Gps


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  1. verneir

    verneir Member This Topic's Starter

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    I've spent about 25 minutes searching Google for this.. I'm just curious, but.. is the Motorola Droid TRUE GPS?

    GPS means Global Positioning Satellite..so.. that'd mean I should be able to get directions from a satellite in space and the Droid should be able to use the last map data downloaded through 3G to plot me on said map, although POI and traffic data may not be up to date without 3G connectivity of course. Makes sense to me anyway. In other words it should work in the mountains or where ever if it is in fact TRUE GPS.

    I have a pretty strong feeling that it is in fact NOT true GPS though..or hell, maybe it is, but the software is still in it's infancy and we can't have this type of funtionality yet because it hasn't been coded?

    Does anyone know if it is a real GPS or not? I'm real curious about all this.
     

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  2. TXLady

    TXLady Well-Known Member

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    Not where you came up with your definition of "true GPS". GPS refers to the use of the satellites to determine location. Global Positioning System

    The maps and data, although linked to the GPS, are separate. It depends upon the device and software (application) whether the maps are stored on the device (or a storage card). I am unaware of an application for the Droid that allows the maps to be stored on the device and used when you are off-line.

    If you have a requirement for a device that works in the mountains where you may not have connectivity, best buy a stand alone device with built-in maps designed specifially for that use and not rely on your phone.

    Droid does indeed use the GPS statellites therefore, it uses true GPS. It may, when satellites are not available (inside a building for example) determine location from the phone towers which of course is not GPS but it most definitely does have true GPS built in.
     
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  3. PittCaleb

    PittCaleb Well-Known Member

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    Garmin just releases a company-branded Android phone. As an avid hiker, I am supposing your question is "why doesn't it work like a handheld GPSr?"

    As TX Lady stated, the Droid uses the actual Satellite Constellation to determine its location - that's the definition of a "true" GPSr. How you utilize this information is another question entirely. The "maps" and "navigation" apps that came bundled with the Droid are meant for driving, not hiking, not GeoCaching, not boating, etc. Someone could easily write software for the Droid to be better at that, but the Droid is meant for in-car use, not "On The Trail" use as I use my hand-helds, with Topo maps and the like.

    You mention "functionality" - all the functionality of the GPSr is built in - it determines location information from the satellites. What it does with the data is a completely other story. It's not built for hiking, just like a Tom Tom or Garmin in-car receiver. Garmin makes units very specific to various hobbies: Automobile, Motorcycle, Airplane, Helicopter, Hiking, Boating - each one runs completely different software specific for its intended use.

    Good luck,
    PittCaleb
     
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  4. verneir

    verneir Member This Topic's Starter

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    Ok cool that's all I wanted to know.

    So since it does in fact receive signals from the GPS system (as opposed to being some quasi-gps by using cell towers and just branding it gps for example), then all I'd really need is to find software that has enhanced capabilities.. or maybe Google will include offline operation in a future release.

    For example if you drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, I am guessing there are areas where you might not have coverage. Let's just pretend there are. It'd be nice to have a map cached on your device and have your position updated via the GPS.

    It would also be nice to have the ability to know where you are while hiking I suppose, though I don't currently have a real need for that.

    Thanks!
     
  5. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Well-Known Member

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    Map/data caching has nothing to do with whether or not the device actually uses GPS.

    I agree with you, though. I wonder what would happen if you were in an area where you had no network connection and couldn't update Google Maps... yet you have GPS signal, so the phone knows where you are, it just can't draw it on the map, because it can't GET the map.

    I've got something like 11GB of free space on my SD card in the phone. I wouldn't mind using a couple GB to cache map data on the card. Could come in handy someday.


    Being 'true GPS' doesn't have to do with having the maps stored locally. In fact 'true GPS' is not really colloquially used. The device either has a GPS receiver, or it uses the cellular network to triangulate it's position. The Droid has a GPS receiver. ;)
     
  6. mswhite60

    mswhite60 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the following to be true, but only from experience, not any profound source of knowledge:

    When you initiate Navigation, Google Maps will attempt to get the latest map for your entire route. If it can, great. If it cannot connect, you get no map.

    If you get a call while driving, Google shows the cached map until you hang up. If it then needs an update for some reason, it will then try to get it. If you are on a long call while driving and you go off in a different direction, the maps will not update till you hang up your call. You might end up driving off the edge of what you have cached. :)
     
  7. verneir

    verneir Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah I'm not really sure why people keep saying GPS is this and not that. I'm not real hung up on the technicicalities - GPS uses satellites. There's no two ways about that. Don't care what version or protocol or whatever. What I was concerned with, or asking about, is whether it is really GPS or if it's just been sort of like..well.. branded as a GPS, when it isn't GPS. It wouldn't be the first time a company, or an internet community, dubbed something like... I dunno.. turn by turn directions with google maps "GPS", when it isn't. Again, this is an example, not really looking for another several posts telling me I'm confused. I'm not. You guys already answered the question. It in fact receives signals from the satellites to figure out where on the planet you are. Good! That's awesome. =)

    Cached map data doesn't have anything to do with it being a GPS, correct, however knowing where your turn on the street does in fact have a great deal to do with having map data on your device if you in fact do not have connectivity to the internet at that moment to retrieve your map data which may or may not be actually loaded into memory somewhere.. flash.. cache.. storage? Let's go with storage. I like that nice generic term.

    Maybe it was just me not knowing how to communicate, but I don't have time just now to re-read my first post. Getting ready to wrap up for the day here at the office.

    Again, thanks for the help/clarification on this guys. Now I know I just need to look more into the navigation app and other navigation apps that are out there, or might be out there in time, to see about exact functionality in given situations.
     
  8. Barkleyfan

    Barkleyfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it has a GPS receiver. Trimble Outdoors on the Market will give you offline (no tower) gps tracking. Read up on their site tho, it's not idiot-proof. You have to plan ahead while you still have data. Storing the map is pretty easy after you play with it for a few minutes.
     
  9. PittCaleb

    PittCaleb Well-Known Member

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    I can verify that it does cache some map data. I created a route and started driving, then spent 45 minutes driving and talking on the phone (which we know from ATT commercials, there is no data transfer during a phone call). The map was correct throughout the time I was talking, so it does cache 'something' - how much and how detailed is a question, but it gets something.

    Once I intentionally went off-route while on the phone. I didn't drive "far" off route - the local roads were still correct and my position on them proper, but it certainly didn't try to re-calculate. As soon as the call ended, it updated my route for me. I was only off-route a mile at most, so it cached at least that much data. Maybe some day I'll intentionally create a divergent route and see how much local data it has if I go off route say 45 degrees.

    This is one place where I get the Garmin-branded Android device excels over the Droid.

    PittCaleb
     

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