Can GPS tell me what town I am in?

Discussion in 'General GPS Discussion' started by Bijan, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. Bijan

    Bijan Guest

    Now that I have the GPS V, how can I tell what town I am driving
    through? Around here, you could be passing through 5 towns on your way
    to work and not know where you are.
    Bijan, Nov 2, 2003
  2. Bijan

    Dennis Mayer Guest


    If you use the Garmin find command...

    and sort cities by nearest city....

    You should see a list of current & near by cities...
    Dennis Mayer, Nov 2, 2003
  3. Bijan

    Peter Guest

    On my eMap I pan the cursor over to a nearby street until an address is
    displayed. Then hitting ENT gives the complete address including city/town
    name (if within a city). Don't know if there's any more direct way of doing
    it on the V.
    Peter, Nov 2, 2003
  4. Bijan

    Peter Guest

    True, but in areas where the cities blend together I frequently find that
    the one that's nearest is not the one I'm actually in. The 'nearest' list
    is sorted based on distance to some nominal city center and I could be
    closest to that center of one town while actually within the borders of
    Peter, Nov 2, 2003
  5. Bijan

    Dave Patton Guest

    (Bijan) wrote in
    Think about te problem - without using the GPS at all,
    how do YOU know what town you are in?

    Presumably your answer would have something to do with
    knowledge of your position relative to the town's boundaries.
    Does the GPS V have data on town boundaries?
    Or does it have each town, but only as a single position?

    Dave Patton
    Canadian Coordinator, the Degree Confluence Project dpatton at confluence dot org
    My website:
    Vancouver/Whistler - host of the 2010 Winter Olympics
    Dave Patton, Nov 2, 2003
  6. Bijan

    Bijan Guest

    GPS knows its own lat/long. It also has a map. Put the two toegther
    and it should know the town. It seems to me that the information is
    there. The functionality must be implemented.
    Bijan, Nov 2, 2003
  7. Bijan

    Peter Guest

    Did you try the work-around I use on the eMap; i.e. moving the cursor
    slightly so it highlights a nearby street address and then clicking ENT to
    bring up the complete address, including the city? I've used this a fair
    number of times on group bike rides when someone is curious through which
    town we're currently riding since many towns in the SF Bay area blend together.
    Peter, Nov 3, 2003
  8. Bijan

    Dave Patton Guest

    (Bijan) wrote in
    [top posting fixed]

    Yes, the GPS knows it's(your) position.
    Yes, in this scenario, the GPS knows the "position" of the town
    (e.g. maybe it's the city hall, post office, etc.).
    Yes, the GPS has a map, comprised of vector data, that 'describes'
    various features, such as roads.
    No, that's not sufficient to tell you what town you are in.

    Again - think about how YOU would know what town you are in,
    without using the GPS. You would either have to know where the
    town boundary lies, and your relationship to it, or, for some
    cases, it may be sufficient to know what street you are on, if
    the street is completely contained within the town.

    For a GPS to do the same sort of thing, it would need boundary data
    for every town, and the functionality in the firmware to calculate
    whether the current GPS position is within the polygon described
    by the boundary. Town boundaries aren't regular, thus the data
    is required. What could be implemented would be a 'proximity
    alarm' to tell you when you are within a certain distance of the
    "town's location", but that's not going to tell you whether or not
    you are actually within a town, at least not reliably.

    For the 'street solution', the existing vector street data would
    have to have 'proximity data' included, to enable the GPS to
    calculate if the current GPS position is "on" the street
    (which it may already be able to do), and a database to be able
    to correlate streets with towns, and, without additional data, that
    would only work for streets that are completely within the town.

    Dave Patton
    Canadian Coordinator, the Degree Confluence Project dpatton at confluence dot org
    My website:
    Vancouver/Whistler - host of the 2010 Winter Olympics
    Dave Patton, Nov 3, 2003
  9. Bijan

    Don A Guest

    You will not like this answer, but if you feed your GPS output into
    Delorme's Street Atlas [ say on a laptop ] you can see what town you are in.
    One of the settings shows all township boundaries and further if you just
    drag the mouse around it will display what road you are on by name or route
    number, town, state and zip. Most of the data seems pretty accurate.

    Don A, Nov 3, 2003
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