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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

GPS Land Navigation

Review by Review
Friday 1st January 1999

This really is quite an amazing book, in fact with almost every page I turned over I seemed to discover something about navigation that I really should have known but was afraid to ask. GPS Land Navigation is fully American, but don't let that put you off as the NAVSTAR satellites that we use for GPS navigation are owned by the American government and most of the receivers are made in the US. Only our co-ordinate system is unique. Moreover, the book covers more than just GPS navigation and it explains about various co-ordinate systems, altimeters and compasses and the principles upon which they operate. It even explains how to navigate without a map, what to do if your GPS goes dead in the middle of nowhere and even how to create your own map. Also included are sections on planning and preparation for multi-day outings.

The main thrust of the book is however GPS navigation and there is clear description of the principles, technology and limitations of the satellite GPS system. Everything you could want to know about signal degradation, governmental policy decisions and of course all the sophisticated features that GPS hand held receivers offer is covered here.

The book is not intended as a substitute for a GPS receiver manufacturer's manual, but it covers just about everything else and is an excellent reference. In the appendices are lat/long co-ordinates for all major US highway junctions and for the highest point in every county in every State in the US as well as a slightly more useful feature comparison for a large number of GPS receivers. It's all in here, essential reading.

Did you know that the Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system stands for Global'naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema. I thought not.

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