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Offline George Wallace

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GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« on: September 06, 2010, 10:41:47 »
This can not be stressed enough:

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act:

Mantracker warns about dangers of GPS
By Greg David
2010-09-06


LINK

Terry Grant says map skills needed to survive in the bush

They’re mounted on the windshields of cars, strapped to knapsacks and are in our cell phones. They’re Global Positioning Systems, and Terry Grant is against them.

Grant, known for his television role as the Mantracker, believes there is too much reliance placed on those little boxes of circuitry that tell us how to get to destinations, saying they should be used in partnership with maps and compasses, not instead of them.

The cowboy-hat donning, chaps-wearing, horse-riding search-and-rescue worker is back for Season 5 of the OLN series, returning Monday with 12 episodes that find him all over the globe. Among the locales Grant visits this time around were the Big Island of Hawaii; Grande Cache, Alberta; the edge of the Mohave Desert in California; and Temagami, Ontario. The first episode kicks off in Ontario, in the deceivingly rugged woods surrounding Elliott Lake.

It is there Grant and local guide Phil Lemieux are tasked with chasing Canadian country rockers The Road Hammers. Lead singer Jason McCoy and guitarist Clayton Bellamy leave the posh hotel rooms and tour buses behind, getting tired and filthy while tearing through dense forest to elude the hunters on horseback. The duo sprint off from the start line in good time, sticking to logging roads and stopping often to refer to their map and compass (no GPS allowed here) as they attempt to cross 40 kilometres to the finish line in just 36 hours.

Within the first 20 minutes of the episode, however, it appears the musicians should have stuck to their daytime (and night-time gigs), as Grant and Lemieux bear down on McCoy and Bellamy and drive them into the forest. The move turns into the bandmates’ saving grace, as thick brush stops Grant and Lemieux cold.

“The country leans one way or the other, and that’s exactly what happened here,” Grant  recalls while on the phone during a press day in Toronto. “I could make my way through the brush pretty well on Day 1. And on Day 2, the hills got big and rocky and there was a lot of deadfall. They ran through stuff I couldn’t even think about putting a horse through.”

One twisted ankle, bruised shoulder and cold night exposed to the elements and The Road Hammers have the finish line in sight, but will they make it before they’re captured? (I know, but I won’t ruin it for you. Heck, Mantracker might track me down and shut me up for good.)

At its core, Mantracker remains stubbornly the same as it was five seasons and 49 out of 70 captures ago. A flare shot into the sky signals the beginning of the chase, Grant is still accompanied by a local guide as he pursues two people from varying backgrounds, as they evade him. And he still gets upset when he loses to the prey.

“I get pretty cranky when things don’t go according to plan,” the expert horseman admits with a chuckle. “It’s just so frustrating sometimes that [the prey] can go where they want to and the country makes it restricting for me because I’m on the horse. It just makes me want to yell.”

What has changed is the growth in popularity that Grant has enjoyed. An Albertan ranch cowboy for almost 25 years, he gets a kick out of being recognized on the street by fans, and is amazed that they can spot him even when he’s wearing a baseball cap, sunglasses and golf shirt.

“I can’t go anywhere without being recognized,” he exclaims. “I went across the street to buy lunch, and when I went to pay, the lady said, ‘Oh, I know you!’ And I had no hat on at all!”

Clearly his fans have picked up some skills from their favourite tracker.




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aesop081

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 11:55:22 »
The title of this thread is misleading. The article is not about wether GPS can be trusted or not.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 12:30:33 »
I didn't think they even used GPS's on mantracker, do they?
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Offline OkanaganHeat

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 13:05:54 »
The first two paragraphs of the article are the subject of this topic in that Terry Grant does not trust GPS rather a map and compass. I also believe that GW made the title more as a starting point for debate than a direct representation of the article.

The article does state that GPS are not allowed for the competitors.

