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Other uses for GPS receivers

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What other uses for your GPS receivers other than Geocache hunting have you had? I have had four that were kind of fun so far.


1. I set a waypoint where I parked my car in a large parking lot or on a side street in a strange city. Using the GPS I can return to the car with no worry about where it was.


2. I have used it as a pedometer to see how far we walk for exercise.


3. We took one of those canoe trips where they take you in a van to a starting point and canoe back to their livery location. Since those landings can look different from the water, I set a waypoint prior to boarding the van and then I know exactly where the landing is.


4. When going to visit friends in another city I have gone to Maptech.com and obtained the coordinates of their house. Following the heading on the GPS made it much easier than trying to follow their verbal directions.


There are probably some much more unique and inteesting ways that you have used your GPS. What say? icon_biggrin.gif

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I just got back from a family vacation to the West where I grew up. I took a bunch of pictures (digital) of places that were significant to me for various reasons. I also took GPS readings after taking the photo. I just finished editing the pictures by placing a lat/log watermark in each one. I loaded both the GPS software and photo software - then did a cut/paste operation. Not only was this slick, but pasting in the lat/long went really fast.


Now, some of the places that mean a lot to me do not have an address, and trying to describe how to get there would be pretty hard. With the watermarked waypoint in the picture, those places are now easy and handy to find, like the gravesite of some relatives. In one instance, the building had been torn down and houses built in its place. So I scanned in an old photo and watermaked it with the waypoint info. Now I can show how it "used" to look.

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I was out scouting potential hiding places for a new cache a few weeks ago and took what I thought was a deer trail off the main path. Next thing I knew, I was in a field of marijuana.


GPS came in handy for giving the authorities the exact coordinates. Never did hear anything more about it, though.

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Originally posted by Lyra:

Next thing I knew, I was in a field of marijuana.


Hey! That was just for medicinal reasons! No wonder the people at Hempstock here last weekend were upset! icon_wink.gif


There are a lot of judgemental people in the world, and I think all those people are worthless dirtballs.

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I took mine to Las Vegas. It was kind of difficult sometimes getting signals on the strip. I assume it was from all the buildings.


Anyways, I marked entrances to all the casinos I visited and to my hotel. I stored them into the waypoints list and can now tell about how far I walked during my trip by setting up a route of all the stops. Or, I can tell the distances between specific points. I can tell you how far it is from The Orleans to Barbary Coast? From M&M Store to Treasure Island or Aladdin to Venitian.


I also use it to set up GOTO when I am going somewhere and can keep track of an ATA if I need to tell someone how long it will be before I get somewhere. It isn't exact but is a general guide. I guess it considers your speed of travel and the distance from a your location to your destination and calculates how long it would take you to get there.


Also like a previous post, I can use it to keep track of routes and determine the milage to different stops or calls or how many miles I traveled in a day. You do have to remember though that the milage that is recorded may be the distance As The Crow Flies and not actual road distance.


Lastly, I haven't had a need yet but one of the reasons I bought it was for use with my AstroPhotography. When going to a remote observing site, I can take a waypoint for my location and plug that into the telescopes computer. With proper alignments, I can then select certain objects from the computer and the scope will sight in on my target more accurately. Also I can plug the location into computer software and get accurate sky maps for the area. Then with an interface between my laptop and the scope I can even have the maps locate objects and set the telescope for me.

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I'm a volunteer trail maintainer and also am doing trail checking for an upcoming edition of a popular area hiking book. I use my GPS to double check the the published trail mileage. I know it isn't as accurate as a measuring wheel, but I can spot major discrepencies.


I also use it to mark problem sections of trails (heavy erosion, large downed trees, illegal ATV usage) so I can report their exact location.


The GPS was also invaluable for finding my way around the streets of Jersey City recently, as well as on a trip to Sacramento a few weeks back.


"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller

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Originally posted by Laserman:

I've thought about mapping out my favorite golf course.


I mapped out the course at which I regularly play. It's kind of nice having a handy little "cheat" device to know exactly how far you are to the center of the green. Unfortunately, it's against the rules. Whenever I play alone, though, I do a little shady dealing in guesstimating the distances, as long as I'm not turning in the scorecard.

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That never occoured to me. I love that idea. I was headed out to Ravinia a few weeks ago but the heat was so oppressive that we cancelled it. Your idea would also work great at any outdoor event that can be confused or complicated by large areas or heavy crowds. A GPS along with FRS or GMRS radio would be great at airshows, festivals, theme parks... If your group gets separated use the radio and tell the others your GPS Location. Also, as I think someone else already mentioned, you can use it to find your way back to your car after a concert or other event where there can be thousands of cars parked in a field somewhere.


Incidentally, I use the electronic breadcrumb trail, a lot when going places I am not familiar. I went to a friends house the other night and she lives in an apartment complex off in a complicated development. A lot of parks and lakes and winding roads. You can get turned around pretty easilly. It was bad enough finding my way in, however, with all the winding roads and dark intersections it would have been equally tough finding your way back to the main roads again. When it was time to leave I just drove along the little gray lines till I knew where I was again.

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Originally posted by MGGPS:

Wasn't there a thread a while back about someone mapping routes as he mowed his lawn?

Yep, that was me. I also took it to Great America a few weeks ago to see if it could track my route while riding a roller coaster. Unfortunately, I was waiting in the station for far too long and it was never able to reqain a signal.


The ride attendants tried to take it away from me thinking it was a camera, but I was able to convince them otherwise.


I need to find a coaster somewhere that's a little more open and try again.


Just like the lawn mower, though, my wife thought I was completely insane...



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