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Offline Science, bitch!

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FET and Global Positioning System
« on: March 15, 2018, 08:20:45 PM »
We can all agree, flat-earther and round-earther alike, that GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and similar systems work pretty well.

Supposedly those positioning systems rely on time signals from satellites orbiting earth, which in a flat earth model obviously wouldn't possible. I've read several times from flat-earthers that those systems have to somehow work differently, perhaps with ground-based beacons instead of satellites.

FES Consensus seems to be that NASA and other space agencies fake space travel out of greed, but aren't actually aware that the earth is flat.

However, to develop and operate GPS and similar systems, whether using satellites in space or radio beacons on earth, somebody obviously needs to be pretty aware of earth's actual shape.

GPS is operated by US Air Force. Does this mean the USAF knows earth is flat but didn't tell NASA?

GLONASS is operated by Roskosmos, Russia's space agency itself and Galileo is operated by ESA (European Space Agency). How is that possible without them knowing the earth is flat?

I'd like to know what your take is on that, flat-earthers.
This is a genuine question so junker, please refrain from moving it to CN.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 08:23:07 PM by Science, bitch! »
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2018, 10:55:14 PM »
We can all agree, flat-earther and round-earther alike, that GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and similar systems work pretty well.

I don't agree with that. There are numerous complaints online that GPS gives inaccurate distances. Look at this link: https://pmags.com/gps-mileage-discrepancies

Multiple examples are given, including the following quote:

Quote
And in the racing world, professionally surveyed half-marathon routes of 13.1 miles are called too short by people wearing GPS enabled devices.  Some people less politely and less friendly, but still firmly, write the race directors and complain that the race course is 13.9 miles or even 14.2 miles. Some racers even are LESS polite. :O  Why? Because their GPS enabled devices report higher mileage than what is on the race course.

USATF Certified tracks are measured with wheeled devices, and this distance differs when compared to GPS.

This author claims that GPS devices are inaccurate for finding distance, and that this inaccuracy grows with greater distance traveled (which is curious under the Round Earth model since GPS is just finding your coordinate and computing the distance to another coordinate).

Another quote from that link:

Quote
Your GPS-enabled watch, a GPS unit such as one bought at outdoor stores or an increasingly frequently used mobile devices are all Recreational Grade GPS units. They are good for knowing, more or less,  where you are in a general location.  You will not get pinpoint accuracy for location or distance.  The effects of this inaccuracy is more noticeable the longer or more varied a jaunt.

See the bolded. If the Round Earth model is true, this is confusing, since GPS devices are just based on finding your coordinate and mapping how far away coordinate B should be. It should not matter how far away you map coordinate B. It should not increase in error the further away you map. The coordinates and the distance between them on a Round Earth should be known.

A comment at the bottom of that article showing that this is illogical:

Quote
It surprises me how much inaccuracy there seems to be. If my GPS knows my position within fifteen feet, there shouldn’t be a half mile discrepancy over fifteen miles.

The author of the article further asserts that "professional GPS equipment" is necessary, but does not suggest that he has ever used it, or show information that it is any more accurate for distances. Such equipment may be more accurate for showing current coordinate with higher resolution, beyond the accuracy of consumer GPS (which measures in 3 to 7 meters, not on the range of miles), but it does not follow that such professional devices are more accurate for "measuring distances". The distance between coordinate points on a Round Earth should be known in all systems.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 10:59:26 PM by Tom Bishop »
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy

Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2018, 11:12:41 PM »
We can all agree, flat-earther and round-earther alike, that GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and similar systems work pretty well.

I don't agree with that. There are numerous complaints online that GPS gives inaccurate distances. Look at this link: https://pmags.com/gps-mileage-discrepancies

Multiple examples are given, including the following quote:

Quote
And in the racing world, professionally surveyed half-marathon routes of 13.1 miles are called too short by people wearing GPS enabled devices.  Some people less politely and less friendly, but still firmly, write the race directors and complain that the race course is 13.9 miles or even 14.2 miles. Some racers even are LESS polite. :O  Why? Because their GPS enabled devices report higher mileage than what is on the race course.

USATF Certified tracks are measured with wheeled devices, and this distance differs when compared to GPS.

This author claims that GPS devices are inaccurate for finding distance, and that this inaccuracy grows with greater distance traveled (which is curious under the Round Earth model since GPS is just finding your coordinate and computing the distance to another coordinate).

Another quote from that link:

Quote
Your GPS-enabled watch, a GPS unit such as one bought at outdoor stores or an increasingly frequently used mobile devices are all Recreational Grade GPS units. They are good for knowing, more or less,  where you are in a general location.  You will not get pinpoint accuracy for location or distance.  The effects of this inaccuracy is more noticeable the longer or more varied a jaunt.

