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All about GPS

Find information and FAQ's not related to the parks, like Health & Safety, 4x4 etc.

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rooibok
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All about GPS

Unread postby rooibok » Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:43 pm

Does anyone use a GPS when they go to the park.

I take way points of interesting sightings of animals including birds etc.
Over years one can hopefully build up a database of sightings for specific animals in a area...the information can also be shared to build up a more accurate database of sightings. :)

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Krokodile
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Unread postby Krokodile » Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:17 pm

Hi Rooibok

We used T4A maps on Garmin 2610 and also the mapping software on the KNP Software for PDA we bought from Dynamic Pocket Solutions. Both have the functionality to add waypoints. Funnily enough, I logged the position of the Black Backed Jackal we saw on the way to the Stevenson-Hamilton monument and we hadn't quite reached it on the way back when we had our cheetah-chasing-jackal sighting!

I love the fact that the software also logs our route throughout the park so we can see which roads we have and have not visited.

Might there be an interest on the forum for the sharing of waypoints?

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rooibok
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Unread postby rooibok » Thu Jun 02, 2005 8:39 am

Hi Krokodile

The Tracks4Africa maps are brilliant. New version 5 out now. It shows every little road and other points of interest in the park.
Like you say, the logs shows you exactly where you have been and how long it took you etc.

It doesn't look like a lot of people on this forum use GPS devices. I think it is really cool. :o I speak under correction but I think a couple of the rangers in Kruger are issued with GPS ipods. They record all sorts of data which is later used as input for yearly census

As far as sharing information goes...it depends on who and how many are interested I guess. :wink:

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:02 am

Hi rooibok - I also used a GPS with the mapping software on the KNP Software (PDA) during our last trip there. I was just so overwhelmed with the eBirds software etc I had on it and it was the first time I was using any of it so I cannot really say that I am a qualified GPS user yet :lol:

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:15 am

OK, now I am getting more interested in buying a GPS, As long as it does not stand form Guinea Pig Signs I want to hear more.

DB u say PDA with GPS capabilities. Which make r we talking here?
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DinkyBird
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:29 am

wildtuinman wrote:OK, now I am getting more interested in buying a GPS, As long as it does not stand form Guinea Pig Signs I want to hear more.

DB u say PDA with GPS capabilities. Which make r we talking here?


This one. It really worked well. I have an HP iPAQ 4700 with a Fortuna Bluetooth GPS. Will post a report on how I found it under that thread over the weekend.

eBirds is also really worth looking at. It was the first time I had ever logged bird sightings and I really found it great! (No GPS with that tho)

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peterv
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Unread postby peterv » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:27 am

Hi Wildtuinman,

A GPS is a great device to have along with you. I have a Garmin V, which is great for both dash mounting and OK for sticking in a shirt pocket on a hike (although it needs to be a biggish pocket!).

The best combination are the maps available from tracks4africa.co.za. These maps, available only for Garmin devices, are superb - showing all sorts of roads not available on the base maps supplied with the device. Essentially the maps are "free" to anyone who makes the effort to send in un-plotted terrain (see the route to Bitterpan in the Kgalagadi from guess who 8) ).

I suppose it is not necessary in places like Kruger, but if you have plotted all suggested view points, it makes finding them so easy. Just having your tracks recorded is also a good memory of the trip.

Peter V :cam:

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:31 am

Does any GPS software also indicate mountain ranges - names and height in the vacinity of the signal? (Rivers etc?)
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peterv
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Unread postby peterv » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:43 am

Dinkybird,

The T4A software does not have mountain ranges, heights, or rivers.

Previous versions of the maps even showed contour lines near to the 4x4 trails, but these seem to have dissapeared - possibly due to the space the data takes.

Peter V

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:53 am

peterv wrote:Dinkybird,

The T4A software does not have mountain ranges, heights, or rivers.

Previous versions of the maps even showed contour lines near to the 4x4 trails, but these seem to have dissapeared - possibly due to the space the data takes.

Peter V

Thanks Peter V - it would be nice if they did include that sort of data - I understand about the space prob. Contour lines are also important when one is doing a 4x4 trail I suppose (not being a 4x4 type yet). So often I would love to know the name of a mountain range etc... (that sort of info is NB for flying, maybe pilots have some software that would cover that - I'll try find out.)
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Unread postby Jumbo » Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:40 pm

peterv wrote: Essentially the maps are "free" to anyone who makes the effort to send in un-plotted terrain (see the route to Bitterpan in the Kgalagadi from guess who 8) ).


My SO submitted the un-plotted Gharagab route yesterday. 8) - See he forgot to add second waterhole - maybe we should send you to go and get it :lol:
In exchange for my info on Biyamiti, can you give the Forum more detail on Bitterpan under Arid Parks? :wink:

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Unread postby elpaco » Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:47 pm

Hi guys,
I go back to the title of the topic to answer that No I don't use GPs in Kruger and actually I don't really see the purpose of it.
There aren't that many roads in the park and a map is really enough I think. I sometimes write on my map some of the interesting sightings I have made and that's it..

I am maybe old-fashioned .... 8) :wink:

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Unread postby peterv » Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:06 pm

Jumbo,

It's now there. Have a look.

Elpaco, I agree it is not essential, but its great fun to retrace your steps (electronically) and with waypoints showing significant sightings, all which can be shared with others afterwards. (You are never too old fashioned to try something new!)

Peter V

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Unread postby Loams » Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:47 pm

elpaco, you are right, there is absolutely no practical reason to use your GPS in Kruger, but it's nice to play with your toys when you have them. I always tell my customers to make technology work for them. Maybe for some people its easier to use a GPS. Maybe they prefer it. Each to their own.

P.S. I like a map, makes me feel like a bit of an explorer
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Unread postby Krokodile » Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:58 pm

One of the nice things about using a GPS in the KNP is to be able to waypoint sightings and then get a notification of that sighting on subsequent visits. This can be useful if the species is territorial. Also, GPS co-ords are useful when reporting Ground Hornbills/Cheetahs/Wild Dogs/other subjects of research. I particularly loved using the KNP GPS PDA software from Dynamic Pocket Solutions - see the reviews of this that Dinkybird and I have posted in the Recommended Reading forum. That gives you audible notification of Points of Interest (amazing how many of them you miss normally!), and also the option to log your own.

When saw a BB Jackal on the S112 and waypointed it. On our return from the Stevenson Hamilton memorial, the GPS chirped and there was our jackal again (shortly followed at high speed by several Cheetah! :lol: ).


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