Thursday, October 11, 2007

GPS for Kids

Couple of days ago I made a presentation at a school in the Santa Cruz area. After the lecture groups went after caches hidden in the campus.

They had an idea about where North was, latitude/longitude, and that some satellites were broadcasting time above their heads.

They looked curiously at the GPS receivers trying to understand what to do to get their treasure hunt prizes.

Back to the class they went out again to obtain the coordinates of specific location in the campus, out and indoors (teacher's door handle for example). And back again to compare their findings.

Hardware Facts

PDA's suck, mind the language, power and patience. Their compass runs too erratically and the 3D GPS signal is harder to stay fixed.

Had also a chance to try the Garmin 60CS and I liked it a lot. My geocaching friend thought that the antenna was slower than our Magellan's, but I have a cheaper model than his so it didn't quite showed that way to me.

And the firmware on the Magellan's does need improvement to add all the features you can find on the Garmin's.

Kids digg it

It was a great experience to hide caches and worry about weather, scope good sites and see their curious faces.

Curious about what kind of future the technology that is mirroring their lifestyles will be.

But technology will only do its part, they still learn how to read their own compasses.

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