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GPS accuracy and stuff...
G'day All, really enjoying this thread, thought I'd chip in my 2 bobs worth...
A couple of years ago I worked on a large US military HQ, they had a dude who's job was to track and report GPS accuracy data. Turns out there is a couple of times each day when the accuracy blows out to 10's of thousands of metres - bad when you use it to aim 2000lb bombs! Anyway, its only a couple of times each day, but your GPS doesn't know - it will happily report "accuracy 5m" or whatever. Food for thought?
I'm no luddite; I rate my GPS and use it all the time - at work, in my kayak and on my boat, but it's been bashed into me over the years that GPS is an aide to navigation, just like a map/chart. In my kayak (and on the boat) I have a kamal, which I calibrate using the Southern Cross, which I can use to measure distances from points - quite handy for coastal nav in the kayak. I can also use the sextant to measure angles/heights, which comes in handy sometimes too (I'm still teaching myself to do proper CELNAV).
The fact is, all the kit (GPS, sextants, kamals, charts...) are just tools in the toolbox - and its like the old saying "if all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail".
Just my 2 bobs worth