FINDING THE WAY: Greg Freeman and Robert Budimski, of the Whereis digital mapping service, are exploring Queensland to iron out bugs in vehicle satellite navigation systems.
FINDING THE WAY: Greg Freeman and Robert Budimski, of the Whereis digital mapping service, are exploring Queensland to iron out bugs in vehicle satellite navigation systems. Renee Pilcher

Whereis gets more accurate

ODDLY enough, Greg Freeman and Robert Budimski, of the Whereis digital mapping organisation, do not have a GPS to guide them.

They are explorers who are out day after day, improving the accuracy of the satellite navigation systems which have not quite yet replaced the street directory or the service station highway map.

With a specially-equipped camera vehicle, the pair are photographing Queensland with one picture every 10 seconds, aided by gyro and navigation recording gear, to help programmers improve the accuracy of GPS systems, especially in the country.

“But we have paper maps to guide us right now,” Mr Budimski admitted in Gympie yesterday.

They readily admitted to the existence of the infuriating problems they are solving as they go.

No more will the GPS tell you you have run off the Tin Can Bay Road, when you haven’t.

No more will you find yourself going the wrong way down a motorway with the GPS saying “U-turn as soon as possible,” when it is not possible at all.

Their recording and navigation gear automatically captures the geometry of roads, and cameras note the speed limits and one-way streets, so you don’t get told to turn right when you can’t.

“GPS doesn’t work so well in treed areas or at all in tunnels but we have gyroscopes, distance sensors and accelerometers that guide us accurately from the last GPS waypoint,” Mr Freeman said.

Gympie Times


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