See the bolded. If the Round Earth model is true, this is confusing, since GPS devices are just based on finding your coordinate and mapping how far away coordinate B should be. It should not matter how far away you map coordinate B. It should not increase in error the further away you map. The coordinates and the distance between them on a Round Earth should be known.

A comment at the bottom of that article showing that this is illogical:

Quote
It surprises me how much inaccuracy there seems to be. If my GPS knows my position within fifteen feet, there shouldn’t be a half mile discrepancy over fifteen miles.

The author of the article further asserts that "professional GPS equipment" is necessary, but does not suggest that he has ever used it, or show information that it is any more accurate for distances. Such equipment may be more accurate for showing current coordinate with higher resolution, beyond the accuracy of consumer GPS (which measures in 3 to 7 meters, not on the range of miles), but it does not follow that such professional devices are more accurate for "measuring distances". The distance between coordinate points on a Round Earth should be known in all systems.
You need to understand that GPS provides a position with a known accuracy and repeatability.  It is the application that uses that data and may be inaccurate.

Please look at professional equipment and its use.

The USA uses GPS with Cruise missiles, how accurate is their use?

What is your view of the WGS-84 model, are you happy with its accuracy?

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Offline xenotolerance

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2018, 11:15:38 PM »
Also, anyone can read the rest of the page Tom linked, and the more in-depth pages linked from there, that explain how the technology works and how the errors appear. It is not because the Earth is flat.

also remember that the satellites used in GPS aren't supposed to exist in flat Earth belief, so acknowledging their existence in an attempt to prove the Earth is flat is a contradiction in terms

Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2018, 11:23:04 PM »
Tom, you need to stop attacking this strawman. You're comparing apples and oranges in what is being discussed. You keep talking about it computing the distance from you to point B, and then how it's inaccurate when walking those distances. Well, when you walk those distances it's no longer simply a discussion of calculating the distance from point A to point B. It's calculating the distance from point A, to point ZZ, using points A, B, C, D, E....WW, XX, YY, ZZ. Each of those points taken based upon a location at a particular point in time with a percentage error, based on the device used, for each point. What you *should* be comparing, is the distance a GPS system gives between point A and point B, and then comparing that to the distance said wheeled device gets. That would be an accurate comparison between the two. Or better yet, plot a route using your GPS, see how long it says it is for distance. Then drive it and compare both odometer, and GPS final distance given. This will show you any error in the calculated distance, as well as the known error in the tracking distance. This also answers why professional grade equipment will have a more accurate distance measurement, because the error in location is lower, and thus there is less error between each point from A to ZZ. The software used will also have an impact on this, with your phone GPS using understandably less expensive (and thus less precise) software.

It's absolutely fascinating that you can keep referencing and sourcing that article, but disregard every bit of information it provides about higher accuracy mapping it provides for some reason.

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Offline Science, bitch!

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2018, 11:43:31 PM »
We can all agree, flat-earther and round-earther alike, that GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and similar systems work pretty well.

I don't agree with that. There are numerous complaints online that GPS gives inaccurate distances. Look at this link: https://pmags.com/gps-mileage-discrepancies

Multiple examples are given, including the following quote:

Quote
And in the racing world, professionally surveyed half-marathon routes of 13.1 miles are called too short by people wearing GPS enabled devices.  Some people less politely and less friendly, but still firmly, write the race directors and complain that the race course is 13.9 miles or even 14.2 miles. Some racers even are LESS polite. :O  Why? Because their GPS enabled devices report higher mileage than what is on the race course.

USATF Certified tracks are measured with wheeled devices, and this distance differs when compared to GPS.

This author claims that GPS devices are inaccurate for finding distance, and that this inaccuracy grows with greater distance traveled (which is curious under the Round Earth model since GPS is just finding your coordinate and computing the distance to another coordinate).

Another quote from that link:

Quote
Your GPS-enabled watch, a GPS unit such as one bought at outdoor stores or an increasingly frequently used mobile devices are all Recreational Grade GPS units. They are good for knowing, more or less,  where you are in a general location.  You will not get pinpoint accuracy for location or distance.  The effects of this inaccuracy is more noticeable the longer or more varied a jaunt.

See the bolded. If the Round Earth model is true, this is confusing, since GPS devices are just based on finding your coordinate and mapping how far away coordinate B should be. It should not matter how far away you map coordinate B. It should not increase in error the further away you map. The coordinates and the distance between them on a Round Earth should be known.

A comment at the bottom of that article showing that this is illogical:

Quote
It surprises me how much inaccuracy there seems to be. If my GPS knows my position within fifteen feet, there shouldn’t be a half mile discrepancy over fifteen miles.

