Using GPS

To: "Robert Inglis" <>
Subject: Using GPS
From: Tony Russell <>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 09:11:58 +0900
YES! G'day Mr Powerup and others,

I'm a map reader from way back before GPSs were invented and when ordinary
folk even had trouble using a compass. Whenever I go anywhere I'm likely to
get lost I take at least 50,000:1 maps, a GPS, and two compasses. I'm the
only birder out there with a wheelbarrow. I also check wind direction
(usually downwards), cloud cover and movement, where the sun is and where
it's going, time of day, and where the fences and roads run. I used to wear
a watch with hands too but the weight became just too much. I know I could
do it all with just a map and a watch, but not to within 100 metres, and
what if the watch STOPS??? Aaaaiiiieeee!
I use the GPS to get a fix for atlassing purposes because it's quicker than
working it out from the map (and what if I'm off the map?), and the compass
and map to work out which way to go - that's if I can't see useful
landmarks anyway. (Or if I'm not in my back garden more than ten feet from
the door.)
Good on you Bob, you made it nice and clear. But I'll still follow whoever
reckons they know where to get a Red Gossie.

At 07:07  19/04/00 -0700, you wrote:
>   Hello BirdingAusers,     Most of the replies to Irene's request
>concerning using  GPS haven't been really helpful in my opinion.   GPS
>units are like modern mobile phones: full of useless gimmicks as far as 
>the average user is concerned. If you want to use all the facilities on a
>mobile phone you need to be a  telecommunications expert. If you want to
>use all the facilities provided by the latest GPS devices  you need to be a
>map reading expert. And then you would really be better off just using your
>maps.     map reading.  If you can't read a map properly you will really
>get into trouble just  relying on your GPS unit!   GPS was invented to help
>the US military to accurately (didn't work, did  it) drop cruise missiles
>on people. They control the accuracy of the set-up. The accuracy for
>civilians is not  as good as for the military. Readings of lat. and long.
>by civilians should not be taken as guaranteed  to be any better than 100
>metres (200 m would be a safer assumption). 100 metres in some terrain
>means the difference between life and  death. It also means that you may be
>in the wrong Atlas square! Yes, there are ways of getting better accuracy
>but they require a lot of  time and effort and the ability to move around a
>fair bit, something not always  possible in some terrain.    looking for a
>bit of pleasant outdoor activity I  would always choose life and so I would
>suggest that anyone not well versed in  map reading (reading touring maps
>is not map-reading!!) should treat their GPS units  with caution.   All GPS
>devices will give a reading that is suitable for use when  atlasing. But,
>please, learn map reading as well. All the terms used in using your  GPS
>unit are map-reading terms.   And...... take a real compass (that you know
>how to use) when you go out  into the bush!!!!   Good luck and safe GPSing
>Bob Inglis Woody Point, SEQld e-mail:  WWW:
Tony Russell,
  Adelaide, South Australia
  phone : 08 8337 5959  , o/s 61 8 8337 5959
  There's nothing quite like the feeling of seeing a new bird is there?

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