Anyone know if the GPS will have altitude data?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by LoneWolf121188, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Like it says. I could think of some really cools apps that would make good use of 3D GPS data. And if it doesn't, would it be theoretically possible to hack it to get altitude data?
     
  2. PoitNarf macrumors 65816

    PoitNarf

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    #2
    All GPS units can keep track of approximate altitude, just that most car navigation units do not display this data because most drivers don't care. I doubt the Google Maps app will display altitude info, but I'm sure someone will come up with an app that just displays raw GPS data including altitude info.
     
  3. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #3
    Why didn't I see you at the WWDC last week? :confused:
     
  4. LoneWolf121188 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    ummm...cause I'm not a developer? I've taken Java 100...that's about my limit of programming experience. :)

    I suppose asking for the GPS to be WAAS-enabled would be too much to ask for, huh? :D
     
  5. kleo macrumors regular

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    #5
    As far as i know GPS only gives you a latitude and longitude coordinate. GIS devices have topographical maps stored locally and use very precise GPS radios. They then use the lookup method to determine your altitude coordinate. So if you had access to topo maps of the entire US (or world) you could indeed get altitude from the iPhone GPS.

    Oh and check out the new maps.google.com it was recently updated to include a topo map view :)
     
  6. onlycopunk macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Considering the GPS is going to be all real time, then yes no reason why you couldn't find your approximate altitude.
     
  7. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

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    #7

    Actually, you don't need to be. You just need to shell out what, $3.5K?

    Anyway, real time navigation software is against the new SDK agreement. That puts a huge wound in turn by turn directions. Apple has to approve of it first. Most likely only one company is going to be able to even get turn by turn directions.

    Most GPS don't display altitude information.
     
  8. kleo macrumors regular

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    #8
    He doesnt want navigation, rather a clever app utilizing altitude information.

    Dont be mistaken by this poor bloats post. This tread is still about making the iPhone into an altimeter!
     
  9. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Well currently the SDK applies to both the 3G iPhone and the first generation. Therefore, since the first iPhone doesn't have a gps, there's no way to use the SDK to get altitude information. Maybe with an SDK update...but in its current state you would not be able to.
     
  10. jettoblack macrumors member

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    #10
    Wow, you obviously know nothing about how a SDK works. It is very easy for an SDK to have support for some features which may or may not exist on all hardware configurations. The API will include some commands to query the hardware for supported features, and will just return an error or empty data if you try to get GPS data on a 1st gen iPhone.

    Any GPS device can theoretically calculate altitude from the raw positioning data it receives from the satellites. It's just a question of whether the SDK commands give you access to the raw positioning data, or if they only give you pre-calculated longitude & latitude without access to the altitude data.
     
  11. macduke macrumors 604

    macduke

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    #12
    By that logic, there would be no way for all the location based apps for the iPhone 3g to ever use its gps chip since the original iPhone doesn't have one. Oh, and the apps can't use 3g data either because the original iPhone has Edge. Give me a break.

    Anyway, I think it would be neat if the newest version of Google Maps for iPhone has an option to turn the altimeter display on or off. I also hope it has the new Terrain view, which would be kinda neat for camping and hiking, especially if they added trails like they are supposed to be adding public transit route maps. Street view would also be fun, but not exactly necessary IMO. It would look pretty sick on the iPhone screen though, showing off the power and it would be perfect for multitouch.
     
  12. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Umm, obviously you didn't read cause I never said the SDK was unable to retrieve altitude data. I said in its current form (beta 7), the SDK has no commands in the API that gathers this data. Whether it will changed in the future is anyone's guess. I'm just answering the original question by saying that right now it is not possible. Currently only Apple would have access.

    Like I said above, I never said it wasn't possible. I said currently. Kindly show me the API command and I will recant (which I know doesn't exist cause the only changes from beta 6 to beta 7 is the addition of two core audio methods) . Also, it is possible that the firmware can interpret 3G as Wi-Fi and Location Services to utilize the GPS without changing the SDK at all, making it easier. Just throwing that as a idea though its unlikely. After all, speculations were that the iPhone used in the WWDC was a 3G iPhone. Probably why Apple's sample app found nearby contacts so quickly (firmware checked to see if there's GPS then used that when Location Services methods were called)
     
  13. StingerT125 macrumors 6502a

    StingerT125

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    #14
    I have 3 GPS units and they all have altitude info. 2 Portable Garmins and one Car Magellan.
     
  14. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

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    #15
    Actually for this one I admit I wasn't entirely sure. Out of all the GPSs I've seen (quite a few), none of them had altitude. Probably just a coincidence that the ones I've seen didn't have them.
     
  15. LoneWolf121188 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Again, its a matter of the application/market of that particular GPS unit. Driving a car? Who cares about altitude. Hiking? Could be useful. Flying an airplane? I'd hope so!
     
  16. senorFunkyPants macrumors 6502

    senorFunkyPants

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    #17
    You wouldn't want to be relying too much on GPS for altitude...the accuracy in the vertical is far less than the horizontal -/+ 50m IIRC.
     
  17. admanimal macrumors 68040

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    #18
    Actually, you are completely wrong. The current version of Core Location does have an altitude property to go along with Lat. and Long. It will also tell you the vertical accuracy.
     
  18. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Oh wow, I just checked it. Must have been some error with my documentation. :confused: Taht was so not there last time I checked.

    Well, I guess that answers it then. Yes, there will be altitude data. How accurate is this, though? It seems that there'd be so many factors.
     
  19. rufhausen macrumors regular

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    #20
    I've never seen a handheld GPS receiver that didn't provide altitude readings.

    I think the accuracy is just dependent on the number of satellites that receiver is locked on to.
     
  20. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #21
    I used a Windows Mobile PDA once connected to a GPS in an aircraft once. I would imagine third parties will come out with apps that use the iPhone GPS and include aviation chart data.
     

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