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[Solved] Mobile does not give correct distance

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Posts: 147
Topic starter
(@magmatic)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago

I have found mobile is not registering the distance I travel. Often, not always. Today, it was gave a low value. Like 7 yards, when it should have been .5 mile or more. Or it can do 1446 yards when it should have been at least 1.2 miles.

In the settings, GPS Always On is visible. So, that was active during all of this.

If I tap it, GPS When Current appears. Would either of those affect what I see happening?

I have v2.09. Sometimes it gives something believable, sometimes not.

Location is On in the phone settings.

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5 Replies
Jeff
Posts: 659
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
Creator & Technical Support
Joined: 2 years ago

Hi David,

Posted by: @magmatic

GPS When Current appears. Would either of those affect what I see happening?

Yes, for best accuracy, you want the 'Always On' option. 'When current' is supposed to be a battery-saving option, but I find that it hardly makes any difference and the accuracy is much worse.

Things that affect accuracy would be clear 360-degree view of the sky; e.g. indoors, tree cover, buildings, etc. etc.

The best way to troubleshoot is to run another GPS track/mapping app simultaneously (e.g. MyTrack); this does not increase the load on your device's battery. At the end of your Outing, compare what BD says to what MyTrack says. I will assume that both will report the same values. If not, then we can go from there. 

We currently have 600+ users of this App and no one is reporting a GPS issue. I go on a bird walk about 4 out of 7 days each week this time of year, for 1.5-3 miles per outing, and the data always seems spot on and correlates to previous trips on the same route. And, I have not touched the GPS functionality for over a year; so nothing has changed recently there. But Android/Google are always changing the functionality and we can't rule out that some change broke something in BD with your phone (due to device and/or versions of installed software).

In addition David, it would be good if I could examine your track and sightings export files for one of the errant Outings. The easiest way is for you to temporarily switch to "Submit via Email" (instead of Cloud) on the home page settings, then Finish the Outing again and email a copy to me at jeff@birdersdiary.com.

Let me know on all of this please when you get a moment.

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Posts: 147
Topic starter
(@magmatic)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago

I sent it. I don't need another app to tell me the true distance. I already know this particular route.

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Jeff
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
Joined: 2 years ago

Creator & Technical Support
Posts: 659
Posted by: @magmatic

I sent it. I don't need another app to tell me the true distance. I already know this particular route.

Hi David.

Thanks for the update. The question is not whether you know the true distance but whether the problem is with BD or with your device. 

For example, if both MyTracks and BD report the same distance, then the problem is your device or gps signal and not BD. However, if BD reports one distance and MyTracks reports another that you know to be true, then we have a problem with BD. It's the only way to narrow this issue down a bit.

Let me know. Thanks. 

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Posts: 147
Topic starter
(@magmatic)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Point granted. Today I tried it on a course of unknown length. Compared it to the ebird app. It read (.14 mile) 246 yards. BD read 302 yards. And that was including the 25 yards it registered before I moved. A different test gave 264 yards. So, ebird and BD were close. It seems BD or my phone is doing well today.

Lots of times recently, I get a distance followed by "(?)", which I take to be the accuracy. It doesn't know what the accuracy is.

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Jeff
Posts: 659
 Jeff
Admin
(@jeff)
Creator & Technical Support
Joined: 2 years ago

Thanks for the update David.

Not sure I trust the accuracy of eBird's app. MyTrack is Google's standard app for GPS functionality. I did all of my testing with BD against that. I used a nearby local quarter-mile school track. BD matched or outperformed (by 1-2%) MyTrack every time. It was never worse.

If BD starts with 25 yards, I have found this is usually when I start my outing inside and it can't get a good fix. But as soon as I step outside 10 ft later, all of a sudden I have gone 30 yards once it has a good fix; when I only traveled 10-20 ft. 

Posted by: @magmatic

Lots of times recently, I get a distance followed by "(?)", which I take to be the accuracy. It doesn't know what the accuracy is.

Below is my code that deals with the accuracy. 

Corrected explanation: You get the "?" if your GPS unit is reporting that it can't determine horizontal accuracy. This occurs when your GPS unit has a weak signal or simply no confidence in the actual reading. I test this setting, and if it hasAccuracy, then I get and display the horizontal accuracy, else "?". If you are getting this, that is your tip that your GPS unit is having trouble getting a good fix, and therefore when this happens, your reported distance traveled could be inaccurate to varying degrees. This has nothing to do with BD, of course, but solely dependent on your device's GPS unit. Any app merely reads what the GPS unit is giving it.

image

I am going to close this for now. But let me know if you continue to notice issues.

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