Skip to main content

I recently tried to show someone how to use Solocator to find coordinates determined using Google Earth.  Difference was WAY off, like 50' when Solo was saying +-13'.  From tracking down 6 trail cameras about monthly for 2 years, I know Solocator coordinates are repeatable relative to themselves.  Anybody got an explanation or other similar experiences?  My GPS Coordinates app was like Solocator. 

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

My guess is that the device you are using has a lot more to do with the GPS coordinates you see than the particular app that you are using. The Android OS or IOS probably has an API call that is used to "get" the GPS coordinates. The app may have some post-processing it does of the info it gets from that API call, but my guess is it is just reporting the GPS coordinates it gets.

A couple ways to test this would be to use two different devices (phones) to run Solocator and see if they give you the same coordinates. Another way to test it would be to run different apps on your one phone and see if they all give you the same coordinates.

None of this answers your question about GE, but it does address the whole issue of GPS coordinate variability.

I ran both tests. Two different phones, Motorola G5 Plus and Google Pixel 4a. And three different apps, MyTracks, SpotLens, and GPS Camera Map. I don't have Solocator on either phone because it's not free.

Screen Shot 2022-10-22 at 3.05.41 PM

The attached picture shows the results. A bit of a mixed bag. The Motorola results (yellow) would indicate that it depends mostly on the phone and not much on the apps. The Pixel4a results (green) would indicate the opposite.

The white Google Earth circle is where I was standing. Note that this doesn't mean GE is correct. I put that circle on the correct spot, and based on that the GPS coordinates the phones gave resulted in waypoints where they are shown. It's possible that Google Earth coordinates are all 20 feet too far south, and if that's the case then the 4 circles clustered together would be very close to correct. We have no way of knowing the correct answer. We can only do comparisons.


Images (1)
  • Screen Shot 2022-10-22 at 3.05.41 PM

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.