The author of the article further asserts that "professional GPS equipment" is necessary, but does not suggest that he has ever used it, or show information that it is any more accurate for distances. Such equipment may be more accurate for showing current coordinate with higher resolution, beyond the accuracy of consumer GPS (which measures in 3 to 7 meters, not on the range of miles), but it does not follow that such professional devices are more accurate for "measuring distances". The distance between coordinate points on a Round Earth should be known in all systems.

That article you linked doesn't really fit the topic. It discusses shortcomings of recreational GPS devices in accuracy of the distance travelled.

It's not about discrepancies in absolute A to B distances. Those obviously don't increase with distance.

What the article deals with is discrepancies in the distance covered on hiking trips or similar, and those trackers obviously don't measure the absolute distance between starting and ending position, but rather record the route and calculate it's length. Thus, obviously discrepancies add up with the length of the route. Main issue here is the refresh interval, I've added a graphic to illustrate that, the green line from A to B being the actual route, the red dots being the positions measured by the GPS device and the red line being the route tracked by the device. In most cases, the GPS-tracked route will be significantly shorter than the actual route, this getting worse with larger refresh intervals.

Anyway, we're splitting hairs here, I said GPS "works pretty well" not it "works perfectly".

Back to the other 6 paragraphs of my OP that you didn't address.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 11:51:45 PM by Science, bitch! »
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2018, 12:45:20 AM »
Nice rationalization there, but those explanations have not been demonstrated to be true. All we know is that GPS is wrong when attempting to determine distance.

« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 12:47:04 AM by Tom Bishop »
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Offline xenotolerance

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2018, 02:41:49 AM »
yo that's like reading the top half of a speed limit sign and saying, all we know is there IS a speed limit, but we don't know what it is

just your basic cherry picking, I guess. it seems beneath you. hopefully everyone reading this sees through you

Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 02:43:33 AM »
(which is curious under the Round Earth model since GPS is just finding your coordinate and computing the distance to another coordinate).
...
If the Round Earth model is true, this is confusing, since GPS devices are just based on finding your coordinate and mapping how far away coordinate B should be. It should not matter how far away you map coordinate B. It should not increase in error the further away you map. The coordinates and the distance between them on a Round Earth should be known.

that's not at all how gps works.  knowing the distance between two arbitrary points on the surface of a sphere doesn't tell you anything about real path lengths.  how could it?  that doesn't make any sense.

knowing that the distance from my home to the grocer is 5 miles tells me nothing about the length of the path i travel to get there.

Nice rationalization there, but those explanations have not been demonstrated to be true. All we know is that GPS is wrong when attempting to determine distance.

you saw a black swan did a google image search for black swans and found one, so all you know is that all swans are black.  okay.
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 02:54:16 AM »
I didn't point you to a single instance where GPS was inaccurate. I pointed you to multiple instances.

Whether you want to argue that GPS is inaccurate because of bad technology, that is fine. GPS is still inaccurate in determining distances.
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy

Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 03:04:57 AM »
I didn't point you to a single instance where GPS was inaccurate. I pointed you to multiple instances.

Whether you want to argue that GPS is inaccurate because of bad technology, that is fine. GPS is still inaccurate in determining distances.

you only pointed to instances in which (some) gps units were inaccurate in determining path lengths

and why wouldn't it be?  gps isn't a thing that tells you distances or path lengths.  it's a thing that tells you where you are.  working out the distance between two points is trivial, but that doesn't tell you anything about how long was the path i took to get from point A to point B.
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Offline xenotolerance

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 03:15:40 AM »
plus, like, if you have 10000 swans, and three of them are black swans, you can point out multiple black swans. it's still cherry picking

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 03:43:29 AM »
I didn't point you to a single instance where GPS was inaccurate. I pointed you to multiple instances.

Whether you want to argue that GPS is inaccurate because of bad technology, that is fine. GPS is still inaccurate in determining distances.

Shall we point you to the millions of times it is accurate daily? Saying GPS doesn't work because it is occasionally wrong is beyond absurd. I use it daily, it is highly accurate. You're just killing any credibility you had with these ridiculous assertions that are not borne out by fact.
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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 07:11:05 AM »
Nice rationalization there, but those explanations have not been demonstrated to be true. All we know is that GPS is wrong when attempting to determine distance.
Do you really not undefstand how GPS is used?  Low cost satnavs are used by millions to calculate routes and arrival times and work well. They are accurate and reliable.

The maps in a satnav calculate the distance to a destination.  GPS simply provides accurate locations for the software to use.

