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GPS Land Navigation Paperback – June, 1997

19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book covers GPS from the perspective of a backcountry user, in a way that you won't find anywhere else. It not only covers GPS from A to Z, it provides the information in an easy to digest form. Anyone serious about navigating with GPS should own a copy of this book. It will allow you to gain the most benefit from this amazing technology. -- From the Publisher

From the Author

When I started using GPS for my own backcountry travels, I quickly discovered that not much information was available to the average backcountry GPS enthusiast. Once I set about satisfying my own curiosity, it didn't take long to see the value in sharing this information with other GPS enthusiasts - hence this book. My goal was to provide a thorough yet easy to use reference on all aspects of personal navigation with GPS. I also felt it was important to start from scratch, and not assume any prior knowledge or skills on the part of the reader. Consequently, I believe this book will be of value to both beginning land navigators and seasoned GPS users. I hope that's your judgement too!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Glassford Publishing; 1st edition (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965220257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965220255
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,666,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 83 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
The book's objective is to remove the mystery surrounding this new technology so that anyone who owns a GPS receiver can become an expert in its use. GPS Land Navigation has 6 chapters that cover everything from hardware (GPS, compass, altimeter), to software (maps, coordinates, bearings, etc.), to skills (trip planning, route finding, map reading, etc.) Three appendices contain: elevation, latitude and longitude of the highest points in each county; the coordinates of each state's capital building; and, the coordinates for the junction of every U.S. Interstate with either another U.S. Interstate or an U.S. Highway. You can enter this into a GPS receiver and use it a-priori to navigate to that specific location. The last appendix has detailed comparison information for every handheld GPS in production as of early 1997.
Chapter 1 Introduction to GPS discusses the NAVSTAR (U.S.) and GLONASS (Russian) satellite navigation systems. The NAVSTAR system includes 24 satellites and their coordinating ground stations. Each satellite carries four atomic clocks, and continuously sends radio signals, which GPS receivers use to calculate position. NAVSTAR is designed so that any location on earth will have line of sight access to at least six satellites at all times (as long as there is an unobstructed view from horizon to horizon). Simply stated, a GPS receiver determines its position by measuring the time it takes radio signals to travel from four satellites to the receiver. Each satellite simultaneously sends its precise location and software in the receiver triangulates these to get a fix. GPS receivers provide accuracy between 40 and 100 feet and chapter 1 provides an excellent discussion as to the determinants of precision and accuracy.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "sherlock55" on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I purchased two books on GPS at the same time. This book by Ferguson and another GPS Made Easy by Letham. The Ferguson book is superior. It contains more information on maps and how different measuring systems work such as Longitude and Latitude, UTM Coordinates, and the Military Grid system. Others were also covered. It gives Long.. and Lat.. coordinates for all major highway junctions in the U.S. The tutorial on how to read maps is superior. The Ferguson book gives names and addresses of GPS manufacturers. For some reason he omitted the email addresses. Go to "GPS" on any search engine. Information an the GPS units is dated in both books. Both give a good overview of the GPS system and how it works. Both give good explainations of GPS features. Buy this book first and go from here.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Justin Johnson on June 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in 1999 when I first started using GPS recreationally and to record site locations. Since that time, I have looked through almost every GPS guide aimed at recreational users. This book still holds up as the best I have seen.
Its primary focus is the use of GPS as a component in land navigation. The material on topographic maps, compass navigation, datums, coordinate systems, and the possible sources of error that are unique to GPS is what makes this book more than a how-to-be-a-techie recguide. It is presented and explained in such a clear and efficient manner that this book is both a valuable resource and an interesting book to just pick up and read.
The chapter on GPS equipment is outdated, but that information can be obtained from salespeople or manufacturers' websites. The cautions and explanations regarding Selective Availability are no longer relevant, since SA was switched off in May 2000. The rest of the material is timeless and fundamental and applies to anything locational. Still, it would be good if a second edition could be written to get rid of the outdated material.
Anyone who takes the time to learn the material covered in this book will gain much more use from a GPS unit and topographic maps. You need to know more than your latitude and longitude. This book will give you the background you need in order to know what your GPS unit is telling you and how to use that information correctly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tbd on April 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
OK, folks, here it is, April, 2002, and Ferguson's book is 5 years old with GPS technology advancing at an amazing pace... but the true value of his book isn't his discussion on the hardware - it's the absolute wealth of information about LAND NAVIGATION that makes it an enduring treasure! I have found myself coming back to it time and again over my past 4 years of ownership to dig into finer detail about the GPS system, or coordinate systems, or whatever else is associated with land nav using GPS. Despite the outdated GPS hardware commentary, the principles remain the same, and MF's treatment is superb - the measure by which others will be considered.
If you need a basic reference that ties together LAND NAVIGATION with GPS, this should be in your library (along with Bjorn Hjellstrom's classic, "Map & Compass").
73, Bob
...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1997
Format: Paperback
Granted, I speak from the perspective of a techno-nerd, but with that having been said I rate Ferguson's book as a non-stop spellbinder. This guy answers almost all the GPS questions I've been mulling, and a lot more I hadn't even stumbled on. It's up to date, in depth, a relatively easy read, with good graphics and examples. Your companion text will have to be your own GPS's instruction manual, but Ferguson adds information about satellites, map systems, and practical use of the instrument. You can find a few internet web pages which are a bit more technical in their own narrow topics, but Ferguson really pulls it all together in a useful framework. Don't hesitate on this one.
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