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So what have you used your GPS for?

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I was discussing alternate use for GPS besides geocaching, we talked a bit, then I saw this story about Lobster Poaching in a forum discussion. I also saw a post that mentioned farmers are using GPS technology to spray specific areas only with pesticides. We've probably all heard the story about drug drops using GPS too. So my question is what do you personally use your GPS for besides caching?


Obviously driving & directions is one thing if you're lucky enough to have mapping software on your GPS (like I do, [;)]). But I've used mine to plot out places I want to visit while on vacation (and of course local geocaches too). I also started using mine at any place where the parking lot is tremendous (such as the airport). Make a waypoint, find my car instantly. plus I can make a note of the nearest parking sign... "Remember kids, we're in the Itchy lot"... Homer Simpson


I also used it while traveling in flight to VEgas to be able to correctly answer my wife's question "Are we there yet". besides it was way too cool to be able to tell my fellow passenger (who had speculated aloud) how fast we were flying...

So what about you?


PS You could also you it to mark your own burial plot, then have the coordinates marked on the headstone itself. that'd be reallll cool. I've instructed my wife to find out the coordinates for Englewood hospital as well as the spot where I die, then post them on the marker.


William Angus

Born N40°54.147' W73°58.102'


died... N41°74.007' W72°59.988'


[This message was edited by Gwho on May 30, 2002 at 05:39 PM.]

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I like the speed display myself. Used it when I went horseback riding to see how fast the horse could run. Used it to see how fast my dad's new boat could go. I loaned it to a person who's speedometer (in their car) quit working. I've used it to make maps of local logging roads. My main reason for buying it was for secondary backcountry navigation (map/compass is primary). But I find myself relying on the GPS and using the map/compass as backup now. I even used it to find a geocache or two.


"There's no need to be afraid of strange noises in the night. Anything that intends you harm will stalk you silently."

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I use mine to plot my way into and out of new hunting areas; to plot the boundries of hunting units; to plot the rough outline of property boundries. I use the screen on my Map 330 in heavy fog to tell me when the next corner is coming up. Also to double check the milage for work travelmiles; to double check speed; as aconversation piece in a room full of strangers; I use it to find my way into old graveyards for Red to read tombstones. Oh, and Geocaching and geodashing as a side line. In fact, I just got my boss hooked on this game and he went and bought a Mag 315 on sale for $99.99 after $20.00 rebate.

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Marking fishing hot locations I find by accident as I'm walking the streams, marking locations places I may want to return to, but will probably forget the location of in the near future, if I don't mark it somehow. And of course geocaching.


ummmm....not sure what to say here....so ummm, well errrr, uhhhh, well I guess that's it.

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Originally posted by Cheesehead Dave:

I carried mine while mowing the lawn the other day. I got to see the top speed of the mower, how far I actually traveled, and with the track log, saw my zig-zagging path around the yard.


My wife thought I was nuts.




Mowing the lawn with a GPS, what an excellent Idea! I love track logs now. I was wandering around in the dense brush the other day and accidently dropped my sunglasses. I traced my path back with the track log and found them on the ground 100 meters away. If it weren't for that, I'd be in the hole for a new set of Serengettis.


I'm gonna go mow my lawn now



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The speedometer of my Ford Fiesta is quite inacurate when going faster than 100 km/h I found out. It displays a speed almost 10-15 km/h faster than I actually go according to my eMap.

When I was in Australia last year I had a rental car that matched the speed displayed by the eMap exactly so my asumtion is that the GPS speed is pretty accurate.

Another usefull fact to know is that speed measurements by the police are reduced by 10% to compensate for errors. This is the case in Germany and in Australia (as a friendly highway cop in Queensland told me ;-)


So by going exactly the top legal speed + 10% the police will not bother me and I still pass most of the other traffic (either afraid of tickets, victims of bad odometers or simply not in a hurry ;-)


Anyway that's the most usefull thing to do with my eMap so far I found besides Geocaching. Now all I need is an accoustic speed alert feature for the eMap. Hooking it up to a notebook would be a solution but seems like a little to much trouble.


Of course you shouldn't speed if you endanger other people than yourself. If you put only yourself in danger speeding should be OK and awarded by the Darwin Awards ;-)

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Originally posted by Cheesehead Dave:

I carried mine while mowing the lawn the other day. I got to see the top speed of the mower, how far I actually traveled, and with the track log, saw my zig-zagging path around the yard.


