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Seen & Heard: Earthquakes and high-speed chases

May 31, 2023  - By

“Seen & Heard” is a monthly feature of GPS World magazine, traveling the world to capture interesting and unusual news stories involving the GNSS/PNT industry.


Image: Dennis Laughlin/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

GNSS records Alaska earthquake data 

Researchers in Alaska were able to compare the quality of GNSS and seismic station data when assessing the magnitude 8.2 Chignik earthquake near Dillingham, Alaska. Research recorded by Revathy Parameswaran and colleagues at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, shows that GNSS and acceleration seismic data can be used interchangeably or in tandem to estimate rapid magnitude or ground motion. The research showed the Chignik earthquake velocity records were almost identical at co-located GNSS and seismic stations for observations at frequencies of less than 0.25 Hz.

No more high-speed chases


Image: Screenshot from CBS New York video

The Old Westbury Police Department of Long Island, New York, has chosen a high-speed pursuit alternative — GPS-equipped darts that relay the current location of suspects, reported CBS New York. It took $36,000 to equip six patrol cars with the air-powered dart launcher, called StarChase, which can be activated from inside the patrol car. When the launcher is activated, it shoots onto the suspect’s vehicle a dart with a GPS receiver inside and an adhesive exterior. It is considered a safe alternative to high-speed chases and safe to use around pedestrians.

TikTok CEO says app doesn’t track 


Image: Marco_Piunti/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Shou Zi Chew, CEO of the popular app TikTok, testified before Congress that TikTok does not collect precise location data from its users. During the hearing, which lasted for more than five hours, Chew assured committee members the app does not collect nor distribute location data. TikTok is under fire as a bipartisan Senate proposal is aimed at banning the social media app, arguing it poses cybersecurity risks. The House Committee interrogated Chew regarding the app’s algorithmic feed, policies for young users and — given TikTok’s Chinese ownership — the amount of access the Chinese government has to user data.

Just some water, please 


Image: Bob Douglas/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Satellite mapping data analyzed at Graz University of Technology’s Institute of Geodesy has revealed long-term drought conditions in Europe, reported GIM International. The data confirmed groundwater levels have been low consistently since 2018. The drought situation was originally published by Eva Boergens in “Geophysical Research Letters” in 2020 when she noted there was a severe water shortage in Central Europe during the summers of 2018 and 2019. There has been no significant rise in groundwater levels since then, and groundwater levels have stayed constantly low. 

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About the Author: Maddie Saines

Maddie was a managing editor at GPS World.