Where Are You?

We have now covered some of the general information behind neogeography. The first step, though, is actually figuring out where something is. Determining where something is can be referred to as geolocation. There are numerous geolocation techniques, some automatic and easy, some convoluted and error-prone. We will discuss some of the techniques below and examples of how to use each.

The following desired data is typical for determining where you are: latitude, longitude, altitude, address, region, country, and named location.

Using GPS

GPS offers by far the highest fidelity means of geolocation. The current U.S. GPS network and upcoming European Galileo satellite network offer sub-meter precision to commercially available devices. A GPS receiver uses triangulation of a minimum of four satellites to locate the user in X, Y, Z, and time.

By using a GPS receiver, you can directly read your current position in latitude, longitude and altitude. As you travel, you can mark "waypoints", such as a picnic spot, where you took pictures of the mountain range, or the head of a trail. Most GPS devices also can store a time history of locations, resulting in a track.

You can then record these positions from the receiver by hand to a notebook or download them using a software program. Using a notebook offers flexibility and a backup, as notebooks never run out of batteries or get dropped and break. However, as your amount of waypoints grows, or you store tracks, it is much easier to ...

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