Seen & Heard: Speed traps and rescuing koalas

July 1, 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. 


Photo: Drazen Zigic/iStock/Getty Images/Getty Images Plus

Photo: Drazen Zigic/iStock/Getty Images/Getty Images Plus

Where’s the Beef?

A new mapping app is helping Los Angeles County residents find more than 2,000 food resources, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Sponsored by the non-profit 211 LA County, the LA FoodFinder is powered by Slingshot Earth, which aggregates food resources and service data from multiple public and private sources. The app enables residents to find resources for child nutrition, meal services, groceries/food pantries, senior food needs and government food benefits programs. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, 211 LA County has experienced a 10-fold increase in website traffic for food needs.


Photo: Symbiont/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Photo: Symbiont/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Use that app in Germany? No Waze!

The German government has amended its road traffic regulations to outlaw apps that alert drivers to speed cameras. The law makes it clear that any app used for traffic-monitoring alerts is forbidden, whether it runs on a phone, tablet or a GPS navigation system. Violating the traffic laws and using speed camera apps inside a car could result in a fine of up to €75 (about $83). Both Garmin and TomTom have emailed registered users alerting them to the news.


Photo: Geoffrey Blewitt/Debra Vigil

Photo: Geoffrey Blewitt/Debra Vigil

Making the most of GPS data

University of Nevada 2020 Outstanding Researcher Geoffrey Blewitt has made the most of GPS data to study changes in Earth’s crust, from the Ice Age to today. Nevada Today outlines his significant discoveries, including that GPS data may hold a key to detecting dark matter. Other discoveries: Nevada is the fastest growing state, geologically speaking, as it spreads apart. Drought in the western U.S. is causing the Sierra Nevada to lift, and the melting of ice sheets in Greenland is changing the shape of Earth.


Photo: iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Koala care

Drones equipped with FLIR thermal-imaging cameras helped save koalas injured in this summer’s Australia bushfires. In a search-and-rescue operation, Victoria wildlife experts and police used DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual drones to scan the forest for injured koalas, many found clinging to scorched eucalyptus trees. The images were relayed to a ground station in a nearby van for closer inspection. When a koala was located, the experts stepped in to assess the animal, and if needed, provide healthcare and relocate it. The team used cherry pickers to retrieve the little animals.

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.