It was only a matter of time before someone realized that game hunting could be made a heck of a lot easier with GPS tracking devices. In fact, we’re sort of surprised it has taken this long. Yet there has been a patent generated for a GPS embedded tip, meant to fit inside of a hunting arrow.
What it Can Do?
When hunting game like deer, it is not unusual for a wounded animal to take off running, especially when hunting with a recurve bow and arrow in place of a rifle. It would not be the arrow itself, but rather a small piece which can be inserted into the tip. Upon entry into the animal, the GPS tracking device would detach, and the hunter could follow the animal’s path from their smartphone app or a handheld tracker.
What’s the Controversy?
Now there is already a lot of controversy with hunting, and whether or not it is really a “sport” to run around shooting at unarmed animals. But we will leave that debate for another day. But with this new idea of actually tracking your animal using GPS has even some avid hunters shaking their heads in bewilderment. Technology like scopes are used to find the animals, weapons are used to wound them, and now an electronic device will make it easy for you to find their hiding spot in the bushes. Where’s the challenge?
Imagine, catching a small fish and shoving a GPS tracker down its throat before throwing it back. Now you can watch as it catches up with its school, and catch dozens of fish. That seems like cheating the sport no? Well so is shooting one into the side of a deer. If you weren’t good enough to make the kill on the first shot, or don’t have the skills to track an animal in the woods without GPS, maybe hunting is not for you. Again, just an unsolicited opinion.
Where the Technology Stands Today
From what we can tell, there is a patent, but no real developments beyond that. Likely for a lack of funding. From what we read in various forums regarding the subject, while some hunters find the concept intriguing, they are not keen on paying a lot of money for it. And it would have to cost around $100 for each unit in order for the patent holder to make any type of profit.
GPS technology is great, in the right situation, but this just seems like taking unfair advantage. If you hunt using a recurve bow and arrow, we salute you for taking on the extra challenge that provides. If you hook it up with a GPS chip, well you’ve just removed the sport from it.
If you own a smartphone than you already know that its GPS abilities can get you anywhere you need to be fast. Did you also know that there are some apps available that allow you to plug in restaurants when you are craving fried chicken at 2 o’clock in the morning? Of course this feature also comes in really handy when you’re hungry, and in an unfamiliar place.
Now you may be thinking that you’re about to be led to a greasy spoon in the middle of nowhere, which is okay if you like greasy spoons, not okay if you’re on a first date. But many of these restaurant finder apps now come equipped with reviews, prices and other helpful information along with directions.
Check out our list of the 3 best restaurant GPS apps we’ve had the pleasure of using:
Local Eats – An easy to use interface makes Local Eats a user favorite. Available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, this GPS restaurant app does not cater to the big chains, but rather guides you to local restaurants with local flair. You can choose to find restaurants in your city, or nearby by having the GPS find where you are. You can also narrow your search by type of cuisine or the neighborhood it is in.
After you have chosen the restaurant, you don’t just get directions, you get a detailed description including pictures, price range and reviews. You can even hit a link that will call the restaurant directly if you questions or need to make a reservation.
Food Spotting – This app for Android or iPhone is powered with a Google map, making it even easier to find the restaurant of your choice. The GPS lets you choose between restaurants that are nearby, latest and best. The catch is, once you get there and start digging into your fried shrimp and fries, you are supposed to take a picture, and share it along with a review. This feature has deep fry cooks all over the country making sure that they are getting your food fried golden brown and crispy, so that it lights up in front of a camera.
Urban Spoon – This free app makes searching for restaurants fun, by treating it like a slot machine. Shake your phone and it knows to throw you out a recommendation for eats based on where your GPS tells it you are. If you prefer to be more discreet about your hunger pains, just touch the spin button for the same effect. The slot machine settings do let you lock in your specs for good food before you start spinning, and if you don’t like what it recommends you just spin again until it throws out something good. Once you find it, just click on the restaurant to find photos, reviews and menus. This is a fun app to try if you prefer taking a game of chance with your dining.
Smartphones keep getting smarter, eliminating the need for the Yellow Pages and even Google Search. If you like dining out, consider one of these apps to help make your choices easier.
The compass is one of the earliest GPS systems known to man. This seemingly simple hand held device, needs no battery, no charging and certainly no Siri to work. Yet, hold it in the palm of your hand, and you automatically know which way to go.
Without your car to power it, your GPS is useless if you are lost in the woods, but a compass is not. A tiny magnet is able to help you hold your direction and get you out of the deepest forest. It is this magnet that makes a compass point north by responding to the magnetism from the earth. The needle of a compass mysteriously points to the top of our planet’s magnetic field, which gives even the most lost little explorer a constant sense of which direction they are heading.
How Does a Compass work?
All magnets have two poles, one north and one south with the north pole of one magnet being attracted to the south pole of the other. This is easily demonstrated when you try and force magnets together from the wrong sides.
Our planet is also a magnet, and interacts with others in the same way. This means that the north end of a compass magnet is automatically drawn to the earth’s magnetic field. Since the earth’s magnetic north pole is attracted to the north end of a magnetic, it is in actuality the south pole of our planet’s magnetic field.
