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A Practical Guide to GPS -UTM - A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO GPS...

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A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO GPS - UTM by Don Bartlett QUO VADIS? Last revision - January 10, 2007 With respect to the use of two portions of the Canadian topographical map, BOUCHETTE, 31 J/4, used in this Guide, I hereby acknowledge, with thanks, the copyright of the Canadian Government: © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada reproduced with permission from National Resources Canada. Because of my agreement with the NRC, I am not able to give anyone permission to reproduce the Guide. Table of Contents Introduction. Warning. Limitations. Accuracy. How the GPS works. Beware. Dilution of Precision - DOP. Elevation (Errors). Differential GPS (DGPS). Latitude/Longitude vs. Universal Transverse Mercator Grid. Maps. Traveling. Way-points - WPs. UTM - an attempt to explain. Using UTM coordinates. User Grid for non-standard Maps, e.g. Québec. Setting up your unit. Buying a GPS unit.
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Hooking up to an external power supply. Mapping - Transferring a Track to a Map. Speed. Variable readings. How not to use your GPS. For more information and links. INTRODUCTION (N.B. This Guide started as a text posting to rec.backcountry Feb.10,1995) Most of the articles and literature on the Global Positioning System until then had only described the use of a GPS unit in a nautical setting. As valuable as they are on water, they are equally as valuable in the bush, desert, mountains, tundra, or, just in Central Park. This is written therefore for hikers, fishermen, hunters and all persons who wish to traverse the wilderness in the full knowledge of where they are, where they have been and where they wish to go, primarily in conjunction with a gridded topographical map and a compass. In this discussion, I will at times use "GPS" to mean the actual hand held unit itself as opposed to the whole system of satellites and their control. I will also use "fix" to mean the actual position indicated by the unit in UTM coordinates or Lat/Lon. The most basic requirements for land use of a hand held GPS are: 1. The ability to give a position reading when not unduly impeded by overhead tree cover, thus virtually requiring a 12 parallel channel receiver unit such as the Eagle Explorer, Garmin 12XL or Magellan 315 or comparable units by these manufacturers. 2. The capability to store at least 100 way-point (WP) positions in the unit's memory and preferably, many more. 3. The ability to list these WP positions giving their distance and direction from the current position. 4. If to be used with gridded topographical maps, the unit must be able to handle the most common UTM datum. (explained later.) 5. Automatic track recording should be available and as well, a Track Back feature. 6. If there is any thought of hooking the unit up to a computer for uploading, downloading, map making or having a computer map available during travel, then there must be a cable connection for the computer.
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