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[new to geocaching] QUESTION about GPS models

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I did an experiment...

http://coord.info/GC5F825

I notice that only one set of coordinates is really close to posted - Kinder Ken's Garmin Oregon 650, and THAT was the only one where waypoint averaging appears to have been employed in making the measurement (per the notes associated with each on the page). That's a variable for which one might have wanted to control specifically - just to see how much difference it makes.

 

CANNOT overemphasize how important it is for those placing caches to NOT use a simple 'snapshot' reading of coordinates, and your experiment, such as it was conducted, seems to point that out.

 

exactly!

 

averaging makes a huge difference, and gets people closer to point. I've been told in other threads that averaging was just hocus pocus made up by the developer, but when I've tested it myself, results were very good, similar to the test above.

 

good info makes better info ;-)

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Moderator note: this thread has wandered around all over the place, making it less useful for future people to refer to an actual question with an actual answer. Please try to keep threads focused to the question asked in the OP. Failure to do so will result in threads being closed and if there's an escalation or continued pushing of boundaries, I have to start quoting rules and making naughty lists. I don't _like_ quoting rules and making naughty lists, so please make it easy for the mods to make it easy for the audience to help posters with focused questions get clear, factual answers.

 

While it's fun to discuss censorship and amendments, it's really not appropriate here. This is a tech forum run by a company and moderated by a mixture of employees and volunteers (including me) that get to choose how their resources are spent. Groundspeak chooses to not let their forums be used for tech support issues for niche issues, which is what that post was. There was a time when c:geo (there, I said it) and Groundspeak had a much more hostile relationship. I could list reasons, but it doesn't matter. Today, the case is that they publish an app that violates the site's terms of use (that you agreed to) so the relationship remains rather more clammy than, say, Garmin (not niche) or GSAK (notice how traffic is unceremoniously sent to their support forums? Clyde and the team at GSAK actually support the official API as partners...) Heck, I have one of the oldest apps around that supports Geocaching and also happen to be a moderator and I don't allow Groundspeak forums to be used for tech support of that app.

 

There are many apps that use the API; a list is at https://www.geocaching.com/mobile/partners/ instead of reducing site performance via automated page scraping or otherwise violating the Terms Of Use, so please focus on those.

 

So, back to OP's question, which seems to have largely run its course - since it's been asked regularly here for years - please help steer tm2fam to a GPS to buy, either by answering the questions asked or linking to any of the many existing threads where this has been asked.

 

Thank you for helping keep the moderators non-grumpy.

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I did an experiment...

http://coord.info/GC5F825

I notice that only one set of coordinates is really close to posted - Kinder Ken's Garmin Oregon 650, and THAT was the only one where waypoint averaging appears to have been employed in making the measurement (per the notes associated with each on the page). That's a variable for which one might have wanted to control specifically - just to see how much difference it makes.

Since this experiment was done in a downtown area, then I'm assuming all the phones had cellular service. Wouldn't the accuracy of the phones vary depending on whether they were set to 'high accuracy' or 'gps only'? It seems like the phones would have to be set to 'gps only' or 'device sensors only' to be a valid comparison between phones and GPSr's.

 

It would be interesting to see a similar experiment, with phones set to 'gps only', in a non-urban environment. Kudos to Andronicus for an interesting event idea!

Edited by noncentric

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averaging makes a huge difference, and gets people closer to point. I've been told in other threads that averaging was just hocus pocus made up by the developer, but when I've tested it myself, results were very good, similar to the test above.

In the other thread, cachers did not say that Waypoint Averaging was hocus pocus. You misunderstood what they were saying. They were saying that your app's developer calculating "+/- 6 inches" of accuracy is bogus.

 

Also, how would you use Waypoint Averaging to help with finding a cache? The use of Waypoint Averaging is usually referenced in the context of hiding a cache.

Edited by noncentric

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1 Since this experiment was done in a downtown area, then I'm assuming all the phones had cellular service.

2 Wouldn't the accuracy of the phones vary depending on whether they were set to 'high accuracy' or 'gps only'?

3 It seems like the phones would have to be set to 'gps only' or 'device sensors only' to be a valid comparison between phones and GPSr's.

4 It would be interesting to see a similar experiment, with phones set to 'gps only', in a non-urban environment. Kudos to Andronicus for an interesting event idea!

 

1- that's entirely possible, yes. see here to understand what agps is, and used for: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_GPS

 

2- well, yes and no. here's a scenario where it would be an advantage for the device that had the ability to download geographical data:

turn off standalone and smartphone at point A

travel 1,000 miles to point B (both units off)

turn on standalone and smartphone at point B

allow the device that has the abillity to download geographical data to do so. after that point, both devices will perform just like they did at point A. if no geographical data updates are available, it may take 1, 2, or 10 minutes to triangulate via gps, for both/either devices.