My wife thought I was nuts.




all THREE of our wives are right.


mowing the lawn. ROTFLMAO! Too bad I live in an apartment, I can't test this out.



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After watching the winter olympics and being intrigued by how fast some of the athletes were moving, I bought my GPS mainly to measure my speed while cross-country skiing plus to measure my trip skiing distance.


Since then, I have discovered other uses like marking my parking spot in a big parking lot and the more normal use as a navigational tool.

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I bought my first Garmin 40 awhile back to use for offshore fishing. The thing worked like a charm, esepcially in the fog. Also find that seeing how fast im going in different vehicles is kinda cool. Havnt clocked my lawnmower yet (thats next), but i did find that my little 2 wheel electric scooter hums along at about 11 miles an hour on level ground,,,

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When I first got my old Eagle Explorer it was mainly for hunting. I used it to map all the property lines, deer stands, trails, creeks and so forth. Then I used AutoCAD to draw the maps and print out 36” x 48” maps. We have one mounted on a steel sheet and use magnets to mark where we will be hunting at that time. My most recent GPS use is to set waypoints at the center of each green on our country club’s golf course. I just hit “Go To” and I always have the correct yardage, (Thanks to the latest Garmin update for my Legend that includes yardage as a unit of measure.) I also use it almost every night when I take our dog for a walk to see when we reach a half way point of the distance I want to go and we turn around and head home. We try not to go the same way every time. Anyway it’s a lot of fun and you can come up with hundreds of ways to use your GPS.


PS: I also use it to get in trouble with the Wife icon_rolleyes.gif She says I watch it more than the road. icon_biggrin.gif


Pat in Louisiana


I never get lost. I simply investigate alternate destinations.


[This message was edited by Pat in Louisiana on May 30, 2002 at 08:39 PM.]


[This message was edited by Pat in Louisiana on May 30, 2002 at 08:40 PM.]

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One of my clients runs a reindeer ranch with a Christmas tree farm. During the summer they offer a corn maze. This years will be their biggest ever. I believe they said six acres. The design they chose is layed out using a gps to mark the design on a freshly planted field so they know where to cut to make the paths.


M-D-M Explorations

MrSki and DogMa

40º 07.874'N

88º 11.647'W

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When I travel on business, I mark the location of my hotel with it. I can usually muddle out enough of the local language to get back to the right area but at night, all hotels look the same unless you see a sign. This didn't work too well in Hong Kong though, too many skyscrapers all over, but it has worked well in other foreign destinations.

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Originally posted by CYBret:



Don't leave us in suspense! How fast and far?!?


Amazingly enough, even though it feels a lot faster, I only hit a top speed of 5.2 mph. 3.8 miles over 1.5 acres or so.


That just made me think... Since the eTrex can calculate the size of an enclosed area, I should walk the perimeter of the property and see what the exact square footage is. Could be helpful in knowing exactly how much fertilizer to buy.



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I can never find my dad's grave at the cemetery because I don't get to visit often so I marked a waypoint for his headstone.


I also have a certain McDonald'd marked because its the only bathroom between home and a place we travel to frequently.



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Originally posted by tntyz:


Could be helpful in knowing exactly how much fertilizer to buy.


Why would you want to fertilize?!? It only makes the grass grow longer and faster. IMHO, time spent mowing is time taken away from geocaching. icon_wink.gif


Well then, I guess you can use it to figure out how much Round-up to buy! icon_smile.gif



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Originally posted by Cheesehead Dave:

I carried mine while mowing the lawn the other day. I got to see the top speed of the mower, how far I actually traveled, and with the track log, saw my zig-zagging path around the yard. ...


Sounds like a great use. I'll have to try it.

(Women just don't seem to understand sometimes. icon_wink.gif )

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Originally posted by Co:

...So by going exactly the top legal speed + 10% the police will not bother me and I still pass most of the other traffic (either afraid of tickets, victims of bad odometers or simply not in a hurry ;-) ...

...Of course you shouldn't speed if you endanger other people than yourself. If you put only yourself in danger speeding should be OK and awarded by the Darwin Awards

What you need is a combo GPS/radar detector. icon_wink.gif

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We have been using our GPS unit to mark locations of 'Green', or sustainable resources in the community, and then compile them into a map for distribution. Sites include farmer's markets, community gardens, bike parking, environmental oriented businesses, recycling centers, etc. We have been pulling them into Archview (GIS software)... this is all fairly new to us, so if anyone has experience, please contact us! eutrophic@earthlink.net


Boris, of >Twilightpoint<

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Even with a GPSr mowing the lawn still sucks. When I did it the last time I put 9 miles on the lawn mower (first cutting of the year) and spent several boring hours on a lawn mower, and just think I can do it all again next week.


