocaching, and the choice comes down to personal preference.

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I won't engage in name calling. moving right along...

 

if anyone would like to compare track or waypoint data, or dissect recorded gpx tracks I'm game.

 

the best test (good or flawed) I've done is traveling the same trails and overlaying the tracks upon each other or recording waypoints for comparison.

 

here is an example of track points along a route, which show thirteen feet is recorded. i believe i was using a Casio c811 that day, of it matters. you can plug the coords in to Google earth or whatever, andsee how heavy the cover is, I would call it mild:

 

Screenshot_2016_08_17_04_43_32.png

 

Screenshot_2016_08_17_04_44_01.png

 

Screenshot_2016_08_17_04_44_32.png

 

stay positive, stay curious.

Edited by ohgood

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Can a smartphone replace a watch? Yes, it probably can; because it can show you the time wherever you are (except down under water). But don't you think it's a nice thing to have and show others? Even though a GPS unit might not be the only thing that can bring me to Ground Zero of a geocache, I do think it's a nice thing to have with me.

 

I use my smartphone too, when I'm somewhere during work and I didn't bring my GPS unit, but I do like the feeling of the GPS in my hands. In my opinion, a GPS brings me closer to GZ and it feels more solid. It's going to stay a subjective discussion and one without an end, since I like this and you like that. As long as watch factories keep making watches, they'll sell. Probably the same story for GPS. And smartphones.

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another point, from another track, much higher speed, similar tree cover similar reported accuracy:

Screenshot_2016_08_17_05_01_21.png

 

I'm fairly certain I'm doing something wrong/sloppy with these bits of info, but it's fun to try, fail, and learn something in the process.

 

this is fun! remembering how difficult this area was is quickly coming back, iirc it dropped 200feet in about 600 feet of travel. or at least that's what the screen says happened, seemed a lot worse in person, in the dark:

Screenshot_2016_08_17_05_14_05.png

 

you can plug in the coords and compare the small rise left and right if you like.

Edited by ohgood

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Can a smartphone replace a watch? Yes, it probably can; because it can show you the time wherever you are (except down under water). But don't you think it's a nice thing to have and show others? Even though a GPS unit might not be the only thing that can bring me to Ground Zero of a geocache, I do think it's a nice thing to have with me.

 

I use my smartphone too, when I'm somewhere during work and I didn't bring my GPS unit, but I do like the feeling of the GPS in my hands. In my opinion, a GPS brings me closer to GZ and it feels more solid. It's going to stay a subjective discussion and one without an end, since I like this and you like that. As long as watch factories keep making watches, they'll sell. Probably the same story for GPS. And smartphones.

 

yup. I'm amazed so much can be packed into watches today, and the prices aren't very far from a decade ago.

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Can a smartphone replace a watch? Yes, it probably can; because it can show you the time wherever you are (except down under water). But don't you think it's a nice thing to have and show others?
Funny you should mention that. I am not wearing a watch now. I know people who haven't worn watches for years.

 

What's the point? Is the point to own "a nice thing to have and show others", as though a watch is some sort of trophy or medal? Or is the point to figure out what time it is?

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That's exactly what the question is! Probably all kinds of smartphones can do the same trick as a GPS device. So, do you really need a GPS? Do you really need a watch? Do you even really need a smartphone? Or is it just something that makes life easier? Or to see what time it is? Why wear a $400 watch, when you can get one for $10? The thing is telling you exactly the same thing it was made for; the time at that moment.

 

I don't care about which is better at pointing out where I need to be when geocaching; I like my GPS. To have and own it, but also because I like it for the way it works. All the rest doesn't count.

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That's exactly what the question is! Probably all kinds of smartphones can do the same trick as a GPS device. So, do you really need a GPS? Do you really need a watch? Do you even really need a smartphone? Or is it just something that makes life easier? Or to see what time it is? Why wear a $400 watch, when you can get one for $10? The thing is telling you exactly the same thing it was made for; the time at that moment.

 

I don't care about which is better at pointing out where I need to be when geocaching; I like my GPS. To have and own it, but also because I like it for the way it works. All the rest doesn't count.

 

the simplicity of just a track to follow, or just a compass, right there on the wrist is pretty nice.

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