Thursday, July 24, 2008

Desktop commandos...

Ah! Just as I have suspected. The guy who gave me feedback on my GPS Lat/Long error is a geek. He said he read my article, cut and paste the information on a mapping software. I doubt he even knew how to use a handheld GPS.

But nevermindlah. This is an opportunity to learn and meet new contacts. From the vibes, I sensed he meant well and was concerned about the errors. Here's his take on the Lat/Long grid issue :

Hi Sam

What I am trying to do is:

1. Read your article on my desktop 2. Highlight and copy (using the mouse only, no keystrokes) the GPS coordinates 3. Paste the coordinates into the mapping application 4. View the exact location.

Note that I should not have to type anything - it is a simple copy and paste operation.

The application software actually reads and interpretes the GPS coordinates
N 03 08"669' = N 3 degrees, 8 minutes, 669 seconds
= N 3 degrees, (8 + 669/60) minutes
= N 3 degrees, (8 + 11.15) minutes
= N 3 19.15 - WRONG PLACE
By a remarkable coincidence, this turns out to be in Jln Hang Lekiu, parallel to Jln Tun HS Lee instead of Jln Hang Lekir, intersecting Jln Tun HS Lee !

N 03 08.669 = N 3 degrees, 8.669 minutes - RIGHT PLACE

Most GPS devices expect the coordinates to be entered in the standard format of "+/- DDD MM.mmm", where the decimal point is ALWAYS expected in the same position.
So there is no confusion when you key 03 08 669 into a GPS device.

One day hopefully, more journalists will follow your excellent example and supplement place names and addresses with GPS coordinates.The stories are more interesting when you can instantly locate the area on a map.

I look forward to reading your column every Thursday.

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