GPS for birders
Michael Tarburton <>
Sun, 10 Dec 2006 18:01:25 +1100
G'day to those interested in GPS usage
Chris Corben gave some advice in warning GPS users about their stated
accuracy. So I have taken that advice and taken 11 readings for an
easily repeated spot in our back yard at different times of day and
night. Between these I have gone to two sites several hundred metres
and several kilometres away and come back to check the readings out.
Standing on the same spot the reading never varies more than one
point either way from the original. Whatever the reading is it will
change one point by my moving two steps in each of the four cardinal
points. Quite often one step changes the reading by one point. I do
not claim to be an expert on this but to me putting these two
observations together means I have an accuracy of + or - 2m. I
reckon I could find a birds nest with this accuracy. In fact both
the distant points I have visited are Tawny Frogmouth nests and each
time I visit them I get the same reading or within 1 digit.
Now I know it was popular opinion (& probably the truth) that Garmin
did pull away from Magellan for some years. However, from what I
have seen and tried to outline here the Magellan explorist XL has now
bridged that gap.
I cannot cease from being amazed at the speed it finds satellites and
changes speed or direction very soon after the change has occurred in
reality. It even reports my walking speed and direction inside the
house. So I think it will be very good for locating my cave
entrances that swiftlet colonies occupy on Cape York, when I go there
Thanks Chris and Colin for your comments on this issue for these
things are not the answer to everything and I am sure I still l have
something to learn from others.
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