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GPS Contest

GPS (Global Positioning System) is a state-of-the-art technology for navigation. Using satellite signals, GPS devices in a rental car or a handheld receiver can tell you exactly where you are on the planet, usually within a few meters.

Since some of the world experts in GPS navigation and localization are in the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary, we thought it would be appropriate to showcase some of this technology with a "GPS Contest" for some of the students at WWW2007.

A GPS contest is basically a high-tech version of a "Scavenger Hunt". Rather than receivng a bizarre list of items to find (e.g., WWW2004 pin, floppy disk, fortune cookie, "Metallica" T-shirt, unused baby diaper), you are instead given a list of geographic coordinates (i.e., latitude and longitude), and asked to answer a specific question about that location, or to bring back a digital photo as proof that you and your team were actually there.

For those interested in participating in this (free) contest, please meet in the Coleman room at 1:00pm (sharp!) on Wednesday, May 9. The organizers will go over the contest rules, and teams will be formed. We can accommodate up to 10 teams, with 2-4 persons per team. At least one member of each team should have a digital camera. A cell phone might also be a good idea.

One GPS handheld device will be provided to each team, and the contest list of 10 Banff locations will be handed out. All locations will be reachable on foot from the Banff Springs Hotel. None of the locations will require dangerous or illegal activities, or financial costs such as admission fees.

Teams will have 72 hours to seek out the contest locations. The team that returns the most correct answers wins, with time as the tie-breaking criterion. The official time recorded for your team is the time when you return your answer sheet (and your GPS device!) to the contest organizers.

Congratulations to the GPS Contest winners Ian Fette (CMU) and Abhita Chugh (Stanford University). They each received iPAQ prizes generously donated by HP Labs.