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GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
Stumbler
Member

I bought a GPS tracking app that plots my morning walk on the map and shows the distance and time (and many other things). But it overestimates the distance by 10% to 20%. I went to return it, but I learned that the new Market return policy is up to 15 minutes after the download . So I downloaded a high-scoring free app, and used it on my next two walks. Well, this one also reads 10% to 20% high. The walk isn't very long, a bit over 0.7 miles: see my screen name Smiley Happy

 

I know the distance because I have used a Garmin GPS watch many times to measure it, and I also have used mapping software or Google maps (I forgot which) on my desktop computer to verify the distance.

 

Is it just me? Is there a problem with the GPS on the Droid Incredible or on Android phones in general? Or does it  happen that both apps have a problem and I should try other apps? If it's a problem with the GPS hardware or the OS support of the GPS, is there a work-around, or should I just stick with the Garmin watch?

 

The GPS apps are TripTrack (€1.99) and My Tracks (free). The phone is HTC Incredible.

 

Thanks,

Stumbler

 

 

 

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
AZSALUKI
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

well....you have 2 apps that say one thing and 2 other sources that say another (garmin and maps). how do you know that it's not the other 2 sources that are off?

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
Wildman
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

Good point... :smileysurprised:

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
Stumbler
Member

 


AZSALUKI wrote:

well....you have 2 apps that say one thing and 2 other sources that say another (garmin and maps). how do you know that it's not the other 2 sources that are off?


 

'Cause I didn't tell you all the tests/measurements I made and compared. 

 

And I just know Smiley Happy

 

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
Stumbler
Member

 


Stumbler wrote:

 


AZSALUKI wrote:

well....you have 2 apps that say one thing and 2 other sources that say another (garmin and maps). how do you know that it's not the other 2 sources that are off?


 

'Cause I didn't tell you all the tests/measurements I made and compared. 

 

And I just know Smiley Happy

 


 

To be a bit more fair, here's something I can add:

 

The Garmin wrist GPS that I mentioned above - that I trust - has very small variations from run to run; the two apps that I mentioned vary from 1.1x to over 1.2x the distance that I accept. I did mention the variation of the two apps' readings...

 

And to tell the truth, I'm not ready to believe that Google Maps (or maybe it was Google Earth) or Garmin MapSource could be that far off...

 

This does seem a perfect time to say this: YMMV.

 

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
Wildman
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

Do you have all three options enabled for gps?  Try disabling aGPS and Wireless Network option that has a tendacy to throw gps off.

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
Stumbler
Member

 


Wildman wrote:

Do you have all three options enabled for GPS?  Try disabling aGPS and Wireless Network option that has a tendency to throw gps off.


 

 

Interesting thoughts.

 

I replied last night, but my reply got lost in cyberspace. Oh, well, I have more info today Smiley Happy

 

1. My Wireless Network is always off (except for an occasional experiment, like a friend saying "Can you connect to the WiFi here?"). Also, I have a widget on the same home screen as the GPS icons, so I'd notice if it was accidentally on.

 

2. I had to Google for "aGPS". OK, it's "assisted GPS", which these days mostly seems to mean that the location services give a reasonable initial location and time, making it easier for the GPS to get its initial fix. In my experience with the phone's GPS, I'd say that the GPS has started up lightning fast, and has usually been very close to where I am.

 

Between Google, the manual, and searching the menus on the phone, I found that the Incredible has aGPS, but no way to manually turn it on or off (or no direct way, at least).

 

3. Extending your idea, I turned off Location Services, both Google and Verizon.

 

4. Now I had a chance to walk the walk in the above mode before recreating my reply to you. The result was 15% over the correct (and please give me a break here!) mileage, right in the middle of the 10-20% distance error previously noted. The path on the map does look a bit ragged compared to previous strolls, but that's very subjective.

 

Looks like I can't dump my Garmin Forerunner 205 yet. I had such great hopes Smiley Happy

 

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
Wildman
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

Since you are walking are you changing the GPS softwware in walking mode instead of driving mode?  Google Nav has this option.  Oh yeah sorry about not explaining aGPS but I keep figuring everyone is familiar witth the term.

 

CAP201101151614.jpg

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
demmo86rt
Leader
Leader

Try downloading GPS Status from the market, this will allow you to reconfigure your GPS and may make it more accurate.

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Re: GPS path tracking apps are overreaching
Indianchief
Novice

I use 'My Tracks' with Standalone GPS services only.  It is dead on with my bike computer (within 0.1 miles in a 20 mile ride).  Since the bike computer reads what the wheel turns, I think this is about as close as I am going to get.    

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