Digital Geography

Pros and Cons of using Smartphone as a GPS Tool

In a statistical report entitled US Smartphone Use in 2015, it revealed that some 88 percent of American smartphone owners use their handset as a map or navigation device. There are various ways on how you can utilize your handset as a GPS device, either through its built-in map features or via other downloadable applications. If you are one of those planning to maximize their smartphone as a GPS locator, here are the pros and cons of using your handset as a digital geographical tool.

Macro-Based SE-GPS

When you’re in the field you want to collect as much data as possible using all the expensive and heavy equipment you brought with. For instance, geophysical profiling (e.g. ERT, electrical resistivity tomography; GPR, ground-penetrating radar) provides high-resolution images of the shallow subsurface. Often conspicuous geometries are evidences for changes in the subsurface.

Geotagging Basics with ExifTool

  Why Geotagging? In a recent post, I discussed the new drone that I got for the holidays and a bit about how I was using it for developing map products.  I do this using structure from motion algorithms and when working with a lot of images it is a great help if there is a good initial estimate of the image location.  This is where geotagging comes in. If you have a smartphone, then you are familiar with geotagging.  Most iPhone and Android devices tag their images when they are collected.  That is great if you are uploading to Facebook or Pinterest,…

GPS Visualizer – a great online tool for GPS, GoogleMaps and GoogleEarth issues

I looked for a program to draw circles of a pre-defined radius around some points on earth I had the coordinates from. A quick search returned the website GPS Visualizer, and I absolutely love it! It is not only a great free website to convert GPS data in formats that can be used in GoogleMaps, GoogleEarth, jpgs and many other formats, it also allows you to customize maps very easily. Plus, you can use a large number of different maps as base data layer. It looks like the site has been created to deal with tracks and waypoint data, but…

Vehicle tracking now also available for the trains of the German DB

I have to admit that I don’t know since when the Zugradar (train radar) of the Deutsche Bahn (DB) is online, but I found it per accident and I think it’s fun to play around with it. The DB commonly has a bad reputation because of the many delays, so here you can now see how many trains are actually moving and how fast they (sometimes) are. It’s possible to display long-distance trains (IC and ICE) as well as regional trains. Check out the high-speed train from Frankfurt Airport to Cologne, which goes with 300 km/h over almost the entire…

Piksi or how to be exact with low costs

So many of you probably know that there are some pretty amazing social crowdfunding projects hosted on kickstarter, startnext or indiegogo and we also started one campaign that was unfortunately not this succesfull in bringing a GIS E-Learning platform to the people. But it seems like there is one little campaign called Piksi that will be not only succesfull but might change the quality of our fieldwork in the future.

Maps for our robots

I have often wondered what could be the purpose of these mapping 3D models more and more accurate for major cities of the world (eg, Monaco, Geneva or Dubai). The level of detail provided by the standard City GML even imagine the level of detail taking into account the interior (Level Of Details-LOD4) architecture, street furniture, and even the vegetation with its growth and seasonal aspects . Applications in architecture and urban planning are obvious, but beyond … These models increasingly geographically and geometrically accurate (absolute GPS positioning errors of the edges and vertices of the order of 5 to 10cm…