So, what does the G in GPS *really* stand for?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by wrboyce, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. wrboyce macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    I'm not a moron, by the way.. I know GPS == "Global Positioning System".

    I live in the UK but am currently on holiday in Spain. I have tried to locate myself using my iPhone many many times whilst over here, even leaving it trying for as long as ten minutes, to absolutely no joy.

    Does anyone have any idea why? It makes no sense to me!

    All the obvious things are ticked off, Data Roaming is on, I clicked "allow", yes! it's an iPhone 3G!

  2. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    Well those satellites need to be able to see you in order to track yourself...
  3. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    I'd hate to see your phone bill when you get back!
  4. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    It stands for gangsta. Go to the hood, it will find you.
  5. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Right? Consider my 900+ data bill I got from AT&T after they didn't properly set up my 2G iPhone account would make me VERY hesitant about data roaming w/ the phone.
  6. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003
    Durham, NC
    GPS requires line of sight on at least 3 satellites (although, there's generally 5-8 visible in any portion of the mid-latitude skies). In other words, being outside, and not being surrounded by tall buildings would help significantly, for satellite acquisition.

    Turning data roaming on only means that you'll be paying egregious amounts for all the push emails and web data your phone has received while abroad.

    The GPS is a novelty, not a stand-alone quality feature, as far as I can tell.
  7. philgilder macrumors 68000

    Sep 30, 2007
    i found this as well in italy, although photos i took had the correct gps info... and that was done instantly...
  8. genshi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    It's not the "Data Roaming" that you want on, it's the "Location Services" that you need to make sure is on.

    And in my neck of the woods (Los Angeles) with all of it's buildings, hills and trees, the iPhone 3G GPS is working pretty flawlessly for me. Both with tracking me on Google Maps as well as all location-based apps I have got (AirMe, NearBy, G-Spot, etc.)
  9. jsquared macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2008
    Nashvegas, TN
    haha I love it. "OGPS"

    (Original Gansta Positioning System)- For the Urbanly Challenged.
  10. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Silly, it's G-PiddyS

  11. FJR macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2008
    I think your problem might be the way that the iPhone uses cell phone towers to do the "heavy lifting" and then uses GPS for fine tuning. If you're in another country, it might be the case that your iphone is getting confused about how to properly use the cell phone towers to get the GPS started.
  12. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    Why are you using your phone in a different country?!!
  13. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    Well, it is a cell phone.
  14. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Here's a tidbit for your amusement:

    GPS satellites orbit at a 55 degree inclination from the equator. This means their orbit takes them between 55 N and 55 S latitudes.

    One effect of that is more equatorial cities have better overhead coverage... which is great when between skyscrapers. Whereas more northern/southern cities such as London do not.

    Or Moscow, for that matter. Thus the Russian GLONASS system uses 64.8 degrees of inclination so it gets better overhead coverage.
  15. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Since there might not be tagged cell towers or wifi in you area (those help locate you quikcer), the phone might need a minute or a few to located you with GPS.
  16. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    This is the best post of the day.
  17. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Google Maps are downloaded over the phone's data connection, so if you're doing this in Spain without WiFi you pay £3 per MB. GPS costs nothing, no matter where you are, but I'm just pointing out that actually displaying the map beneath the flashing dot WILL be costing you money, and quite a lot of it.
  18. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Gonads. The G stands for Gonads.

    Put it in your pocket - then if you ever forget where your balls are you'll just need to remember "They're next to your iPhone."
  19. deannnnn macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2007
    New York City & South Florida
    Duh, the OP is clearly a rich celebrity.
  20. wrboyce thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    So many responses!

    I'm aware of the need for line of site with the sky, and I've tried the GPS in a multitude of places with an unhindered view of the sky.

    I also have location services turned on.

    I think I agree with FJR, in regards to the "heavy lifting".. It's the only possibility I could think of. I've been roaming with Movistar, who is it that got the iPhone in Spain? Orange? Maybe I should try on their network.

    I'm also aware that the data roaming charges are stupidly expensive, and deannnnn - I am unfortunately not a rich celeb, however I made sure any automated collecting of data ("fetch data") was turned off, just incase someone had sent me a huge email or something. I was willing to pay a few quid just for the maps to download, just to see the GPS working abroad.. The main reason I wanted my location is so that I can use G-Spot to get my location and use said information to later Geotag photos taken on my digital camera.

    I checked my Bill on the other day, and was plesantly surprised by my roaming call costs, however no data charges have shown up yet (I have occasionally used Safari to Jaiku my activities) so either I'll get a very nasty surprise at the end of the month, or thanks to some dodgy glitch in the O2 system, they won't be charging me for my International data (wishful thinking?).

    I think I've answered everything there.. In other news, I've scratched the bloody iPhone screen on a rollercoaster. Gutted.
  21. Olleh macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Essex, UK
    Quote of the day? GPS standing for Global, obviously, as you know.

    As for it not picking you up in Spain, maybe Maps only work when your on your normal 3G network provider? Just a hunch.

    Plus, how do you know the area you was in had 3G... did you have any bars?
  22. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    could very well be the maps component that doesn't work but the gps is still getting the right position.
  23. branjosef macrumors 6502a


    Oct 18, 2007
    forget OGPS

    I'm thinking more like ODBPS or as we say in the hood... Ol'e Dirty B**tard Positioning System.

    Don't Stop :eek: ... Hammertime!!!! :cool:
  24. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Is that why I can't download any Fitty Cent on my iPhone? I knew I needed some gangsta positioning.
  25. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    What? No they don't! The satellites don't see you at all! The GPS only RECEIVES it does not transmit ANYTHING.

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