 

3- it's easy enough to test. i've done it myself, over the last 5 years or so of gps'ing around. using 'airplane mode' and 'gps only' is the best for battery life and accuracy coincidentally, so that's what i've been using. you don't have to take my word for it, try it yourself.

 

4- do it yourself ! it only takes a few minutes to run a few tests yourself. easy to do, and interesting results !

 

don't take my word for it, go try it. :)

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averaging makes a huge difference, and gets people closer to point. I've been told in other threads that averaging was just hocus pocus made up by the developer, but when I've tested it myself, results were very good, similar to the test above.

In the other thread, cachers did not say that Waypoint Averaging was hocus pocus. You misunderstood what they were saying. They were saying that your app's developer calculating "+/- 6 inches" of accuracy is bogus.

 

Also, how would you use Waypoint Averaging to help with finding a cache? The use of Waypoint Averaging is usually referenced in the context of hiding a cache.

 

hmm, that thread looks like it's been changed a bunch. i don't recall what is missing now, oh well.

 

either way, no one went out and tried averaging for themselves. or at least didn't post about it.

Averaging for....

placing a cache - use averaging several times to find the BEST set of coordinates for a physical location. this won't help you, but it will help everyone that tries to get to your coordinates, because... the coords are closer to the cache.

 

FINDing a cache - use averaging several times to find the BEST set of coordinates around where a cache is supposed to be. you can visually check the differences between 2-3 (or more) averaged waypoints vs the cache cords. this is helpful in areas that have a lot of reflection (canyons/buildings/walls/similar).

 

If the cache placer didn't use averaging, and just trusted what the readout said... well, it's a crapshoot. maybe you'll be 10-100meters from it, maybe you won't.

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Moderator note: this thread has wandered around all over the place, making it less useful for future people to refer to an actual question with an actual answer. Please try to keep threads focused to the question asked in the OP. Failure to do so will result in threads being closed and if there's an escalation or continued pushing of boundaries, I have to start quoting rules and making naughty lists. I don't _like_ quoting rules and making naughty lists, so please make it easy for the mods to make it easy for the audience to help posters with focused questions get clear, factual answers.

 

While it's fun to discuss censorship and amendments, it's really not appropriate here. This is a tech forum run by a company and moderated by a mixture of employees and volunteers (including me) that get to choose how their resources are spent. Groundspeak chooses to not let their forums be used for tech support issues for niche issues, which is what that post was. There was a time when c:geo (there, I said it) and Groundspeak had a much more hostile relationship. I could list reasons, but it doesn't matter. Today, the case is that they publish an app that violates the site's terms of use (that you agreed to) so the relationship remains rather more clammy than, say, Garmin (not niche) or GSAK (notice how traffic is unceremoniously sent to their support forums? Clyde and the team at GSAK actually support the official API as partners...) Heck, I have one of the oldest apps around that supports Geocaching and also happen to be a moderator and I don't allow Groundspeak forums to be used for tech support of that app.

 

There are many apps that use the API; a list is at https://www.geocaching.com/mobile/partners/ instead of reducing site performance via automated page scraping or otherwise violating the Terms Of Use, so please focus on those.

 

So, back to OP's question, which seems to have largely run its course - since it's been asked regularly here for years - please help steer tm2fam to a GPS to buy, either by answering the questions asked or linking to any of the many existing threads where this has been asked.

 

Thank you for helping keep the moderators non-grumpy.

 

THANK YOU

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If a company (Groundspeak) provides a service (Forums) and does not want to allow promotion of a product that violates their TOU (c:geo) within the confines of said service (Forums), then isn't that their prerogative?

 

No, actually it isn't. That's called censorship and we had a whole thing about that in the 1950s. ;-)

 

To be clear: USING the app = violation of terms. (technically that isn't even a violation, really, because we are not the content owners -- the content owners are violating the policy...but for the sake of argument, I'll just give that to you).

 

But TALKING about it cannot be, and yes, I am indeed covered by 1st amendment rights on this. I have a right to say whatever I want, and they can censor me, sure. But I could always take them to court (not that I would) because that would be considered a violation of my human rights.

 

Trust me, there is no way that TALKING about something is a violation of anyone's terms for a forum. I'm not being mean, or derrogative or infringing on anyone else's rights by hating on them or something. Forum moderators have the right to moderate based on EVERYONE's rights, so if were being a jerk, they could kick me out for that. But not for merely TALKING about a product when no harm is done.