Personally, I prefer a map and compass for navigation. They never run out of batteries and do not make errors in direction. Too often I have seen a GPS give strange directions or not have updating for new roads, etc that can lead to more confusion than using your eyes and brain to determine your route. My  :2c:

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 13:10:57 »
well then, if the tile was intended to start debate, hers my 2 cents :

Yes GPS can be trusted. Yes, GPS is bang on. I fly on a GPS-equiped aircraft so i rely on GPS on a near-daily basis. GPS works and it works reliably. I know how to work without it and so do the pilots but that does not change the fatc that GPS is reliable and can indeed be trusted.

People screw up with maps too.......People who cant works GPS properly most likely have a VCR at home that flashes 12:00
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 13:13:34 by CDN Aviator »

Offline Trueblue

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 13:13:52 »
Although I do agree total reliance on any electronic device is a bad thing, that "Mantracker" show is ridiculous.

Watching people hide in bushes and trenches while they have a camera crew standing above them filming takes away what little credibility the show might of had. 

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 13:20:35 »


People screw up with maps too.......People who cant works GPS properly most likely have a VCR at home that flashes 12:00

Totally agree. Maps are quite easy to misread and screw up.
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Offline ballz

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 13:25:45 »
well then, if the tile was intended to start debate, hers my 2 cents :

Yes GPS can be trusted. Yes, GPS is bang on. I fly on a GPS-equiped aircraft so i rely on GPS on a near-daily basis. GPS works and it works reliably. I know how to work without it and so do the pilots but that does not change the fatc that GPS is reliable and can indeed be trusted.

People screw up with maps too.......People who cant works GPS properly most likely have a VCR at home that flashes 12:00

I can't speak for flying obviously but... this summer the DAGRs were pretty terrible for getting signal if you were standing in 3 foot grass, let alone if you were in the woods (hopefully if you were flying this has not become the case haha). Also they could be off by a significant distance a lot of times, like 50-60m, but I think we were told both these problems had a lot to do with not having the crypto.

As for civilan GPSs that I've used... yeah, they're pretty bang on within 3m, get signal relatively easily and update fast... and you could set up all your routes and stuff before going out and rely on it pretty safely... I still wouldn't do that without the map of the area and a compass tucked away somewhere though, just in case Murphy wants to make an example out of me.
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aesop081

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2010, 13:29:45 »
I still wouldn't do that without the map of the area and a compass tucked away somewhere though, just in case Murphy wants to make an example out of me.

That would be the sensible thing to do of course. We fly with all the maps and know how to use them. That being said, GPS can be relied on for navigation and is bang on when it comes time to land so, yes, its can be trusted.


Offline George Wallace

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 13:45:53 »
That would be the sensible thing to do of course. We fly with all the maps and know how to use them. That being said, GPS can be relied on for navigation and is bang on when it comes time to land so, yes, its can be trusted.

As you said, that is the sensible thing to do.  Not everyone is working in an environment that has an accurate GPS 100% of the time.  Most are probably working on batteries.  Lesser quality devices suffer lose of satellites more often.   What do these people do when there is a fault or failure with their GPS and they may not know it?  Do they turn to their map?  Do they even have a map?

The thing is, we have more people now relying on GPS than ever, who have no clue how to use even the most basic of maps.  My Garmin was bang on (out perhaps 25m), while the GPS in the Mercedes was off by a whole city street, on a visit to Germany. 

You said, and I agree, people make mistakes with maps, just as easily as with the GPS.  True.  However, the point is, a vast majority of people these days are totally lost if given a map.  If their GPS is off, then they are really screwed.








Then again, there are those who would be lost no matter what they had as a navigation aid.   ;D
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Offline BulletMagnet

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 13:49:52 »
I will say this from what I would like to think is an expert point of view when it comes to Land use of GPS and Map Compass (I'll leave the Air Nav to CDN and any actual Air NAV member)

I teach Nav rather often and usually when I do I tell my students who always ask almost right off the bat how to use their GPS that GPS is an excellent tool but is subject to things beyond your control IE: Battery Failure, GPS Spoofing (which I have seen first hand screw people way over) And that the core skill of Land Nav is Map and Compass. Which so long as you have both (though you can use just a map if you are good enough) will not fail so long as you make sure the map is maptacted to keep it safe.

