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  1. #1
    djklmnop's Avatar
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    GPS in the field

    Does anyone here use a GPS on their travels or outings?

    I usually mark a waypoint on my GPS when I take a photo. Then write down the coordinates in reference to the image so I can always go back if I ever need to. Mapquest and a few other map sites offers a, "search by Long/Latitude" so I can always plug in the coordinates to pull up a map of where I was at.

    I was talking to Kev (kjsphoto) the other evening and he told me he went on a 4 hour drive and found a hot hot spot, and decided to return to it the following day to photograph it. The next day, he could not find that hot hot spot! So he's picking up a GPS now


    If you don't have a GPS, I would highly recommend one.. It is literally a lifesaver!

    I think the two most essential tool to have is a GPS and a 2-way FRS/GMRS walkie talkie (aside from cell phones which most people already have).

    Any thoughts? Experiences?

    Andy
    Money is not the problem. The problem is, I don't have any.

  2. #2
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    I've just received a GPS - a Garmin eTrex Legend.
    Now, all I have to do is learn how to use it ...
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  3. #3
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    I've used a GPS for some time now. I usually have it hooked up to my laptop and some Delorme mapping software. I have tracks of all my photo excursions. Since my cameras are not always carriable over long distances, I find I can find the spot being as close as the gps took me the first time.

    There are may resources on the web, like off road books, geocaching web sites, and locals and their map points that make the use of a gps, well, very useful.
    Robert Hall
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    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  4. #4
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djklmnop
    I think the two most essential tool to have is a GPS and a 2-way FRS/GMRS walkie talkie (aside from cell phones which most people already have).

    Any thoughts? Experiences?

    Andy
    Andy,

    Sounds like a good idea. Thanks. Could you say what brand and model of both tools you have, why you chose them over others and what you would recommend after some experience?

    Thanks,

    John Powers

  5. #5
    Marc Leest's Avatar
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    I plan to do the following:
    I have a topological map (also loaded into my GPS). Then I plan a trip/hike with interesting viewpoints to photograph. I register the track while walking with the GPS.
    The idea is to upload that trackfile to my webpage, so other people can download it and redo the trip.

    M.
    PS: Writing this @
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    We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
    Randy Pausch

  6. #6

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    I use a GPS whenever I travel. The Garmin eTrex is a great choice. You can mark waypoints and routes. I use it routinely when I collect plants and animals to mark collecting spots, obscure dirt tracks in the middle of nowhere, restaurants, hotels et cetera. Unless you are planning to use the information for cartographic work, the eTrex is more than enough. Just check it periodically (against known coordenates), because I´ve seen at least two of their smallest models (forgot the name) that occasionally go bananas and display readings that are totally off (not good when you are in the middle of nowhere). Otherwise, a great tool.
    Photos are made four inches behind the camera

  7. #7
    djklmnop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp80874
    Andy,

    Sounds like a good idea. Thanks. Could you say what brand and model of both tools you have, why you chose them over others and what you would recommend after some experience?

    Thanks,

    John Powers
    I own(ed) the Garmin Legend (monochrome) but it was taken when my home was burglarized. So now I am picking up a Garmin 60C. It is about $315 on amazon.com. You may want to pick up the Garmin 60CS instead, for about $30 more. The CS model has an Altimeter and a built in compass which will still work even if you don't have a lock on the satellites. This is valuable for those deep deep hikers . Also check out the Garmin etrex Legend Color, as it is more compact and affordable. The older Garmin Legend Monochrome works well, but is slow at redrawing the maps. Although still very useful for marking waypoints and simple navigation. I would not recommend it if you have bad eyes, you'll hate squinting at the small screen.

    As for FRS/GMRS radios. I have the Midland GXT-400 which "supposively" has a 12 mile range (4 watts), providing its over water or a clear view. It is good for keeping in touch with the group if you decide to split up. If you're alone, the radio is pretty much useless unless someone nearby is using the same channel. Just be sure to buy the ones that takes AA batteries. AAA batteries don't last very long. And use rechargable NIMH batteries.


    LINKS:

    Garmin 60C Review
    http://gpsinformation.us/gps60c/g60review.html

    Garmin Legend / Vista Review
    http://gpsinformation.us/vistacolor/...istacolor.html
    Last edited by djklmnop; 07-12-2005 at 04:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Money is not the problem. The problem is, I don't have any.

  8. #8
    Helen B's Avatar
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    I use an eTrex if on foot and a Garmin GPS III Plus on the handlebars of my bike. Both are extremely useful as an addition to, but not a replacement for, traditional navigation - I still want to know that I am not relying on GPS to get me to safety. The only real problems I have had are in jungle or forest when continuous signals are not available, and in places where I'm either not supposed to have GPS or the local police/military decide that I shouldn't have GPS.

    Best,
    Helen

  9. #9
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    True story. I took my GPS (Garmin) to Garapata Beach in Big Sur to mark the exact location where Brett Weston took his famous photo. The surf was a little rough, but the waves were far enough away that I wasn't too worried. I took out my GPS and topo map, looked down and started to mark the exact spot and the next thing I knew I was in salt water and foam up over my head - rogue wave! The water receeded, somehow not pulling me out into the ocean. I was totally drenched and every pocket and cavity was filled with sand. It almost pulled all the clothes off of me. The walk back to the car thru all the onlookers was not nice. My GPS, topo and (sadly) Pentax Digital spot meter were ruined. Garmin replaced the GPS for a modest fee but it cost a little for the spot meter to be fixed.

    -Mike

  10. #10

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    Yep, I use my GPS for the very things you are mentioning. I also use it when I'm scouting for shots and find a good one for later. In my notebook, I make all sorts of notation, including the coordinates.
    Graeme Hird
    www.scenebyhird.com

    Failure is NOT an option! It comes bundled with your software ....

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