Anyone use GPS systems while biking?

Anyone use GPS systems while biking?

Post by George Oetz » Fri, 12 May 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>Have any of you folks used a GPS/GIS receiver to map or plot your bike rides
>or favorite routes? For those of you who may not be familiar, GPS stands
>for Global Positioning System, basically tracking your whereabouts with the
>use of a network of satelittes. GIS is Geographic Information System which
>can store, manipulate, etc information and display that info graphically.
>I'd like to plot some bike paths/trails/rides here in central Massachusetts
>and then be able to view them in 2D and 3D (include changes in altitude).
>...

Good news & bad news -- maybe you can figure out a way to do about what you
want.


GPS is great for locating yourself on a map that has some known coordinate
system (Latitude-Longitude, UTM, etc.)  For example, it was quite helpful
during walks in Scottish bogs last year.  But that's a different topic :)  I
used a Garmin GPS-45, which has much to recommend it.  It's small & light, and
it runs >10 hr on penlight cells.  Current price at West Marine, Palo Alto, is
under $400.  For $150, you can get a kit for PC download, but there are
cheaper alternatives if you look around a bit.  I copied some software from
Compuserve, but haven't tried it out yet.

All in all, it's useful enough that I plan to take mine on a tour to France,
where the map is full of back roads that go every which way and are likely to
be poorly marked.


GPS currently runs in a mode referred to as "Selective Availability," (SA)
which means that its accuracy is degraded if you don't have access to DoD
codes or extra differential-GPS equipment.  Under these conditions, the
accuracy is about 100 m, which is good enough to identify an intersection, but
not to tell if you are in your front or back yard. :)  Even under changeable
weather conditions, the altimeter cyclometers give much more accurate altitude
than +/- 100 m, so the altitude function is almost useless.

The GPS-45 stores waypoints, particular places where you stop and key in an
ID name.  You can prepare a line-segment map from these, but it won't have
great detail.  For more detail, you would have to download continuously, which
would mean taking the computer on your bike as well!  Because of SA, straight
roads might well come out looking wavy.

BTW, the inexpensive GPS receivers aren't super sensitive.  A tree-lined
street is likely to cut off access to some of the satellites that are
nominally in view.

Hope this helps.

George Oetzel

 
 
 

Anyone use GPS systems while biking?

Post by rdai.. » Fri, 12 May 1995 04:00:00

Have any of you folks used a GPS/GIS receiver to map or plot your bike rides
or favorite routes? For those of you who may not be familiar, GPS stands
for Global Positioning System, basically tracking your whereabouts with the
use of a network of satelittes. GIS is Geographic Information System which
can store, manipulate, etc information and display that info graphically.

I'd like to plot some bike paths/trails/rides here in central Massachusetts
and then be able to view them in 2D and 3D (include changes in altitude).
I heard that the Colorado Forest Service is doing something like this. I've
got a call in to them but no responses yet. I'm after specific info like
what model GPS to use, how/what to download the info to (laptop, etc), and
what software would be most appropriate to use.

Any and all advice or pointers to references would be welcome. Thanks.

~Richard Daigle
 DEC
 Marlborough, MA

 ps. I'll crosspost in the comp.infosystems.gis conference.

 
 
 

Anyone use GPS systems while biking?

Post by Natalie Ede » Mon, 15 May 1995 04:00:00


System) to located yourself during a trip and discussed the benefits and
disadvantages of using such a system.

My question is this.  I am planning to do a world wide bike tour,
starting next year, and have been looking for a source for good,
accurate world wide road maps, and I haven't found any!
Does anyone out there know of such a source or some other related ideas?
 I will be carrying a laptop computer with me, on my bike, with a
possibility of also carrying a CD ROM unit, if needed to read map info,
etc. AND also the possibility of carrying a portable
transmitter/reciever to keep contact with the 'Net amd for potentially
downloading on-line road maps/use a GPS to figure out where the heck I
am, when I am lost in the African sub-continent?!
Any info on the topic, or info on world wide bike touring in general
would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks in Advance!