You are concerned about measured distances of a track and it is explained to you how that works, it is not an issue.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 09:32:31 AM by inquisitive »

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Online Tumeni

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 08:44:01 AM »
There are numerous complaints online that GPS gives inaccurate distances. Look at this link: https://pmags.com/gps-mileage-discrepancies

Multiple examples are given ...

... but they're merely multiple examples of the same thing. A GPS-based calculation on a consumer-grade device of an "as the crow flies" distance between two points differs from that recorded by someone taking a path, on foot, between them. Big whoop.

Or that these consumer-grade devices, showing latitude and longitude to one or two decimal places don't show the user's exact position. Again, big whoop. You need more decimals to do that.


USATF Certified tracks are measured with wheeled devices, and this distance differs when compared to GPS.


.... but doesn't the GPS system merely indicate one position, at one time?  If you want to take two positions, and calculate distance between them, that is done by some software on the device in use?

For further reading;
https://geodesy.noaa.gov/CORS/Articles/Accuracy.pdf

https://www.gps.gov/systems/gps/performance/accuracy/#speed
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 09:07:50 AM by Tumeni »
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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2018, 10:34:30 AM »
I didn't point you to a single instance where GPS was inaccurate. I pointed you to multiple instances.

Whether you want to argue that GPS is inaccurate because of bad technology, that is fine. GPS is still inaccurate in determining distances.

OK. It has been explained to you what your confusion here is, so I won't repeat it.
I've just checked my phone, I am where it says I am. Maybe not to the centimetre - which is the cause of the errors you are citing, small errors add up over a journey (he says, explaining what has already been explained to you, having said he wouldn't) - but basically, I'm where it says I am. I tried it at home the other day, it was right then too.
So, in brief: GPS works.
And it works because of satellites orbiting the globe - fun fact, that's what the G in GPS is for.
So even if there are some glitches and inaccuracies, I don't see how this adds any weight to the flat earth argument. To do that you'd have to show that GPS works in some other way than by using orbiting satellites. To save us both some time, I've see you muttering about eLORAN before and I've seen other people explain how that doesn't even work the same way and there's no way a GPS receiver could work using eLORAN.

So either:
There's another global conspiracy by people who pretended they launched GPS satellites and other people pretending that GPS works by satellites, all to keep this very important secret that the earth is actually flat safe, because obviously it's very important that this truth is kept from the general public.
Or...GPS works exactly how it's stated it works, because we live on a globe.
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2018, 10:42:19 AM »
I've just checked my phone, I am where it says I am.
That would not be thanks to GPS, not unless you're in the middle of the Australian outback or the Sahara desert. Both big players on the mobile phone OS market rely on non-GPS data to get your location. Wi-Fi access points are currently the most useful data points for urban areas, and mobile phone networks are a common source for less densely populated zones (possibly because Wi-Fi access points and mobile phone towers are not allegedly zooming through space).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_positioning_system
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_positioning_system

And, shockingly enough, if you check your phone somewhere that doesn't rely on WPS or mobile network towers, your location data becomes quite inaccurate.

So either:
There's another global conspiracy by people who pretended they launched GPS satellites and other people pretending that GPS works by satellites, all to keep this very important secret that the earth is actually flat safe, because obviously it's very important that this truth is kept from the general public.
Or...GPS works exactly how it's stated it works, because we live on a globe.
Third option: You're not as tech-literate as you think you are and you fallaciously assume that GPS data is the only dataset used in mobile phone location tracking. You're attributing the efficacy of big data and very recent developments in fingerprinting to a rather simple system that's been conceived of 40 years ago. Round or flat, that ain't how it works.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 10:48:26 AM by Pete Svarrior »
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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2018, 11:02:35 AM »
Having done a bit of Googling it does seem that a mix of GPS and non-GPS data is used for iPhone location.
BUT, that doesn't refute the general point that GPS works and is used by many industries.
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2018, 11:45:32 AM »
Having done a bit of Googling it does seem that a mix of GPS and non-GPS data is used for iPhone location.
"A mix of multiple non-GPS data sources with an occasional and reluctant sprinkle of GPS" would be a much more accurate phrasing, given the subject matter.

BUT, that doesn't refute the general point that GPS works and is used by many industries.
It kinda-sorta-maybe works, except when it doesn't. That is the central point, which you are now attempting to ignore. You attempted to divert this discussion onto the path of "all you need to do is grab your phone and boom, GPS proven," when it is nowhere near this simple.

As someone who's been using actual GPS for geotagging my photographs, I have developed an intuition of just how much one can expect from it. I'd encourage you to do the same.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 12:04:20 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Online Tumeni

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Re: FET and Global Positioning System
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2018, 12:16:13 PM »
As someone who's been using actual GPS for geotagging my photographs ....

With which device(s) ... ?
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