Tracking your Route through GPS – Getting Started

It was 14th February 2013, Valentine’s Day. Inspired by one Motorola commercial, I set out to walk in a ‘heart shaped’ route, as a Valentine Gift for my beloved wife. The commercial is available at http://youtu.be/iG2DRiQt1b0 and the end result was tracked on Sports Tracker, with me walking in a heart shaped route near Lotus Temple, Delhi, India.

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I don’t have a good navigation sense, and rely mostly on GPS/Google Maps/Map My India for my everyday needs. Thus, to accomplish this task I’d specially bought a professional compass to track the directions, and had planned to cover at least 2 kilometers walking/running (though eventually it was restricted to 100 meters, reasons I’ll not delve into).

But, the biggest gain (apart from the delighted beloved, and learning how to use a compass) was that I came across various techniques that are used across the globe to track/plan a route. It’s more awesome than I ever imagined!

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Doing GPS Conversion – Degrees to Latitude Longitude and vice versa

Converting Degrees to Latitude Longitude

INDIA is North East (NE)

  1. The whole units of degrees will remain the same (i.e. in 121.135° longitude, start with 121°).
  2. Multiply the decimal by 60 (i.e. .135 * 60 = 8.1).
  3. The whole number becomes the minutes (8′).
  4. Take the remaining decimal and multiply by 60. (i.e. .1 * 60 = 6).
  5. The resulting number becomes the seconds (6″). Seconds can remain as a decimal.
  6. Take your three sets of numbers and put them together, using the symbols for degrees (°), minutes (‘), and seconds (“) (i.e. 121°8’6” longitude)

You can do it fast by visiting http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/bickel/DDDMMSS-decimal.html

Convert Degree, Minutes, Seconds to Latitude and Longitude

  1. latitude and longitude in a decimal format: 42.1361
  2. latitude and longitude in degree, minute, second format: 42deg, 08min, 10sec
  3. To convert coordinates from degrees, minutes, seconds format to decimal format, use this easy formula:
  4. degrees + (minutes/60) + (seconds/3600)

    The example coordinate above would be calculated as:
    
    42 + (8/60) + (10/3600) = 42.1361
    or
    42 + (.1333) + (.0028 ) = 42.1361