Today Online has posted a pretty good article that explains in layman’s terms the difficulties in getting accurate location measurements from GPS: Debunking That All-Seeing Myth
Here’s why, even with the latest GPS tech, you may lose your way in Shenton Way
New 8 Austin has a write-up of FEMA’s Digital Emergency Alert System: FEMA to Introduce Digital Emergency Alert System.
The idea behind this system is to be able to send messages to all cell phones and internet-connected PDAs and computers within a specific geographic area in order to warn of large-scale emergencies and disasters.
“You could [contact] every person in this ZIP code, whether that’s their real address or they just happen to be there saying, ‘Hey, tornado is coming’,” said Brian Cooley of CNET.com.
Read more about FEMA’s Digital Emergency Alert System.
Five European organisations have set up a consortium named GREAT (Galileo Receivers for mass market) to develop enabling technologies for mass market receivers for Galileo services.
The GREAT project is developing the advanced technologies required for the next generation of positioning receivers – to be used with the new Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System.
The project is operated by a Consortium of leading developers around Europe and is funded by the Galileo Joint Undertaking within the European FP6 Framework.
The Consortium includes:
- ACORDE SA
- Deutsches zentrum fur Luft und Raumfahrt
- PA Consulting Group
- Tampere University of Technology
- u-blox AG
The GREAT project is managed by the Galileo Joint Undertaking, through EU FP6 funds.
Source: Electronics Weekly.
Here’s a tragic story from the Chicago Tribune about a motorbike rider who died because his mobile phone calls to 911 couldn’t be traced: Biker Dies When Cell Calls Can’t Be Traced.
Unfortunately, the technical aspects of the article are quite poorly researched. For example, the article claims that in order to be located, “a cell phone user’s telephone also has to have more recent, compatible technology”. I guess they’re referring to A-GPS here, but there are plenty of other ways to locate a phone accurately enough to enable a successful search and rescue. Technologies like E-OTD, TA/NMR, and U-TDOA all work fine with older phones.
The article is correct, though, in highlighting how slow some network operators have been in rolling out their E-911 systems. As McHenry County Commissioner Mary Lou Zierer says, “You don’t realize the importance until something like this happens, where a gentleman probably could have been saved if we could have pinpointed him.”
Pivotel, the company behind Globalstar Australia, has announced a strategic investment in Location-Based Services developer Tenzeng. Globalstar, which offers a unique dual-mode cellular/satellite phone service in Australia, plans to offer asset and personnel tracking services based on the Tenzeng technology.
Tenzeng needs the Pivotel funding to launch suite of `finder solutions’ based on its Location-Based Services (LBS) technology.
A review of the A-GPS equipped LG VX8300 from Verizon Wireless has been posted over at Top Tech News.
Features of the handset include:
- dual-band EVDO-capable radio
- Bluetooth radio
- GPS navigation chip
- 28 MB of internal memory
- 1.3-megapixel camera with flash and self-timer
- micro-SD expansion card slot
- full duplex speakerphone
C.J. Driscoll & Associates has released a nationally projectable marketing research study on consumer interest in a wide range of GPS-based applications and wireless services. The study assesses interest and willingness to pay for vehicle-installed and portable navigation systems, traffic information and other telematic services, and location-based services delivered to cell phones. It also quantifies consumer use and satisfaction with navigation systems and telematic services, and provides feedback from early adopters of LBS. In addition, the study assesses consumer opinions regarding location-based advertising and the potential impact of location-based services on privacy.
Cablevision Systems Corp. has announced announced that its Optimum Voice VoIP service has just passed the one million customer mark. Optimum Voice includes enhanced 911 access for every customer.
Posted in E911, USA, VoIP
This article from the Australian IT section of The Australian newspaper, We Know Where You Live, looks at the business side of location-based services in the Australian marketplace.
In a back-to-school article looking at gadgets for students, the Miami Herald is recommending the Sprint Family Locator service for tracking childrens’ phones.
Garmin moves to open path for new uses for software – Imagine a real estate agent being able to download listings into a car’s navigation device, which would plot a route to see all the properties complete with arrival times.
Such applications are possible if Olathe-based Garmin Ltd. follows the thinking behind a patent it received June 13. The patent calls for a process “to rapidly permit any desired customization of software applications” on navigation devices.
Towns face deadline on 911 dispatch – Several southern Maine communities must decide this week who will handle their emergency phone calls. State officials set July 1, 2006, as the deadline for communities in four counties to decide who handles their Enhanced 911 calls. If everything runs as planned, the state will reduce the number of centers fielding Enhanced 911 calls from 48 to between 16 and 24. Already, the number of centers has been reduced to 45.
Research and Markets has added a report titled LBS Company Analysis: Microsoft to their commercial report offerings.
Personal Navigation and Tracking Lead Profitable LBS Applications in Europe, Says Berg Insight – Berg surveyed more than 200 LBS professionals, asking which applications they have already deployed and which positioning technology they think will be the most important in coming years. The most common applications today are information services like yellow pages and weather services, followed by navigation and tracking applications.
Andrew Corporation has been awarded the second phase of a strategic multiyear contract from a Tier 1 operator in the Middle East for a major geolocation system deployment.
The phase two contract award is valued in excess of $10 million, bringing the total contract value to date to more than $20 million. The project continues to grow as Andrew installs the first fully operational uplink time difference of arrival (U-TDOA) system outside of North America and the Caribbean. When completed, the Andrew Geometrix U-TDOA system will cover a network of thousands of cell sites. Work on phase two is beginning as the first phase nears completion.
Source: Telematics Journal