Wednesday, April 28, 2010

GPS Usage

Here are some recent GPS stats from my website (All stats refer to using a GPS while hiking):

As you can see almost 60 percent of visitors to my website don't own a GPS and less than 20% use a GPS all the time. Satellite coverage can still be unreliable. Just last weekend three of us who were using a GPS lost coverage while hiking in the South fork of  Pine Creek Canyon. A few days earlier I had coverage while hiking the same location with the same GPS (Garmin 60CSx).

When I first started documenting hikes for my first book, Hiking Las Vegas, GPS unit's accuracy was 100 yards or more. Pretty worthless for hiking in Red Rock Canyon or really most places. Although the accuracy has improved greatly, I still feel people should not depend on a GPS. Obviously if the unit fails it could mean trouble. Another reason is I feel people spend far too much time looking a screens. From the computer monitor to the cell phone, we are looking at screens all day. When I go hiking, I want to escape from technology.  Don't you?

The good news is all my hike descriptions can be followed without using a GPS. In the old days (~1997) I had to watch the file size of the hikes (pdf files). I would have to limit the number of photos. I do not have to do this any longer. Recently I have updated over a dozen hikes with additional photos. Those updates now include a .gpx file for GPS users.

Members of my website can now download 360 hikes from all over the Southwest. That's almost a hike a day! Not a member? Learn more by clicking here.