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Re: [Aroid-l] Exact locations of plants

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Exact locations of plants
  • From: Steve Marak samarak@gizmoworks.com
  • Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 10:30:50 -0500 (CDT)

Brian, I'm sure you'll get lots of replies on this topic, I'll start things off
with my $0.02 worth - these GPS units are GREAT! We have 2, in fact, one for my
wife's car and one for mine. We aren't geocachers (I think the name for that
game is geocaching) but we've been using them to note locations of plants and
anything else interesting for years and it works very well. You get altitude 
information, too. 

Cathy happens to teach a high school class in which they use very expensive
industrial GPS units, the type surveyors use, and apply corrections from ground
based stations to get the accuracy down to inches. But the $150 units we have
in our cars are just as good for what we do, especially since Bill Clinton
turned off "selective availability" back in 2000. We typically see accuracy of
about 10-15 meters (and we're not applying any corrections, of course).

The technology has been around a while, and I know botanic gardens and other
institutions have been using it, but I'm always surprised that among people I
meet it seems to be the fishing, flying, or serious hiking enthusiasts that use
GPS rather than the plant people. (People can be in more than one of those
groups, but usually aren't.) Of course, it's so cheap it's showing up in cell 
phones now, so lots more people will be using it whether they know it or not.

The newer hand-held units have lots more features and far better battery life -
our older unit (7-8 years old) runs for a few hours - maybe 4 if you're lucky -
on 4 AA batteries. The new one (2 years old) runs for around 20 hours on 2 AA


On Tue, 26 Sep 2006, Brian Williams wrote:

> I thought many of the botanist and others might be interested in this. I 
> am not sure if this is something already in use? I have not seen 
> anything on it personally being used in plant research. A few friends of 
> mine play a game over the internet. It is basically a scavenger hunt 
> using global positioning systems. This handheld device can get a person 
> with in feet to were the treasure is hidden. I was fairly amazed by this 
> and was wondering if anyone was recording plant positioning when 
> collecting? The devices usually run from 150.00 dollars and up. My 
> friends use fairly cheep ones and they tend to work well. Another thing 
> they use is a very interesting map called google Earth. This is a map 
> made up of satellite photos of the earth you can put in your Global 
> positioning systems cordenance and it will show you a picture of the 
> area with in a few feet in some cases you can see the cars and people in 
> the photos. I would think both of these could be extremely useful to 
> someone collecting plants and it would be interesting to add in the 
> cordenance of a plant and get a image of exactly were it grows. So is 
> anyone using this in the field?
> Here are some links to google earth and GPS devices.
> http://earth.google.com/
> http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/common/search/search-results1.jsp;jsessionid=2F4YDDWTDD0HCCWQNWSCCNIK0BW0KIWE?QueryText=gps&N=4887&Ntk=Products&Ntx=mode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=gps&noImage=0&rid=0180101070502&cmCat=perf&cm_ven=performics&cm_cat=yahoo_nonbrand&cm_pla=boat_fishfindersgps&cm_ite=gps%20devices&OVMTC=standard&OVKEY=gps%20device&OVRAW=gps%20devices&_requestid=6429
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> Aroid-l mailing list
> Aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
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-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com
Aroid-l mailing list

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