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Saturday, April 9, 2016
When Did GPS Start In The Open Water Swimming World?
Open water swimmers have the benefit of all kinds of global positioning systems and tools: Suunto Ambit3 Sport GPS watch, FINIS Hydro Tracker GPS, Garmin Forerunner 310XT, IOLITE GPS-enabled swim goggles, and myriad other devices.
But GPS has not been around too long in the open water swimming world. We want to figure out how long and when was GPS first utilized in the open water swimming world.
In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton recognized the importance of GPS to both civilian and military users. In 1998, Vice President Al Gore announced plans to upgrade GPS with two new civilian signals for enhanced user accuracy and reliability (known as GPS III). In 2004, Qualcomm announced successful tests of assisted GPS for mobile phones and in 2005, the first modern GPS satellite was launched and began transmitting a second civilian signal (L2C) for enhanced user performance.
By the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a centimeter-scale level of GPS precision based on the Quazi-Zenith Satellite System with a constellation of 7 different satellites and a ground network of 1,200 reference stations will enable precision to be about 1.3 cm horizontally and 2.9 cm vertically.
But we are trying to figure out the earliest use of GPS that guided channel and marathon swimmers and helped map open water swimming courses.
One of the latest applications of GPS in the open water swimming world was recently created by Evan Morrison (see MSF Tracks). MSF Tracks is a global database of open water swimming GPS tracks. It currently has an archive of 132 marathon swims ranging from Hendrik Meerman's Round Angel Island Swim in 2011 to Antonio Argüelles' Molokai Channel crossing in 2016.
For more information, visit MSF Tracks here.
If any swimmer or race director or escort boat pilot used GPS in their open water swims or channel crossing prior to 2010, email Daily News of Open Water Swimming.
Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.