One of the questions we at Landmrk are asked on a regular basis is how precise Global Positioning Service (GPS) technology is, given that it lies at the heart of our platform. Our reply -- maybe unhelpfully -- is: it depends.
This isn’t because we’re being vague; it’s more because a number of factors -- up to and including solar storms -- can interfere with the satellite signals used to establish your position. The system as whole aims to be able to position you within 7.8m, but according to data pulled on May 11, 2016, in 95% of cases smartphone users can generally expect their position to be accurate to under 5m. Pretty impressive. If you then layer on the fact that if you then triangulate your position further by using a dual-frequency receiver that distance drops to a few centimetres, you’d think that GPS’s work was done.
But you’d be wrong, according to recent reports from Australia, where GPS is used extensively in transport and agriculture, the latter requiring farmers to position their machinery incredibly precisely in order to optimise their use of farmland. CEO of the Australia and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information, Dr Peter Woodgate, explains: “The Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand announced $14 million in funding [for a ten-year spatial industry transformation and growth agenda]. What that will do is enable the two nations to link up to a new Inmarsat satellite that promises to improve the accuracy of GPS systems from five to ten metres down to one metre, and maybe down to the decimetre level. Transport will be involved as well, including road, rail, maritime and aerial transport, as well as a range of other industries.
“There are five other GPS-like systems that are up there or in the process of being developed from Russia, the EU, Japan, China and India, and the national positioning infrastructure is currently solving all of the signal processing challenges to be able to ingest the signals from all of those systems and offer them as a high-precision, highly reliable service.”
To have a robust system that, through your mobile, could position you to within 5cm anywhere on the planet opens up a world of possibilities. Landmrk is already working with clients to deliver very structured experiences in pretty close quarters, but as the technology develops the door is opened to these becoming more and more sophisticated and precise.
It’s incredibly exciting for us to be working on a platform that looks to harness GPS and align it with experience, so if you’d like to join us on that adventure, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s explore how we can use this transformative (and rapidly transforming) technology together.