 

Where did you guys hear about this anyway? It seems like more than one of you came to this conclusion, or perhaps one person did, and then evangelized it to everyone else, and so on. But where is this actually said in print? I read the terms page, and there is no evidence that this is the case. I think someone might have taken things a bit too far and everyone else just acquiesced because they didn't disagree....

 

TERMS OF USE AGREEMENT

https://www.geocaching.com/about/termsofuse.aspx

 

D. Restrictions.

 

Permission to use our services is subject to the following restrictions. Whether these restrictions have been violated shall be determined in our sole discretion. You agree not to:

 

Use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access our services for any purpose without our express written permission.

 

3. Ownership

 

Groundspeak's Services.

 

Our services are the property of Groundspeak or of its licensors and are protected by copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws. Using our services does not give you ownership of any intellectual property rights in our services or the content you access.

 

Do not copy or download any of the content available through our services (except your own) unless we have expressly authorized you to do so.

 

All rights not expressly granted in this Agreement are reserved by Groundspeak or by the respective owners of the intellectual property rights. Do not remove, obscure, or change any legal notices displayed in or along with our services.

 

We allow limited, non-commercial use of some of our trademarks as provided in our Logo Usage Guidelines. We also allow limited use of some of the data available through our services via our API subject to the terms of our API License Agreement. Please contact us via email with any questions.

 

Others' Content and Products.

Our services display content that does not belong to Groundspeak. Except as part our services, you may not use third party content from our services unless you have our permission, obtain the permission of the content owner or are otherwise permitted by law. Content available through our services that does not belong to Groundspeak is the sole responsibility of the person or entity that has made it available. We do not review content available through our services, although we may remove or refuse to display content that we reasonably believe violates our policies or applicable law. Third parties may provide products for use with our services, such as software or widgets and our website may include third party products and links to third party sites. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, we do not assume any responsibility or liability for any such third party websites, widgets, software, products or content (or for removal or any failure or delay in removing such content). Individual geocaches are owned by the person(s) who physically placed the geocache. Geocache listings published through our services are owned by the person who submitted the geocache listing for publication.

 

This is a privately-owned forum. Members are granted the right to post here. That right can be removed by the forum owner.

 

Censorship, freedom of speech...all silly arguments when it comes to a privately-owned forum.

 

B.

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I did an experiment...

http://coord.info/GC5F825

I notice that only one set of coordinates is really close to posted - Kinder Ken's Garmin Oregon 650, and THAT was the only one where waypoint averaging appears to have been employed in making the measurement (per the notes associated with each on the page). That's a variable for which one might have wanted to control specifically - just to see how much difference it makes.

Since this experiment was done in a downtown area, then I'm assuming all the phones had cellular service. Wouldn't the accuracy of the phones vary depending on whether they were set to 'high accuracy' or 'gps only'? It seems like the phones would have to be set to 'gps only' or 'device sensors only' to be a valid comparison between phones and GPSr's.

 

It would be interesting to see a similar experiment, with phones set to 'gps only', in a non-urban environment. Kudos to Andronicus for an interesting event idea!

I don't know what you mean by 'valid comparison'. Phones have A-GPS, and wi-fi triangulation, and cell tower triangulation. All of these help with lock speed and improved accuracy. This is a feature of a phone. Why should that not be utilized. I believe it is still valid.

 

If you are wanting to know how accurate a phones GPS chipset is, you are correct. The only time that matters is when out of cell phone range. And then, there is usually no multi-path issues, so it is a different experiment altogether. Anecdotally, I have found that my phones' GPS chipsets are just as accurate, but have less sensitivity.

 

Indeed, there are many permutations that would be fun and interesting to do. However, Trying to get a bunch of cachers to do all of them is close to impossible (like herding cats.)

 

I encourage you to do a similar event and introduce whatever controls/rules you see fit. Any new test will give us a better understanding. And it was fun.

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In the other thread, cachers did not say that Waypoint Averaging was hocus pocus. You misunderstood what they were saying. They were saying that your app's developer calculating "+/- 6 inches" of accuracy is bogus.

hmm, that thread looks like it's been changed a bunch. i don't recall what is missing now, oh well.

 

either way, no one went out and tried averaging for themselves. or at least didn't post about it.

Averaging for....

placing a cache - use averaging several times to find the BEST set of coordinates for a physical location. this won't help you, but it will help everyone that tries to get to your coordinates, because... the coords are closer to the cache.

The other thread hasn't "changed a bunch". The person that was questioning your app's WP averaging did say that WP averaging was a good idea. See post #18. Others questioned your app's claim of 6-inch accuracy in posts 14 and 15.

