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Seen & Heard: Pedestrian safety, canoe tracking

January 15, 2020  - 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.

Keeping canoeists afloat

The United Kingdom’s Hire a Canoe company has installed Kinesis trackers on its fleet to manage transport of clients to and from their water sport activities. Real-time traffic updates and live Estimated Time of Arrival calculations help manage riverside customer pickup, while advanced geofencing provides instant notification if a canoe, kayak or paddle board leaves a defined zone during off hours.

Moscow historical district. (Photo: poludziber/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Moscow historical district. (Photo: poludziber/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Glonass aims for pedestrian safety

Russian company Glonass is investing RUB 4–5 million in a mobile application aimed at pedestrian safety, reports Telecompaper. The app will warn pedestrians using smartphones and headphones of approaching cars, based on an AI collecting data from smart traffic lights. Tests will take place in 2020 in the Samara, Volgograd, Tomsk, Kursk, Tambov and Moscow regions.

Image: Vladimir Obradovic/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Image: Vladimir Obradovic/iStock/Getty Images Plus

GPS spoofing service

Virtual private network (VPN) Surfshark has added GPS Spoofing to its Android VPN. The new optional feature allows users to shield their online presence from unsolicited tracking by giving them the ability to change their device’s physical GPS location. The new feature is for “privacy conscious people” who want “to keep their physical location information only to themselves.” Instead of the user’s location, the app provides one of the Surfshark VPN server locations.

Image: Skytruth

Image: Skytruth

‘Spoofing circles’ appear in China

“GPS spoofing circles” have been discovered at 20 locations along the Chinese coast, according to the non-profit environmental group Skytruth. Of the locations observed, 16 were oil terminals; the others were corporate and government offices. The spoofing in Shanghai resulted in reported positions from ships, fitness trackers and other GPS-enabled devices forming circles some distance from the shore — a phenomenon first observed by the non-profit C4ADS. Professor Todd Humphreys briefed the phenomena at an Institute of Navigation conference in September, and MIT Technology Review published an article about it in November 2019.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.