What is True North?
A compass will definitely get you out of the woods, but it is not always pointing exactly north. The earth’s magnetic north pole is not the same as the geographic one, but rather 1,000 miles south of it, somewhere in Northern Canada.
According to scientists over at Oregon State University, the magnetic north pole is not even constant. It changes, and over the last hundred years has made a shift of 620 miles closer to Siberia. The difference between true north and the north heading on a compass is call declination. This can vary from place to place as the magnetic field dips and undulates.
How to Use a Compass
Knowing this, you can make slight adjustments if you want to head true north, but in most cases that is not necessary. A good compass’ usefulness comes in its ability to keep you straight when you are trying to get out of the wilderness. When lost, just hold your compass, watch where the arrow points you, and then continue heading in that direction. This keeps you from walking around in circles, or back tracking as you lose your sense of direction.
While certainly not as sophisticated as a modern GPS, a compass does serve a very specific purpose. Use your fancy navigation system to get you to the forest, and the compass to get you out of it.
These days, most of us rely on a GPS system to get around – and for good reason.
All it takes is the push of a couple of buttons, and a few seconds wait, then you are given not only up to date directions on how to get somewhere, but you are given the quickest possible route. We have become so reliant on GPS navigation systems, that many of us do not know any other way. But what if your GPS system was not an option. Let’s say your phone battery dies, and you need to find your way home, what will you do? Below are some tips for finding you way around without a GPS. While you will probably have a GPS available to you most of the time, knowing these few tips may just come in handy one day.
1. Maps – This is the obvious choice. As the years have gone by, folded up paper maps have gone by the wayside. But if you are without a GPS, they can really come in handy. They have marked on them all of the major roads, and that combined with the street signs around you, should be enough to get you near your location at the least. It is not a bad idea to have one of these maps folded up and stored in your glove compartment, just in case.
2. Ask For Directions – While many people try to avoid this option, it is really one of the best. If you don’t know the area you are in, ask someone who does. Gas stations are perfect for this, as they usually have someone standing outside working, so you can just pull up and ask them real quick. If you can’t find a gas station, a hotel is another good option. Hotel employees usually know the surrounding area pretty well in order to help guests, so they should be able to help you find your way. Don’t worry about looking foolish when asking for directions. Instead of getting yourself more lost, simply pull over and get them now so you can be on your way.
3. Know The Compass – No matter where you are, it is a good idea to know the compass points relative to the way you are facing. Knowing which way is North, South, East or West can really help you find your way around, whether you are driving or walking. If you are not sure, remember that the sun sets in the West and rises in the East. You can use the sun’s location and the time of day to help you determine which way you are facing.
4. Night Sky – Lastly, if you want to know the compass points but you are out at night, you can use the night sky to get around. This trick has been used for centuries, so it should work for you too. Just locate the North star, and you will know which way you are facing by deducing the other points. The North star is usually the brightest in the sky, so take a look around and see if you can find it.
For many people growing up in this time period, they will have no idea what it is like to be lost. All they will need to do is push a few buttons on their phone, or on their car’s built in computer, and instantly they will be given directions where they need to go. So many of us have become dependent on these GPS systems, that we don’t even remember how we used to get around. We are so used to the GPS system being available, that we often take it for granted. But just how do these systems work? How are they able to know exactly where you are, and then give you directions to your desired destination? Below, we will try and clear some of that up.
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Currently up in outer space there is a constellation of 27 different satellites orbiting the earth. They are arranged in such a way that at any moment, there are 4 of them covering any place on earth. When you ask for directions, either through your phone, car computer, or some other device, that device is acting as a GPS Receiver. It sends out a signal to these 4 overhead satellites, and measures the distance to all of them. Using a process called trilateration it can pinpoint your exact location anywhere on earth. As you move the receiver continues to send out a signal to the satellites so that it can update your location in real time.
When the receiver sends out a signal to the satellite, it is sending out a radio wave. Since these radio waves travel at the speed of light, the two devices can measure how long it took the signal to arrive, then do some calculations to determine the exact distance it would have traveled based on that timing. By doing this process with at least 3 different satellites – usually 4 – your receiver can get an exact location on you. If they tried to use only one or two satellites, the measurement would be very inaccurate. You could be in one of several hundred different locations. 3 satellites are required to get a precise spot, but 4 are usually used to ensure accuracy.
In order to figure out how long it took the signal to reach the satellite, the two of them will each start a timer at the exact same moment. Then, the signal will be sent out, and the time delay between the two timers will allow the devices to know how long it took the signal to get there. With the distance now determined, the process is repeated for all 4 satellites until your location is finalized.
With your location determined, the computer will then use its own internal software to compute your route. It will run through hundreds – maybe thousands – of different scenarios for paths you could take, then it will come back to you with the most desirable one – usually the shortest.
All of these computations happen within the space of a few seconds. You don’t have to wait long these days for the receiver to locate you, then for the computer to give you directions. No longer will we have to pull over to get directions, when we can have a computer do it for us in just a few seconds.