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Crowd Positioning System

Crowd Positioning System
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I was recently at a large open-air concert/festival with over 100,000 people, there were no seats and few land marks. The trouble was that whenever I left my family to visit the conveniences or get some food it is so darn hard to find them again, (they had not moved).

I propose a large banner with numbers 1..20 be put on one side of the field and another banner with letters A..Z on the adjacent side. Then place a large brightly coloured post in front of each banner. So that depending what angle you view the banner the post will point to a different number/letter.

From any position within the concert arena you can then triangulate your position by finding a letter and number, i.e. G12, R7 etc. And if you know what position your friends are at you can easily navigate towards them by walking in a direction that increases/decreases the numbers or letters.

orangedomino, Sep 09 2002

Jazz Festival Flag postcard http://www.wwoz.org/postcards/7.html
The New Orleans Jazz Festival audiences have a similar method for finding each other. Groups create their own banners so that their people can find them. There is a picture here [dbsousa, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Garmin Rino http://www.garmin.com/products/rino/
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       Create a grid with lasers about 3 or 4 metres up, and you've got the basis of a useful idea. Well, it would work at night, anyway, but that's when it's hardest to find your way. Parallax and perspective efects would be intriguing ........
8th of 7, Sep 09 2002
  

       Augment the proposal like [8th of 7]'s idea but use a physical grid (small steel cables maybe) with row/aisle coordinates hanging from each intersection.   

       Another thing that works is one of those little safety strobe beacon thingies.   

       "encapsultated"?
bristolz, Sep 09 2002
  

       FRS radios... Nextel... GPS beacons.. Flare Pistols? (Oh, Bliss already mentioned those). Leave a trail of peanuts.
Mr Burns, Sep 09 2002
  

       Depending on your location on the planet, an ordinary GPS could solve this problem well enough. But not everyone has a GPS.   

       Seems like just the banners might be enough, without the pole. (But then, I may just be saying that because I don't totally grasp how the pole would work.) Speaking as the person with the world's worst sense of direction, any help in this area is appreciated.
half, Sep 09 2002
  

       Try sketching it on paper with lines of sight from your position through the pointer poles. It's pretty ingenious. It would also work with two poles in front of one banner.
FarmerJohn, Sep 09 2002
  

       unwind a long piece of string (attach it to your partner's ankle perhaps) - worked for Theseus.   

       [half] your sense of direction is better than mine.
po, Sep 09 2002
  

       Part of the pleasure of festivals is getting lost, waylaid and distracted on the way to rendezvouses. Can you really enjoy being alive in the context of a grid reference system? Most of us have such externally regulated lives that we would be loath to over-control these last bastions of chaos. Ask Michael Eavis.
shameless_self_reference, Sep 09 2002
  

       - long to reign over us. it usually rains at these events too, which does not help.
po, Jan 19 2003
  

       Another way to deal with this problem is Garmin's "Rino" product. This is a pair of GPS receivers with integrated walkie talkie. Along with voice, you can transmit your coordinates to the other radio. So if you leave one radio with the family and take one with you, you can be given directions at the press of a button. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Jan 22 2003
  
      
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