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Foursquare has been working on its own map data that can be used in GPS apps for a while. That map program is called the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project and Foursquare has thought its mapping data was better than the data from Google and others for a while.
Despite feeling that OSM would make for better GPS apps, the data from Foursquare had not been used in a commercial GPS app until now. Telenav has used the OSM map data in a new GPS application for iOS users called Scout. The app offers speech and turn-by-turn navigation with the Scout Plus upgrade.
GPS manufacturer Magellan will introduce its Cyclo 315 and 505 cycling GPS units to the North American market starting next month. The Cyclo GPS series was originally released by Magellan to the Australian and European markets last year, and must compete with Garmin in a very competitive market.
Both models are 3" and includes a touchscreen, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, smartphone connectivity, and sophisticated ANT+ support so athletes can track heart rate, speed, cadence, and power while out in the saddle. The Cyclo 315 will cost $349.99 and the Cyclo 505 has a starting MSRP of $429 - both models will be available starting in May.
"The Magellan Cyclo GPS line includes models that will appeal to the majority of bike riders in the U.S.," noted Sam Muscariello, Magellan outdoor product marketing director, in a press statement. "From the hardcore triathlete to the body armored mountain biker, even the weekend touring enthusiast, Cyclo has all the right features needed to take cyclists to the next level and help them reach their goals."
GPS company Garmin has announced the Edge 1000 cycling GPS unit, featuring new technologies to appease cyclists with deeper pockets. The device has a full-color 3" touchscreen providing 240x400 resolution, and a reported battery life up to 15 hours.
Although running GPS units from Garmin have greatly advanced, some in the cycling industry think enough wasn't being done to promote new bike-centric GPS units. However, Garmin pulled out all of the stops with the Edge 1000, including built-in Wi-Fi so map data can be downloaded faster - and GPS-based turn-by-turn directions while out in the saddle.
Cyclists can also use ANT+ sensors to connect the Edge 1000 to a heart rate monitor, power meters, or cadence sensors, Garmin said in the press release.
If you are a motorcyclist, you can use a car GPS on your bike but it's not exactly ideal. Gamin makes a lien of GPS devices just for motorcycles and the latest in that line is the Zumo 590LM. The device is weather and fuel resistant so it should be able to survive attached to a motorcycle out in the weather.
The GPS device ships with a removable battery for power on the bike and comes with a car mount and a power cable for use in the car as well. The touchscreen is usable with a glove on and is designed for easy reading in direct sunlight. Bluetooth connectivity can send the driving directions and music to your Bluetooth earpiece or helmet.
The 590LM is also compatible with the iPhone or iPad for music playback control from the touchscreen. Weather and traffic details are offered on the GPS device screen thanks to an app that runs on the smartphone.
Several GPS devices on the market today offer connected services like fuel prices and traffic. Typically, those connected services require you to keep a monthly or yearly service subscription. Magellan has a new connected navigation device called the smartGPS 5390 that gives you all those services with no subscription needed.
It does this buy linking with an app that runs on Android or iPhone smartphones. The GPS device will navigate for you like any GPS device. The connectivity from the smartphone does things like give you traffic information and prices on fuel nearby.
You can also get the location of places to eat as you drive. The app also offers connectivity via the GPS screen to Yelp reviews and foursquare. That means you can find out if that local eatery is good before you drive there.
A California court made a ruling which pointed out that using maps or any mobile navigation while driving is not against the law.
The judge said that the statute was enacted in 2006 at a time when wireless telephones was just a telephone rather than an electronic device with multiple functions. Recently it was known that a driver was fined for $165 for using his mobile phone to navigate in heavy traffic. Though the driver was found guilty of violating the laws of the state of California, he made an appeal which worked in his favour.
Garmin is famous in the GPS world for making products ranging from navigation apps for smartphones to PND devices for cars and watches for athletes and outdoors types. Garmin has announced a new GPS watch that is aimed at athletes that like multiple sports. The new watch is called the fenix 2.
Garmin bills the watch as the ultimate multisport adventure watch and it has features for running, climbing, riding, hiking, skiing, and swimming. The watch is water resistant and can survive the outdoors. It features an altimeter, barometer, and a 3-axis compass.
It also provides GPS navigation for people when they are off the beaten path. It will store breadcrumbs to make sure you can find your way back when needed. The GPS functionality supports up to 10,000 track points and 1000 waypoints. Those GPS details can be shared with other Garmin devices via Bluetooth.
Today, Google has announced that it has added Japan's tallest mountain to its list of places you can visit using the company's Street View service. Yes, that's right, arm chair mountain climbers are now able to scale the heights of Fuji while never leaving the comfort of their air-conditioned office.
The addition of Mount Fuji to Google Street View comes shortly after the mountain was named an official World Heritage Site by UNESCO earlier this year. Officials expect record numbers of climbers to visit the mountain this year and Google agreed to help prepare those climbers by expanding its growing collection of panoramic imagery available in Street View.
Setsuo Murai, head of Geo Partnerships for Google Japan, wrote on the company's official blog:
The Street View collection covers the highly popular Yoshida trail that takes hikers up the mountain, the full walk around the crater at the top, and the quick zigzag descent. We hope these 14,000 panos of new imagery will give climbers a sense of the terrain to expect under their feet - especially all the night-time climbers who shuffle up in the dark to see the sunrise at the crack of dawn.
A team of Spanish researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed new technology that is capable of increasing GPS enabled devices accuracy by as much as 90 percent. The new system could be installed in car and smartphone GPS circuits for very little cost, too.
The team's findings were posted on the UC3M website, which explains that the team has been able to improve GPS precision by combining readings from several different sensors. The advance in precision is achieved by combining GPS signal with accelerometers and gyroscopes to better reduce the margin of error in location awareness.
This new technology has the potential to reduce the margin of error from 50 meters in urban areas to as little as two meters. Rural accuracy would also improve from about 15 meters to around two meters as well.
We'll put this in the bin of 'how the hell did that happen', but a 67-year-old woman has driven for 900 miles over a two-day period thanks to a GPS error, as well as her total lack of attention. The kicker? Her destination was just 90 miles away.
Sabine Moreau had planned to pick up her friend at a train station in Brussels, with her first step of the trip leaving her home town of Hainaut, Erquelinnes, Belgium. The train station was 93 miles north of her home town, so the GPS gets flicked on and directs her... south, instead of north. She listened to the GPS and started her turn-by-turn navigation trip down to Zagreb, Croatia.
What should've been a couple of hours in the car turned into a multi-day trip including gas stops, sleeping on the side of the road for a couple of hours and even a minor car accident. This all happened while she was none the wiser, where she has said:
I was distracted, so I kept driving. I saw all kinds of traffic signs, first in French, then German and finally in Croatian, but I kept driving because I was distracted. Suddenly I appeared in Zagreb and I realized I wasn't in Belgium anymore.