Wyatt W.


The probability of someone watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your actions.

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One thing I have used mine for that has not been mentioned yet: When out boating and/or fishing I lay a track from our campsite along the main channel of the lake during the daytime. I can then return to camp even on a dark night much more safely by using the backtrack feature. Of course, I do not just blindly follow the GPS but also use common sense, low speed and a spotlight but it helps me stay in the middle of the channel and helps to prevent making wrong turns.



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I have been useing mine to check yardage on the golf course but I also have been useing the Record Track feature. It's funny, when i have a good round it's only a 5.5 mile walk. when I have a bad round it's more like 6.5 miles. Wonder why icon_wink.gif


Pat in Louisiana


I never get lost. I simply investigate alternate destinations.

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Use it backpacking or camping so I can find the campsite in the dark, or to find a shortcut.


Speaking of the dark, I've used it as an expensive flashlight (hey the backlight does have a good use) when the bulb burned out.


Impressed train travellers by reporting what our top speed was, and then converting it to metric for international travellers that were sitting next to us.


Same trip, marked all train stations. On the way back, I was able to report how long before we had to stop again...


Used it as a cell phone when geocaching to hide the fact that I'm standing round waiting for satellites to pick up in a public place.


I also mark my hotel and highway exit when out of town. Got lost in Marietta and didn't have to stop to ask for directions (hate doing that).


We recently went to New York City, and I marked our subway stations that we used most often.


Plus, after reading the logs above, I'll track the mowing this weekend. I have a push mower, so it will be interesting. . .

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My wife and I enjoy touring new homes every spring during the local Parade of Homes open house. They give you a thick book of the houses with a map. Would be REAL NICE if you could download all the homes as waypoints then (with a Garmin V) autoroute to the closest house, and so on from house to house.



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We used a gps in one of our Electrathon Race Cars (check out http://electrathonamerica.org for a decription of Electrathon Racing)


Basically, the object is to race your electric vehicle as fast and as far in 1 hour as possible.


We used the gps to record current speed (it was more accurate than the bike computers) and our average speed (this was very important).


We then downloaded the track info into Delormes' TopoUSA and was able to see how our driver (me) was taking the corners and which areas of the track were we slowest/fastest in.


It was quite fun. Now if the gps would only record motor temp, tire pressure, amperage pull, etc. icon_smile.gif

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I loved the responses in this forum so much, I created a poll about it. Please take a moment & do the survey.I only wish I could'[ve had 2 dozen choices to we could see the best signel creative use, as opposed to the most creative CATAGORY. c'ie la vie. (spelt wrong)


Caching with a 5 year old: takes twice as long, and is twice as satisifying (or aggrevating depending on your POV)


The faster you go, the worse your reception is.

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I used my GPSr to sight points of interest during a plane trip over Central Australia recently. All I did was pre programme the waypoints of places like Ayers Rock, Alice Springs and Lake Eyre, so I knew exactly when and where to look for these spectacular sites from the air. Worked great. You can't always rely on the flight attendants to help you.


In Australia flight crews don't seem to have any problems with the use of a GPSr once in level flight.



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Hello. I used my GPS once as a "baby-sitter". My wife & I were incharge of taking care of 3 boys while thier parents stayed the week in Hawaii. The boys were bored and my wife was pulling her hair out trying to think of new games to keep them busy (you can only play Pictionary so many times... icon_wink.gif )


So, I ran through the neigborhood real quick and hid about 10 golfballs in trees, behind bricks, etc. I marked each location, and then came back to the house.


The boys used the GPS (taking turns) to find each of the golfballs. They had a great time, my wife was able to relax, and I got plenty of exercise walking with them around the nieghborhood.


The only unfortunate part was that they now wanted to play this GPS game all the time. icon_smile.gif

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I use my GPS to get the waypoint of a picture I am taking whenever it concerns family or something that is ancestoral in nature. That way family can find the same locale years later, and either see the same view or marvel at how much things have changed since then. I did this when my mother showed me several places relevant to her life, and now that she has passed away, I can still return to those sites that now mean ever so much more to me.

