Arduino GPS distance calculator


GPS distance calculator created by a group of students from Indiana University, built as a final project:

 As sport fans, we thought it would be really useful to create a tool that would measure distance between two points. This could be used for many different sports, but we focused on golf. A handheld unit that could measure distance in yards from where a ball is hit and where it ends up is really what we were motivated to construct. Distance markers on golf courses are not always accurate and it is very important to know correct yardages to play well. This system could be used to keep track of the average distance for a certain club or to check the accuracy of yardage markers at the course.It works by recording latitude and longitude points of where the ball was hit from, and then calculate the distance from that location to wherever the ball lands.

Check out the video after the break.

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  1. I don’t want to downplay this, as you are probably going to learn a lot by building something like this. But to be quite honest I don’t think this is very useful in the field. Each smartphone can do these kind of tasks, is always available and is probably more accurate as it doesn’t rely on various approximations. Spherical geometry isn’t as easy as one might think, especially when taking into account that the earth is not exactly spherical.

    TinyGPS itself is claiming that there might be an error of up to 0.5%. Furthermore the provided source does some multiplication with “1.09361” (conversion from meters to yards), which introduces another source of error. We all know that the publically available GPS isn’t too great either, so when adding all of this up, the error might get substantial. The soccer field is probably 45 meters wide, which should be 49,21245 yards. This is a relative error of about 6,8 percent. I wouldn’t consider this very accurate ;).

  2. I’m terrible at golf – on the rare times I hit a good shot, I lose track of the golf ball.
    What I’d really like is some form of transponder, built in to the golf ball itself.

    That way, after the shot, I could find the distance covered – but also find the ball itself.

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