GPS on Smartphones - caution

To: <>, <>
Subject: GPS on Smartphones - caution
From: <>
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2013 04:39:49 +0000
Hi All, 

Peter, I second your comments regarding the usefulness of GPS functions and 
various apps on smart phones. 

One caution: if your phone is an iPhone and crashes, it is a complete black 
box. Last year I commenced collecting certain types of field data on an iPhone 
4s. After turning the phone off at end of field trip, and then turning it back 
on it asked to be reset. This, allegedly, wipes all data. The good news is I 
sent it to a forensic data recovery expert in Sydney who cracked it (his first 
successful 4s crack) and recovered all data for $250. Much cheaper than redoing 
the data collection (estimate $4-6k).

Lesson: even if you get back to camp at midnight, back up immediately to a 
computer, or cloud if in range. 



-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Peter and Toni
Sent: Tuesday, 1 October 2013 2:40 PM
Subject: GPS for vocalisation recording

I use several different Android smartphones and tablets for detailed GPS 
mapping.  The modern smart phones are brilliant in heavy forest.  Mine is 
capable of tracking more than 20 satellites, including the russian ones.  Older 
GPS could only track 8 so quickly lost signal under cover.  
In heavy rainforest the phone kept a fix at all times when previous surveys had 
seen older GPS lose all signal.  Every year the phones get more sensitive.  For 
instance they will easily get a fix from inside a house, as long as there is a 
window in the room.  Accuracy and repeatability are far improved from older 
dedicated GPS I have owned, although I am sure newer dedicated GPSs have also 
improved.  I use Oziexplorer to manage maps and waypoints.  It can download the 
waypoints to excel for easy manipulation.  There are similar programs available 
for Apple. Battery life can be a bit short, but I also carry a small battery 
pack that can recharge the phone if out all day.  Having your birding app, GPS 
and phone in one instrument makes juggling hardware a lot less of a problem.  
As long as you don't lose it or drop it.

On 01-Oct-13 12:41 PM, Merrilyn Serong wrote:
> Garmin handheld GPS units are very good.
> Here is a link so you can compare the different models.
> They are not cheap, but if you want a good one...
> Cheers,
> Merrilyn
> On 1/10/2013 11:59 AM, David Richardson wrote:
>> One of the points mentioned in the original post was that the GPS be 
>> capable of deep forest satellite acquisition.I don't know much about 
>> iphone or camera GPS functions but I doubt they would operate 
>> accurately in situations other than clear sky satellite 
>> acquisition.That is why a dedicated GPS unit,and a very good one at 
>> that,would be of more use.
>> perhaps someone on list who has knowledge of this could post a relpy 
>> addressing that point?
>> On Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM, Peter Shute <> wrote:
>>> I suspect that the main difference between a phone GPS and a 
>>> dedicated one, apart from not using up the battery of your precious 
>>> communication device, is accuracy. I'm told I shouldn't expect 
>>> better than 30m accuracy from an iphone.
>>> I suspect Google Earth coordinates can be off by that much too, if 
>>> the difference between the images of roads and the corresponding 
>>> linework is anything to go by.
>>> Peter Shute
>>> Sent from my iPad
>>> On 1 Oct 2013, at 9:06 am, "Martin Butterfield" 
>>> < <>> wrote:
>>> If you don't have a mobile phone, my camera (Panasonic TZ40) has a 
>>> GPS function which - if activated -  includes geocoordinates with 
>>> images.  I suspect many other mid-range cameras now have this 
>>> functionality.
>>> It seems that the need for a dedicated GPS for simply recording 
>>> point locations is well gone.
>>> Martin
>>> On 1 October 2013 08:30, Peter Shute <<mailto:
>>> >> wrote:
>>> If you mean you want to save and name a way point so that you can 
>>> just read out the way point name into the microphone, then I would 
>>> have thought most would allow that. Some probably just automatically 
>>> number the way points, but you could read out that number.
>>> I just use my phone's GPS (have never tried a dedicated GPS), and I 
>>> read out the coordinates directly at each new location. I could mark 
>>> a way point and then later copy its coordinates into the metadata, 
>>> but it seems just as quick to type it out while I listen to the 
>>> coordinates I read out.
>>> It gives
>>> me two chances to get it wrong, but it also means the coordinates 
>>> aren't as likely to get separated from the recording.
>>> I'm hoping I can find a way to get the phone to read out the current 
>>> coordinates so I can just hold it up to the mic. That should 
>>> eliminate the first kind of error, but it's inspired more by 
>>> laziness.
>>> Peter Shute
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: <mailto:
>>> > [
>>> <mailto:
>>> >] On Behalf Of Roger McNeill 
>>> [ <>]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, 1 October 2013 7:52 AM
>>> To: 
>>> <
>>> au
>>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] GPS for vocalisation recording
>>> All,
>>> I know this has been raised a few times over the years, so apologies 
>>> for that, but the technology and brands keep changing and it is 
>>> difficult to keep up.
>>> I need a Handheld GPS to support my vocalisation recordings. The 
>>> main requirements other than the obligatory battery life, 
>>> ruggedness, light, international maps, deep forest satilite 
>>> acquistion, etc, is the ability to input multiple way points and 
>>> link them to a specific recording.
>>> Most of the units I see on line seem to have a detailed  drill down 
>>> menu but what I am looking for is a compact unit whereby I can 
>>> quickly enter a location, note the 'location reference' in my 
>>> recording and then weeks later when I am back home, download that 
>>> way point into my computer when I am doing my Meta data?
>>> Up until now I have been doing it after the fact off Google Earth 
>>> and this is getting very old.
>>> Also, the ability to pre-load waypoints is probably standard, but 
>>> also required.  I am a hand held GPS novice, if that is not already 
>>> evident by the questions, so any and all help is appreciated.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Roger
>>> Roger McNeill
>>> Samford Valley, SEQ
>>> ===============================
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