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Guest Peter Scholtz

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Guest Jors

Pity only Mweb users and Network users (and probably international too) can see that link...

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Guest Peter Scholtz

quote:
Originally posted by Jors:

Pity only Mweb users and Network users (and probably international too) can see that link...


 

Didn't Mweb recently accept defeat and re-open most of their "value added sites"?

 

If not, oh well, a couple of hundred thousand people isn't a bad start!

 

 

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Peter Scholtz

www.biometrics.co.za

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Guest Peter Scholtz

There was an interview with Prof Charles Merry of UCT on Radio 702 and Cape Talk during the Computer and Technology Show, Saturday 11 August 13:00-14:00.

 

I'll upload the MP3 as soon as I get a copy.

 

A transcript will be available on iafrica.com soon.

 

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Peter Scholtz

www.biometrics.co.za

 

[This message has been edited by Peter Scholtz (edited 14 August 2001).]

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Guest Peter Scholtz

acles so you can't always follow the straight line - you have to use a bit of intelligence and navigate using a raft or in some cases a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to the site.

 

Malcolm: Okay, so it does have an outdoor application. It can be a hell of lot of fun by the sounds of it. How big is it? Is it really growing that widely?

 

Charles: Well it started about two years ago in North America and I think they have about 10 000 sites in North America and Europe at the moment. We've got about 20 to 25 sites in South Africa and we only started putting them up in January this year.

 

Malcolm: That sounds pretty good. How do people get involved and what do they have to do?

 

Charles: Well they have to have access to a GPS receiver of course and if they want to get involved in setting up a geocache themselves, there are quite detailed instructions on the web site. But basically all one has to do is get yourself a nice sealable container, go and find yourself a suitable site where you want to position this container in an outdoor site somewhere under a tree, under a rock or whatever it might be. Put a few trinkets into the container, use your GPS receiver to get the position of that point and then go back to your computer, log into www.geocaching.com and send them the information about the geocache, which will then appear on the web site. You can also take some digital photographs and put them in to help people to navigate to the site.

 

Malcolm: Okay, so effectively it's a treasure hunt. Do you have any idea what you're looking for when you're looking for it or is it simply a matter of opening it and getting a bit of a surprise package.

 

Charles: It depends upon the person who sets up the cache. Sometimes on a web they would post what is there and sometimes they don't. When you get there, besides swapping out or taking whatever trinkets might be there, there is normally a log book and you can log book and you can log with old fashioned paper and pencil that you've been there. But you can also log back to the web site as well and put on information about whether you found it or how difficult it was to find.

 

Malcolm: All right, it sounds like fun. What's got you involved and what's in it for you?

 

Charles: Well my interest particularly is that I am in the Department of Geomatics at the university and we use GPS a lot.

 

Malcolm: I understand that GPS has become extremely accurate.

 

Charles: Yes, you used to have an accuracy of about 100m but nowadays with the little hand-helds you can get 10m accuracy. We used more sophisticated receiver units which give us about 1cm accuracy.

 

Malcolm: That's extraordinary when you consider how far these satellites are out in space.

 

Charles: Yes, they're about 26 000km away.

 

Malcolm: And you're using about five satellites to centre it.

 

Charles: Well they have about 27 in orbit but you normally between four and eight would be visible to your receiver at any one time.

 

Malcolm: If you're serious about going into this thing and you wanted to buy a decent GPS, what make would you choose and what are the features you would look for?

 

Charles: Well certainly for the hand-held navigation they have a lot of features. One is probably looking at the bottom of the range at around R1200. That will give you the 10m accuracy. The sort of feature one might be looking for is the capability of downloading the data to a PC rather than just viewing it on a screen and there you're looking more at between R2000 and R2500.

 

Malcolm: Great. Thanks very much for joining us.

 

 

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Peter Scholtz

www.biometrics.co.za

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Guest Peter Scholtz

Check the media page for the 702 interview:

 

The Computer Show is presented by Malcolm Russell every Saturday afternoon at 1:00pm on 702 Talk Radio and 567MW Cape Talk. Interview with Prof Charles Merry (UCT), 11 August 2001, duration 7:12.

 

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Peter Scholtz

www.biometrics.co.za

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