GPS use overseas


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  1. a3holerman

    a3holerman New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi,

    Newbie here. I am very serious about getting the new Spring hero. As an airline pilot traveling outside the US I have a question as to the GPS function.

    When I turn on the phone in another country to use the GPS function how do I update the date and time and approx location so the gps knows what sats to look for? If I don't have phone/network coverage, and I probably won't how will or update?

    Thanks in advance for any help

    Tom
     

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  2. clobber

    clobber Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    When ever I land overseas and first turn on my phone, before the Hero actually finds a roaming network, a notification pops up that says it can't automatically update. It then asks me if I would manually like to update the time. A few seconds later it finds the network and updates automatically. I would bet yours just keeps the notification up. My Hero is not on Sprint, but I assume the same would happen for yours.

    That being said, I have two concerns for your situation. First, unless you bought a stand alone application for your Hero (like CoPilot), the Hero pulls maps ( like Google) over its data connection. You'll need a roaming network to use that functionality. Second, as a some one who travels frequently you should probably not be on the Sprint network? If memory serves, the Sprint Hero is not GSM based and won't work on most overseas networks (as you point out). You should probably be on AT&T or T-Mobile.
     
  3. a3holerman

    a3holerman New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Clobber,

    Thank you for the reply. I am kinda stuck with Sprint for several reasons. I do not need the phone capability overseas as I mainly use Skype that works wonderfully.

    What I hoping to do was utilize the GPS function of the phone when sightseeing as I tend to get lost while on foot sometimes. I am bran new to the smart phone thing. As far as maps go I guess I could download an app that will give me a map of each country I need but getting the GPS ti initialize is th problem as I see it.

    Is there an online site I can check with my laptop to see what apps are available for the Hero?

    Again thank you for the Help

    Tom
     
  4. clobber

    clobber Well-Known Member

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    The only map program I have investigated is CoPilot, which is more of a TomTom like GPS navigation program designed for driving. The hero is such I data driven device that it wants to be online with Google. I think there are some programs where you can create maps, load them on the phone, and just use them. However, I think it requires a lot of effort (you have to calibrate the maps). There is a free OS map program for the UK. which is really good, but I suspect you are more all over the place.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
     
  5. a3holerman

    a3holerman New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks again for the reply. I guess I am asking too much of th phone and getting a cheap handheld gps is a better solution.

    Tom
     
  6. drrf

    drrf Member

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    Tom
    Look into this issue more. There are a couple of apps that will download a map and run it on your SD card. Have you tried to initialize your GPS over seas? I will try and find the names of the apps.
     
  7. thecrazing

    thecrazing Well-Known Member

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    There are apps you can get that will download the maps to your SD, for sure. However, you will either spend a lot of time converting and calibrating, or you will spend about as much as a lower-end hand held GPS on the app, and I personally suspect from screenshots that it won't be the best experience for walking around on foot.
     
  8. kevinnem

    kevinnem Member

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    -- at teh risk of goign FAR to geeky on you, the information for the satilities is stored in something called "epheris", this informtion is in fact broad cast from the GPS satilites, on a loop -- it can take - as a worest case, abotu 15 mins for the entire file to be gathered, however, it very rarely takes this long, and "old" data can be used untill the gps gets teh "new" set.

    This is all done "under the hood".


    IF you move to a new place, the gps will start firstly looking for sats, as though it is in its "old" place, when it doesn't find what it is excepting to find, it will "open up" and start to look for anything and everything. once it has 4 sats- it will calculate a position of its surrent location. And this in turn will help it find even more satilites.


    As a finial note, my understanding is that all of these phones ONLY track GPS, and taht is unfortuate, because there are in fact 3 navigation ssytems (the gallilio system form teh EU, and th russian golnass system). By compineding all 3, you end with VERY reliable service, with quick positionial solutions, and higher accuracy.
     
  9. thecrazing

    thecrazing Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting. Do you have any idea how the different positioning system satellites are distributed? I'm reading you as saying there are less GPS-specifically satellites over Eurasia, whereas in the America's, there are less Golnass satellites flying over head. Does that mean, for example, that in Eastern Europe, your device has to wait for a shallower angle of free space to fine a GPS-type satellite that's closer to the horizon, since there just aren't that many GPS-types higher in the sky?
     
  10. kevinnem

    kevinnem Member

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    I do, the GPs sats are "bisas" the the equator, so when you are at about 50 degrees north or south, then you have the sats mostly toward the equator form you, they do get over head, but you will not see them toward the poles. then , as you get near the pole you start to "see" over the fpole to teh sats on the far side. (keep in mind taht the sat orbit at about 18 000 KM, or 3 times the radis of the earth).

    now Galileo is in a higher inclined orbit, . so it reaches better to the northern areas.

    If I remember correctly the GPS and gallileo are effectively circular orbits.

    Glonass on the other hand (the russian system) I think is in a highly elpicial orbit, it fly in close over the earth on th e"far" side of Russia, and then swings WAY out over russia. The benifit of this is that IN Russia, the satlites are in view for a longer time, and once the leave teh sky in Russia, the whip around real fast to the other side to make their slow crossing of the sky again.

    Keep in mind that the best position is given when you are SUROUNDED by satilites, . so if you have no sats to the north or south of you (either because they are not there, or because they are blocked, prehaps by a building, or hills, or the earth itself), then your north-south position is poor. Similarity if you have no satellites in the east-west direction, you have poor east west positioning.Lastly, if you have no satliles above you your hieight position is bad, - now because , the Signals can't go THOUGH the earth, you will never really have satilites below you (how ever, I guess if you where on the space shuttle...), because - at best you will only have sats above you , but not below you, you vertical measuement is always worse then your horizontal., typically by about 1.5 to 2 times.
     
  11. drrf

    drrf Member

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    My understanding of GPS satellites orbit was that it was geostatic. Meaning it stays in the same position relative to the earth at all times. With out this how do they know their own position? I may have to research this.
     
  12. drrf

    drrf Member

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  13. thecrazing

    thecrazing Well-Known Member

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  14. kevinnem

    kevinnem Member

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    I think Geo synchronous is the term your thinking off. These are often used for communication satellites, because, you can aim a "disk" at them, and they don't move. - they rotate at the same rate as the earth.

    In fact GPS wouldn't really work if they where geo synchronous.

    global navigation satellite system or GNSS for short, is the term to refer to the "set" of satilites avablile, where as GPS is specifically the one designed by the Us military.
     
  15. thecrazing

    thecrazing Well-Known Member

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    Are the signals for all three wildly different from each other? I take it, chances are slim that it would just be a matter of different software/firmware to get a phone's GNSS to work with non-GPS?
     

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