Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: GPS issues on Kodiak Island?

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    450

    Question GPS issues on Kodiak Island?

    Didn't know where else to post this, so . . . . .

    Took a recent trip to Kodiak, and quickly discovered that my trusty Garmin Nuvi auto-GPS was really "off" down there. It couldn't keep the "car symbol" ON any of the roads or streets. It constantly showed me a couple of blocks away, and really confused the machine for "Go To" routing. I asked some of the locals about it, and they said "Yea, it does that down here." But, nobody knew why.

    Any ideas? Does it do this with handheld hiking/hunting style GPS's, too?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  2. #2
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    This kind of stuff can go in the General Forum.

    A GPS is only as good as the number of satelites it can see from your location. In mountainous terrain in northern latitudes you can get into a situation where your GPS will no longer be able to provide an accurate fix on your location.

    My owners manual for my GPS explained the issue, but not in great detail. It made it clear that it would not work inside a building, and in deep valleys with heavey tree canopies it may not provide accurate location fixes. Having worked with surveyors over the years helped understand the huge issue with using GPS in the north and in hills.

  3. #3
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    450

    Default

    Thanx Ray, that makes sense, but . . .

    I was driving along the Pacific coast of Kodiak Island most of the time, not deep in the central forested valleys. By way of contrast, my Nuvi works fine in the Eagle & Knik Rivers valleys, which are both farther north and have less visible sky. Maybe the GPS satelites are positioned away from the Pacific Ocean basin, since there are few land masses and people there?

    At the time, I kept feeling like I was playing a part in the TV series "Lost", and someone had turned the wheel and moved the island! (HA-HA)

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    I think some of the gps maps are just off. For instance my boat gps is spot on out of Whittier and Homer, but not the Seward harbor. It litterally looks via the map that I'm running over the breakwater when I'm headed in and out of the harbor.

    That said I wouldn't sweat it, one would be hard pressed to get lost on the Kodiak roads
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  5. #5
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    My Garmin parallels the Parks Highway from Anchorage to Fairbanks and then all the way to Deadhorse. Never once does it actually get on the highway. Take a look at Google Earth and the roads that are drawn on the screen vs. the picture. They are all off, in fact they are off the same way my Garmin base map is. Coincidence?
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southwest Alaska
    Posts
    2,145

    Default

    Make sure the WAIS is turned on.

    The US Gub'mint controls the satellites and clips off the last few decimal places to deliberately inaccurize the GPS system. It is done to prevent someone from building a guidance system using the GPS.

    My Garmin 76cs shows me to be about 20-feet from where I really am. I can take a fix, then dump into GoogleEarth, and see where the GPS thinks I am. It's pretty good for what I want.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •