GPS Keeps Open Spaces, Well, Open!

waterfall_tracking_gpsEach state in the U.S. has beautiful spaces that exist for the public to enjoy, whether recreational land or protected wildlife habitats. It is important to designate these spaces accurately, especially in areas where hunting season is taken seriously.

But how can you ensure that you’re mapping the boundaries to these protected spaces accurately? With GPS trackers, of course.

Mount Olive Township

Mount Olive Township in New Jersey is looking to designate land set aside for recreation and protected land as accurately as possible. Naturally, they turned to GPS trackers to get the job done right!

The township received a $10,000 grant via Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program on October 4, ensuring they can cover the expenses. The most expensive item related to the project: the $5,680 they have to pay their planner to conduct the research into easements.

The Project

Easements tell people what public land can be used for, whether open space or recreation. The GPS tracker will be used to mark precise easement locations. This will allow the public to figure out what they can and can’t do within a specific space quickly and easily. Additionally, the authorities will be better able to punish those using the space illegally.

Once the GPS tracker maps the easements and they are recorded, the public will be able to log on to a website to view the information. To further ensure the public is using the land as they should, part of the grant will be used to educate the public.

This project was initiated mainly to protect conservation lands, ensuring that the balance of nature is not disturbed by the public conducting illegal activity. The township planner, Charles McGroarty, points to areas that used to be part of a trail system but are now conservation areas as an example.

Worldwide Movement

And it isn’t just the US that sees the value of using GPS mapping to protect the environment! In Indonesia, surveyors are using GPS trackers to map a forest area near their small village in order to keep the land away from special interests that seek to destroy the precious resources the land provides.

When the surveyors come across any form of landmark — a rock, a waterfall, a river — they mark it on the GPS tracker. The idea is to accurately map the forests belonging to their village to offer some form of official proof in the event someone tries to get their hands on the land, like palm oil companies and logging or mining operations.

Currently, no maps or ownership information exists. These GPS tracker-derived maps provide something physical that village officials can sign in order to prove their ownership. The mapping also helps them protect the forests and all of its inhabitants.

Mapping land with a GPS tracking device is an effective way to provide precise boundaries. As more begin to turn to this technology, it’s safe to say we can keep our environmentally protected spaces safe for future generations to enjoy! If you need to map or track some land, we have a GPS tracker for that! Contact us for details.


Photo By E Photos Via Flickr Creative Commons

GPS, Maps, Apps, and the End of the World

gps_maps_survivalAre you a crazed conspiracy theorist (who probably would prefer being called a prepper)? Your bug out bag is all packed, your caches of supplies are safely hidden along a route to your bug out location far away in the woods, and your family knows exactly what to do when things get crazy.

But what if you get lost along the way? As long as an EMP doesn’t occur (for those not down with the prepper lingo, an EMP is an electromagnetic pulse, a quick burst of electromagnetic energy that could disable all electronic devices within a certain radius around the EMP), you could turn to something many of us have laying around in our homes: an old smartphone.

Get Maps

Numerous GPS tracker apps out there today can download maps to your phone’s memory. It’s a great way to make sure you’ll never get lost, even without a cellular or GPS satellite signal.

Head to the Apple app store for your old iPhone or the Google Play store for your Android smartphone, and browse the GPS apps there. Pay attention to the descriptions, and seek out the apps that can directly download maps to your phone. It will take a significant portion of your storage space, so you’ll either have to wipe out your old photos and music (not exactly essential to survival anyway, right?) or find an app that allows you to choose region-specific maps.

Do You Need More Than GPS? Probably Not!

There are also a ton of apps out there that promise to provide help when needed, but how many of those apps are actually worth the download? And some apps can completely drain your battery and mess up your chances at survival – kind of like the way that James Taylor messed up the National Anthem at the World Series!

Let’s take a closer look at some popular “disaster apps.”

  • The Pocket First Aid & CPR app: can an app help you out if you don’t know CPR? Not likely! Think about it: in a true life or death situation, is there even time to pull out your phone and consult an app? Get decent first aid and CPR training prior to disaster and you’ll be much better off!
  • The Wild Edibles Full App (iOS) or Edible and Medicinal Plants (Android): if food becomes scarce, you may wonder whether or not you can munch on a plant or two. These apps can be helpful – if your phone doesn’t die! A better idea: brush up on local vegetation and find out what’s edible prior to a disaster!
  • Army Survival Guide: it never hurts to know how to survive in a tough situation, and the Army is definitely one good source of information. But, again, it’s best to brush up on your survival knowledge before that vital time comes!

Let’s hope you never need to worry about your survival. But if you do, all you really need is a game plan, some offline GPS tracker apps, and an old smartphone! What’s your plan of attack in case the zombies attack? Let us know (and we have plenty of GPS trackers that will help you find your way out of a sticky situation on our site! Take a look!).

