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ginseng6

iPhone Accuracy

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I'm just researching Geocaching and thinking about getting started. I've downloaded the Groundspeak Geocaching app for iPhone. I'm wondering if the app is enough to successfully enjoy Geocaching or if a GPS unit will ultimately be required? How accurate or how close does the iPhone app get you to the cache vs a GPS?

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It will get you close enough.

 

There isn't a huge amount of difference in terms of accuracy between a modern phone and a modern consumer grade gps. I'd suggest making a start with the phone then later on down the track you might want to think and a stand alone gps if you ate getting worried about battery life or the safety of your phone.

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How accurate or how close does the iPhone app get you to the cache vs a GPS?

GPS is only as "accurate" as your phone/GPSr model allows.

Like Tassie_Boy says, not much difference between todays modern units, other than durability and battery life.

 

Consumer grade GPS at it's most accurate, is around 10', and that's hider and finder both having a perfect day.

Perfect days don't happen often, and up to around 30' could be average.

When I'm around 20' or so, I put the GPSr away and start looking (outta habit). :)

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My caching over the past few years is with a phone and the GS app...

Seems to work OK.

 

(There is a lot of "Cachers-sense" involved in some locations. It comes with experiance)

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How accurate or how close does the iPhone app get you to the cache vs a GPS?

 

This the wrong question. You want to know how close you cat get to where the cache is said to be. The difference is not trivial because you cannot assume the coordinates you are trying to reach are correct. You have to content with the error margin of your phone or gps and the error marging ogf the hiding device, 30 feet is often cited as a reasonable error margin, so +30 foot error when placed and a -30 foot error in the search leaves you 60 feet away. In my limited experience I have actually encountered this very few times but one needs to keep it in mind.

 

As others have said the accuracy differences aren't a major factor with the modern devices. Ease of use, ruggedness, battery life, screen readability, how and where you will cache are all items to evaluate when choosing what to use.

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How accurate or how close does the iPhone app get you to the cache vs a GPS?

GPS is only as "accurate" as your phone/GPSr model allows.

Like Tassie_Boy says, not much difference between todays modern units, other than durability and battery life.

 

Consumer grade GPS at it's most accurate, is around 10', and that's hider and finder both having a perfect day.

Perfect days don't happen often, and up to around 30' could be average.

When I'm around 20' or so, I put the GPSr away and start looking (outta habit). :)

nailed it

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Thanks everyone! I'll stick with my iPhone for starting out and go from there. Sounds like it should be a reasonably accurate device. Off I go to begin the hunt!

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We have been using a Duel GPS Bluetooth antenna, increases the accuracy on the Iphone. http://gps.dualav.com/wp-content/uploads/xgps150_om.pdf

I find it hard to believe this receiver would improve the accuracy on a current iPhone: 1. I've found mine incredibly accurate — usually within a few metres, 2. iPhones also use Wi-Fi and GLONASS (Russia's GPS satellites) to improve and speed up location finding.

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Im a newbie also with an iphone. Was getting frustrated today as tried finding about four different caches and couldnt see them. My iphone seemed a bit indifferent to my needs....

One minute it said 30 metres one way then it 40 metres the opposite way which creates quite a large area to search!

Was going to look in to getting a garmin type device but it sounds like should be ok with the phone, just need to gain a little experience using it.

Also i need to be a bit more patience in the actual search rather than expecting to find it straight away!

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I'm NOT a newbie and started back in Jan 2003. I used 2 different Garmin GPS units for the first few years before I took an extended break. I've started up again and have only used my phone and don't really see a need right now to buy a dedicated GPS. A GPS or phone should get you close enough to search and find the cache. Using a dedicate GPS is also less "on demand" and requires some planning and loading of caches on the device. Some new devices can access caches real-time but it leverages your phone.

 

So unless you are running up against issues finding a cache with your phone beyond perceived "accuracy", I suggest you stick with your phone.

 

 

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