 

 

Since this experiment was done in a downtown area, then I'm assuming all the phones had cellular service. Wouldn't the accuracy of the phones vary depending on whether they were set to 'high accuracy' or 'gps only'? It seems like the phones would have to be set to 'gps only' or 'device sensors only' to be a valid comparison between phones and GPSr's.

 

It would be interesting to see a similar experiment, with phones set to 'gps only', in a non-urban environment. Kudos to Andronicus for an interesting event idea!

I don't know what you mean by 'valid comparison'. Phones have A-GPS, and wi-fi triangulation, and cell tower triangulation. All of these help with lock speed and improved accuracy. This is a feature of a phone. Why should that not be utilized. I believe it is still valid.

 

If you are wanting to know how accurate a phones GPS chipset is, you are correct. The only time that matters is when out of cell phone range. And then, there is usually no multi-path issues, so it is a different experiment altogether. Anecdotally, I have found that my phones' GPS chipsets are just as accurate, but have less sensitivity.

Your 2nd quoted paragraph is what I was referring to with my 'valid comparison' statement. I've been reading so much, mostly from ohgood, about how phones do just as well as standalones in areas without cell reception that I associated your experiment with that type of comparison. Since your experiment was more about comparing phones and standalones in areas with cell reception, then my 'valid' statement doesn't matter. :)

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Since this experiment was done in a downtown area, then I'm assuming all the phones had cellular service. Wouldn't the accuracy of the phones vary depending on whether they were set to 'high accuracy' or 'gps only'?

A-GPS might get you a fix more quickly, but it won't make the end result more accurate.

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I don't know what you mean by 'valid comparison'. Phones have A-GPS, and wi-fi triangulation, and cell tower triangulation. All of these help with lock speed and improved accuracy. This is a feature of a phone. Why should that not be utilized. I believe it is still valid.

A-GPS might get you a fix more quickly, but it won't make the end result more accurate.

So many different opinions. :blink:

 

According to LG's tech specs, my phone (Optimus Pro G) also has "S-GPS For Enhanced Location Accuracy". Haven't seen any mention of S-GPS in the recent forum posts, but supposedly it should help with my phone's GPS accuracy, which has been pretty poor. I need to open it up and try a hardware fix.

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In the other thread, cachers did not say that Waypoint Averaging was hocus pocus. You misunderstood what they were saying. They were saying that your app's developer calculating "+/- 6 inches" of accuracy is bogus.

hmm, that thread looks like it's been changed a bunch. i don't recall what is missing now, oh well.

 

either way, no one went out and tried averaging for themselves. or at least didn't post about it.

Averaging for....

placing a cache - use averaging several times to find the BEST set of coordinates for a physical location. this won't help you, but it will help everyone that tries to get to your coordinates, because... the coords are closer to the cache.

The other thread hasn't "changed a bunch". The person that was questioning your app's WP averaging did say that WP averaging was a good idea. See post #18. Others questioned your app's claim of 6-inch accuracy in posts 14 and 15.

 

 

Since this experiment was done in a downtown area, then I'm assuming all the phones had cellular service. Wouldn't the accuracy of the phones vary depending on whether they were set to 'high accuracy' or 'gps only'? It seems like the phones would have to be set to 'gps only' or 'device sensors only' to be a valid comparison between phones and GPSr's.

 

It would be interesting to see a similar experiment, with phones set to 'gps only', in a non-urban environment. Kudos to Andronicus for an interesting event idea!

I don't know what you mean by 'valid comparison'. Phones have A-GPS, and wi-fi triangulation, and cell tower triangulation. All of these help with lock speed and improved accuracy. This is a feature of a phone. Why should that not be utilized. I believe it is still valid.

 

If you are wanting to know how accurate a phones GPS chipset is, you are correct. The only time that matters is when out of cell phone range. And then, there is usually no multi-path issues, so it is a different experiment altogether. Anecdotally, I have found that my phones' GPS chipsets are just as accurate, but have less sensitivity.

Your 2nd quoted paragraph is what I was referring to with my 'valid comparison' statement. I've been reading so much, mostly from ohgood, about how phones do just as well as standalones in areas without cell reception that I associated your experiment with that type of comparison. Since your experiment was more about comparing phones and standalones in areas with cell reception, then my 'valid' statement doesn't matter. :)

 

it looks like posts were deleted. that's all.

Edited by ohgood

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Out of the partner apps listed on this page: https://www.geocaching.com/mobile/partners/ (thank you to the moderator for that link)

 

--which one is the best to use for offline caching? For example, here's how I plan to use it: I'm not going to download any huge maps, etc. -- Just enter in the code and save that ONE cache to use offline.