Now that all being said I do and will continually will Nav use GPS only BUT I always have my Map and Compass on me as a back up. I have never been lost using my GPS (but I have extensive training on using it). So in short I do trust me GPS but I double bank may Nav tools at all time.


If you can Nav using Map and Compass only you can nav with very little effort using a GPS. A GPS is listed as a Aide to Navigation where as Map and Compass are the core tools to Nav.
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Offline Greymatters

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 13:56:56 »
That would be the sensible thing to do of course. We fly with all the maps and know how to use them. That being said, GPS can be relied on for navigation and is bang on when it comes time to land so, yes, its can be trusted.

As a technology a GPS can be trusted, but it does have drawbacks, such as not having the most up to date maps or information (i.e. new or changed addresses or streets), and that it runs on batteries which limits how long you can use it if you are out in the bush.  The basic packages that most people buy also do not provide elevation, composite imagery, or other guides that a person travelling cross-country needs to use for planning their travel path.   

The point the article is making is that most people are depedent on the GPS and do not even know a simple thing such as how to tell which way is north using the sun or stars; if their GPS becomes nonfunctional they're likely to get themselves lost easily.


Offline George Wallace

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2010, 13:58:53 »
I will say this from what I would like to think is an expert point of view when it comes to Land use of GPS and Map Compass (I'll leave the Air Nav to CDN and any actual Air NAV member)

Agreed.  Should be a whole topic of its own, and this one basically sticking to "Land Nav" for persons on, or very close to the ground (Just for the Tac Hel folks    ;D ).

................ A GPS is listed as a Aide to Navigation where as Map and Compass are the core tools to Nav.


This I think is the key point.
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aesop081

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2010, 14:07:43 »



This I think is the key point.

They key pont is that people are the point of failiure in navigation. It is people who do not carry sufficient batteries for the task. It is people who do not update stored digital maps. it is people that cant read what a GPS is telling them and it is people who cant be bothered to learn how to use them properly.

Automobile GPS.......well they are a beast on their own but even then, updating your maps goes a long way.

And as far as the land/air GPS argument goes, i have been in both environment using GPS so i am not entirely clueless.

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2010, 14:13:53 »
I think that some people get confused as to what is really important.

It's not the compass that someone needs to know and then if they know that they can move on to the GPS; it's the basic fundamentals of navigation that a person needs to understand if they are to use either.

People who stick to map + compass and refuse to adopt GPS are no different than people who refused to trust guns or airplanes because they stuck to what they learned first.

GPS is a phenomenal tool, but a person has to understand what is happening with their position vs where they want to go and not just blindly follow the GPS anymore than they blindly follow a map and compass.  Something should jar in your head as "error" when you "know" you're moving East but your Eastings are getting lower, for example. 

A GPS can be trusted just fine as long as the satellites don't get shot down or there's an EMP, but at that point there are bigger things to worry about and we would have to revert to a compass the way we'd revert to a knife to fight wars if we ran out of guns.

In either case, if your GPS or your compass leads you astray it was user error.
"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway." - Roosevelt

Offline Technoviking

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2010, 14:17:03 »
They key pont is that people are the point of failiure in navigation.
Agreed.

GPS are a wonderful tool, and people only need remember that any GP system does NOT replace your ability to read the ground, both visually and with a map, etc.  And the ability to read the stars, the sun, etc also help.  You need only to know where you are, and which way you are facing.  But I find that to be the greatest battle.

As for air nav and land nav, I recall back to my BOTC, where the instructor actually had difficulty with land nav, and acknowledged it to us.  He was a pilot, and he could nav by air at 500+ km/h (when I would be lost and over some foreign land creating an international incident before I knew it), but he was perplexed by the ground-view of things. 
So, there I was....