Relax, Map Lovers – DeLorme to Continue Making Paper Maps!

delorme_atlas_mapsAnyone out there still rely on paper maps? There’s something about paper maps that keep certain people from plunging into the world of the GPS tracker. Is it the fact that you feel like you are more in control of your route? Is it that you can see farther in advance? It can’t be the process of folding the map – that’s pretty annoying for just about everyone (kind of like folding a newspaper!).

People today see the benefit of the GPS tracker. It keeps your eyes focused on the road while it provides voice commands to get you where you need to go, and shows you where all of the best POIs are located at the press of a button. Can your paper map show you the restaurants nearby to wherever you are, even unfamiliar territory? Not quite!

Panic Moment

It’s people that can’t let go of these paper maps and atlases that almost had a heart attack when they heard that Yarmouth, ME, company ‘DeLorme’ (a major map maker!) is moving into the world of digital maps. As soon as the company released the news, the phone started ringing with anxious customers voicing their displeasure with a digital-only map.

Kim Stiver, DeLorme’s vice president of marketing, assures everyone that this simply isn’t happening. While DeLorme is starting to offer digital maps for GPS trackers, they don’t plan on halting the production of physical, paper maps. Map lovers: you can breathe now!

A Proud History

DeLorme has been in the map business since 1976, at which time they published the Maine Atlas & Gazetteer. Now, they offer a wide variety of maps and map-related products, competing against companies such as Merriam-Webster, Rand McNally, and even Oxford University Press. With their hat in the digital product ring, they can now compete with the likes of Google and Microsoft, as well as Magellan, Garmin, and others in the mobile GPS playing field.

It’s the mobile field that is the most competitive, as map apps are hot. Look at all of the location-based apps out there that rely heavily on maps like Zillow, the app that shows you homes for sale, or any of the apps that help you find a certain POI in an unfamiliar area. Patrick Kennelly is the co-director of the Mobile GIS App Development Program located at LIU Post University in Long Island, NY, and according to him, maps can be created for mobile platforms so easily. As a result, it’s almost impossible to list the competitors DeLorme is up against in the mobile field. There would be far too many!

Advancing With Technology

And to think, it all started when they released ‘Street Atlas USA,’ the first map CD-ROM available on the market. It was released in 1991, and was kind of a big deal! No matter how tech-savvy the company is however, there will always be those die-hard map lovers, not ready to part with those pages showing streets and cities.

While DeLorme is moving forward technologically, they will stay true to their original product, the paper map, for those who just can’t see themselves traveling any other way!

Hike Hong Kong With GPS

hong_kong_hikingThere’s no better time to get outdoors and enjoy a hike than smack in the middle of October. The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and most trails are free from tourists and traffic. There’s no doubt that hiking is a great way to enjoy nature, but getting lost on a trail can be treacherous too. That’s why GPS tracking apps complete with accurate maps exist – and the latest app to join the bunch maps out trails in Southern China.

The ‘Enjoy Hiking’ App

The ‘Enjoy Hiking’ ap is available via iOS or Android, and it comes with a ton of features that any hiker will love. When hiking in Hong Kong, this app sends a hiker’s trail route to the Communications Associateion of Hong Kong, so that lost hikers can be found quickly. If a hiker disappears, local police will have tracking data.

This app is the handiwork of Hong Kong’s ‘Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department,’ and it was created form a need to offer an easier way to locate hikers. Every year, three to five hikers get lost in South China, and many people are rescued each year as well. The ‘Enjoy Hiking’ app should put an end to those losses.

How It Works

When the ‘Enjoy Hiking’ app is downloaded and activated, location data must be transmitted. From there, the app tracks by GPS for up to 24-hours. The app can be turned off at any time, but it’s recommended that the app stay active in order to accurately track hikers. This app features all major trails in Hong Kong, and it uses very little data.

The data the app transmits is encrypted when it reaches the service provider, and can be requested at any time for up to one week. After that seven-day period, all location data is deleted. Hikers can also select a great trail from a list of trails, and the app will state whether or not that trail is advanced or intermediate (or a beginner route). The app makes sure hikers don’t get in over their heads, or disappointed in a hike that’s too simple.

Great For Tourists

This app provides a new level of safety for Hong Kong hikers, and it is also useful for tourists setting out on a new hike. In fact, the GPS tracking app is featured on the website, the official website of the ‘Hong Kong Tourism Board’ along with other apps that allow tourists to explore Hong Kong safely.

And it’s a good thing tourists can turn to the app for guidance: Hong Kong features amazing landscapes to explore, but the trail system is quite confusing with many to choose from. If you’re headed to Hong Kong and plan to explore nature via hiking trails, you’ll want this essential app!