 

Now, I know they can ALL do that, but I don't want to pay for the app, so it must be a FREE app, and which one is going to get me the closest to the cache with it's technology?

 

Example: I used a smartphone with an app and it said I was ~25ft from cache when standing on top of it. I used the Magellan GPS unit and it said ~8ft. Obviously, not all apps are superior to it. So which one will be the MOST accurate?

 

Thoughts?

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Obviously, not all apps are superior to it. So which one will be the MOST accurate?

 

All or none. Accuracy does not depend on an app, all apps get their location from the GPS chip So on the same phone/tablet accuracy is the same for all apps.

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All or none. Accuracy does not depend on an app, all apps get their location from the GPS chip So on the same phone/tablet accuracy is the same for all apps.

 

Wow, I can't believe that the old Magellan Standalone was that much better than a smartphone....I thought I heard a lot of people bashing them and saying that smartphones are much more accurate...How can that be, when even a dinosaur like the Magellan Sportrak is far better???

 

Maybe it just depends on each individual geocache's location and some are closer to the coords that others???

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All or none. Accuracy does not depend on an app, all apps get their location from the GPS chip So on the same phone/tablet accuracy is the same for all apps.

 

Wow, I can't believe that the old Magellan Standalone was that much better than a smartphone....I thought I heard a lot of people bashing them and saying that smartphones are much more accurate...How can that be, when even a dinosaur like the Magellan Sportrak is far better???

 

Maybe it just depends on each individual geocache's location and some are closer to the coords that others???

I don't think there are "a lot of people" saying that smartphones are much more accurate. A lot of people might agree that smartphones can be just as good as standalones.

 

I think it's improper to generalize the performance of smartphones and standalones. What I mean is that different smartphones/standalones can perform differently than other smartphones/standalones. If some smartphones are accurate, then that doesn't mean all smartphones are accurate. The same with standalones. It really depends on each individual device.

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All or none. Accuracy does not depend on an app, all apps get their location from the GPS chip So on the same phone/tablet accuracy is the same for all apps.

 

Wow, I can't believe that the old Magellan Standalone was that much better than a smartphone....I thought I heard a lot of people bashing them and saying that smartphones are much more accurate...How can that be, when even a dinosaur like the Magellan Sportrak is far better???

 

Maybe it just depends on each individual geocache's location and some are closer to the coords that others???

 

I can change from "GPS only" to "cellular/wifi" and the accuracy will change from +/- 2 meters to +/- 100 meters. a smartphone has this option, and a lot of people never realize it. a standalone does not, so is easy to assume the standalone is more accurate ... if you're one of the people that missed it.

 

if you care to Google about smartphone vs standalone accuracy, you'll find quite a few studies that show there is little to no difference in consumer electronics. the more recent the study, the more relevant the results.

 

edited, needed to add a zero.

Edited by ohgood

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All or none. Accuracy does not depend on an app, all apps get their location from the GPS chip So on the same phone/tablet accuracy is the same for all apps.

Technically. As it pertains to making use of the GSP data given to the app from the OS.

But an app may have additional features like extended averaging and whatnot; making more use of the data it receives. So, one might consider those apps to be "better"; but it doesn't reflect on the device's GPS capability, just the app-coder's ingenuity :P

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I can change from "GPS only" to "cellular/wifi" and the accuracy will change from +/- 2 meters to +/- 100 meters. a smartphone has this option, and a lot of people never realize it. a standalone does not, so is easy to assume the standalone is more accurate ... if you're one of the people that missed it.

 

Wow, did not know that, thank you....now to find that option on the Casio Commando C811 ....

 

Thanks

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I don't know what you mean by 'valid comparison'. Phones have A-GPS, and wi-fi triangulation, and cell tower triangulation. All of these help with lock speed and improved accuracy. This is a feature of a phone. Why should that not be utilized. I believe it is still valid.

A-GPS might get you a fix more quickly, but it won't make the end result more accurate.

So many different opinions. :blink:

 

According to LG's tech specs, my phone (Optimus Pro G) also has "S-GPS For Enhanced Location Accuracy". Haven't seen any mention of S-GPS in the recent forum posts, but supposedly it should help with my phone's GPS accuracy, which has been pretty poor. I need to open it up and try a hardware fix.

Probably a good idea to take a look at what S(Simultaneous)-GPS actually does, and then make your own decision about whether separate RF front ends will have any impact at all on accuracy of coordinates you are reading on your phone. I think you'll find it has another purpose. Your local E911 operator might be pleased that your phone is capable of managing voice calls contemporaneously with updating your GPS position, though.

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