Offline BulletMagnet

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2010, 15:58:28 »
There are a lot of points I disagree with here PM but I will highlight this one as the main one.

In either case, if your GPS or your compass leads you astray it was user error.


That's a big Negative I can spoof your GPS really easy and even though your GPS will be telling you onething you will in fact be hundreds or meters off. I can't spoof the Map and Compass it is simply impossible.

And before you say Spoofing is user error all I have to do is move your GPS a few Mils here and there and the terrain will look good but I'll be walking you into an Ambush or leading you far enough astray that you wont find what you are Naving to.... Essentially once the Spoof crew has your GPS you are screwed if you don't have the map and compass and the ability to know you are being Spoofed.

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2010, 16:20:20 »

That's a big Negative I can spoof your GPS really easy and even though your GPS will be telling you onething you will in fact be hundreds or meters off. I can't spoof the Map and Compass it is simply impossible.

Your faith in spoofing betrays your lack of understanding of the system itself.


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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2010, 17:34:43 »
Your faith in spoofing betrays your lack of understanding of the system itself.


;D


I still think you've nailed it when you said that the key pont is that people are the point of failiure in navigation.

So, there I was....

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2010, 18:11:33 »
Although I do agree total reliance on any electronic device is a bad thing, that "Mantracker" show is ridiculous.

Watching people hide in bushes and trenches while they have a camera crew standing above them filming takes away what little credibility the show might of had.

Yeah, I've always wondered if the camera people were covered in camoflauge or something. A big HD camera sitting 50 feet from "Mantracker" and he doesn't see it is pretty dumb.

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2010, 18:23:06 »
Bullet Magnet,

The old me would have gone on a rant about a military GPS being different than a store-bought Garmin, and any error in the grids being because the user entered the wrong system like MGRS, etc (similar to a compass being "right" but the user having the wrong magnetic declaration set), but I am actually curious about your answer.

So before I discount it, can you please tell me what you meant by spoofing my PLGR/DAGR? 
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2010, 18:34:41 »
They key pont is that people are the point of failiure in navigation. It is people who do not carry sufficient batteries for the task. It is people who do not update stored digital maps. it is people that cant read what a GPS is telling them and it is people who cant be bothered to learn how to use them properly.

Automobile GPS.......well they are a beast on their own but even then, updating your maps goes a long way.

I think I alluded to this a little earlier:

Then again, there are those who would be lost no matter what they had as a navigation aid.   ;D

And as far as the land/air GPS argument goes, i have been in both environment using GPS so i am not entirely clueless.

Great.  Has anyone questioned that?  I feel comfortable doing Recce or Tanks.  Most have a problem with one or the other.  So what?  So you feel comfortable doing both.  As we know some don't/can't; and some can't do either. 

Yes.  Ultimately it is the person who will be at fault.  Then again there are extenuating circumstances, such as the many editions of CFB Gagetown maps where MCE placed a road on the map that was at the top of Headline Hill south at an intersection above Bell Bridge.  I think it is only recently that that curved tank track off the Lawfield into WTP has been placed at the correct grid.  The old maps had it going through where an old house used to be at Bell Bridge/Ford.  Oh well.


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Offline Petamocto

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2010, 18:38:11 »
As long as the sh!tters at the Nerepis Biv are still at grid 123456 I know my map/compass/GPS are zeroized.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2010, 18:43:53 »
As long as the sh!tters at the Nerepis Biv are still at grid 123456 I know my map/compass/GPS are zeroized.

Once upon a time there used to be a house at that location.  I used to use that grid when teaching map using at the School.  Can't use that anymore, as when they did the rejigging of Grid Lines in the mid '90s, when they started correcting old surveys with GPS and Satellite imagery Grids have moved a one or two hundred meters.   The house is probably a ruin today anyway; and hopefully the basement plowed in.
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: GPS - Trust / Don't Trust
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2010, 18:56:49 »
Edit: question answered in PM thanks
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 20:21:49 by Apollo Diomedes »
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