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RB_Nielsen has a great idea here!


I have taken my kids to several locations in Canada where I grew up. At the time, I think the stories and locations didn't mean as much to them, but in time they could mean a lot.


I have my grandfather's journal and life history - it's a treasured possession. Think how much more it would mean if I could actually visit those exact locations!


I'm going to start on this little project the next time I'm in Canada. Thanks for the great topic and thanks for the great idea!



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Navigating in a small aircraft I was flying. (Managed to fly through some rain.. REMINDER TO ALL! A GPS will tell you where the airport is, not where the towers are!!!!!!!!)


Finding a hotel on a vacation.


Fishing spots.


Mark the altitude atop Pikes Peak in Colorado.


Used as a spedometer when my spedometer died in

my car.


On the bicycle to see how far I've biked.


Road directions.


Check what time it was.


Ah, how I love my GPS!

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Ok, I think I just found the ultimate use for my GPS!!!! This may be better than geocaching! I just discovered that in the MapSource software, I can do a find on all T J Maxx stores in California (or the whole country for that matter!) and set them as waypoints. Wow! My Legend is now a "TJ MAXX FINDER"!!!!!!!!!! If you guys want your wives to get interested in your GPS, just show them this.......... and get out your wallets!!!! icon_wink.gificon_wink.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_wink.gif

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Several years ago I was in Paris, trying to find the location of a particular bridge that is the subject of a painting owned by my grandparents. I had brought a photo of the painting, and after three days of walking all over Paris (yeah, I know this is tough!) and trying to find it, I finally located it. The trees had grown up considerably, but I think it's the same bridge. What a great use for GPS - to add a location to this painting that I will hand down to my children.

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Wife of SuperGenius here I confiscated the GPS from my husband about a month ago and I am so addicted to geocaching that's all I use it for, oh and to keep my self from getting lost while on the road geocaching. Not all wives are so shallow.

Team SuperGenius



Horizontals where it's at!

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My mom (71) asked me to take her to ride the Ferris wheel at one of those small traveling carnivals that come through town in the summer. I hate carnivals. I hate ANY ride that goes ‘round, and ‘round, and ‘round.... (I'm not fooling, I'm getting sick just writing those words! My worst experience with this problem was while watching an Omnipuke film - you know, the kind they show at science museums, the one with the wide-lense camera mounted at the very nose of a helicopter flying hundreds of miles an hour at tree-top level, SWIFTLY rising to meet a cliff, and then just as swiftly falling, falling, falling, [urp!] over the other side - for a l-o-n-g time! And then they show way too much of a European sports car driving madly around those skinny serpentine Italian mountain roads! I was through about 20 minutes into the ordeal, but my young son was having a blast. I sacrificed myself for him. Man, was I green when we filed out from that nightmarish place! I was truthfully dizzy and nauseated for three days. Couldn't even talk about it for years. Don't really want to do so now [nnghh!]) But I digress.


What was I talking about? Oh. The Ferris wheel ride with Mom.


Well, I got to thinking, with all the very clever uses you put your receivers to, How useful would my Etrex be for riding on a Ferris wheel?


Not so useful, I'm afraid. As I was fighting back waves of nausea, my Etrex was having troubles of it's own. The latitude and longitude were probably ok, I don't really remember - I was limiting my attention to speed and bearing because the longer I looked at the display while we were both ascending and descending (no, not at the same time, but we might as well have been) the queasier I became. Besides, as far as the satellites were concerned we really WERE at the same spot - just higher then lower, then higher then low.... [choke!]


The poor Etrex was having a very bad time trying to tell me the bearing and speed, though. At the apex of the cruel spinning, we began traveling north. Then the stomach-turning descent had the receiver show no bearing movement. Then at the bottom, we began briefly moving south, only to rocket upwards and, as far as Etrex was concerned, nowhere.


Wiping beads of salty sweat from my greening eyes, I attempted to examine the speed. Similar problem - At the top, and at the bottom the receiver calculated speed, but at the drop and the climb, nothing.


After we, I mean "I" was rescued by the carnival-ride operator, I had my dear Mom hold me up while I quickly scribbled out the only numbers of interest to this group: The maximum speed this 35 foot Ferris wheel attained was 11.0 mph. But the average speed was 1.2 mph. You figure it out.


Stupid carnival rides.




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