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GPS Mall Car finder

locate your car anywhere in the parking lot!
  [vote for,

powerful sattellite technology finally put to practical use! as you lock your car for an afternoon of maxing out your card, a beeper is activted which plots the relative position of your car from the store you're in. how about THAT?
bluefloyd, Jan 17 2001

Introduction to GPS http://www.geog.le....jad7/gps/intro.html
For [rachele]. A GPS locator is a little device that uses GPS (the satellite-based Global Position System) to tell you where it is (and, by extension, where you need to go to get to some other specific point, e.g. your car.) [jutta, Jan 17 2001]


       Even though I hate malls and I hate to shop, I think this is a bitchen' idea. That's because EVERY parking lot in Atlanta is jammed, no matter where I go. And I drive a pretty nondescript, old blue BMW that looks like everyone else's car around here, so I've actually attempted to unlock car doors that, on second glance, reveal themselves to be the wrong car. I hate that. I get sort of embarrassed, like maybe the real owner has spotted me or something.   

       Anyway, what is a GPS locator? Please explain. (I like the idea of pushing in the faces of people who just push their grocery carts off into the parking lot after they've unloaded their purchases, because for some reason every one of them has a cart whose wheels are always aimed in the direction of my parking space.)
rachele, Jan 22 2001

       Why not just carry a standard handheld GPS unit and mark a waypoint when you park? Now that SA is off, you get sufficient accuracy to pinpoint your exact parking spot, which could come in handy should you happen to also forget what your car looks like. (A benefit at least as useful to frequent car renters as it is to the very absent minded).   

       Of course, none of this is useful if you're prone to forgetting either your GPS receiver or the fact that you drove in the first place.
mab, Jan 22 2001

       [sp: satellite.]   

       No, no, no. I don't want yet another thing to keep track of. GPS needs to be built into car fobs. (Erm. I mean the remote entry devices that one uses instead of mechanical keys. What are those called?) Drivers already know how to keep track of car fobs; they already mark leaving their car. All it needs is a little LCD screen. (Or, if I had my way, a little compass needle under plexiglas on paper that jitters more as you get close.)   

       (Of course, we also need to either do away with parking garages or have little personal parking garage GPS satellites to replace the real ones. Details...)
jutta, Jan 22 2001

       Will someone please tell me what a GPS-thingy is--I mean, once you stop laughing at my ignorance?   

       I definitely don't want another thing to keep track of. I mean, I've found my car keys in the YARD on more than one occasion, and the day after I lost them!
rachele, Jan 22 2001

       See the link under the main idea text. (Found by using www.google.com to search for "introduction to GPS" and picking the first good-looking link - something you can do, too.)
jutta, Jan 23 2001


       Thank you! Now THAT makes sense. I wonder why this hasn't been done? I think it's a great idea. Other possible uses might include: the missing sock, the car keys, the lost earring...seriously, using this to find your car is just brilliant.   

       What a great suggestion this was. I hope the contributor takes this idea and runs with it.
rachele, Jan 23 2001


       No, it's just that I'm not a hopeless geek who doesn't have a life. Duh, Peter.
rachele, Jan 26 2001

       [makes cat noises]
jutta, Jan 27 2001


       Noises? Those were scratches.
rachele, Jan 27 2001

       How would in work in underground or multistorey carparks? Peter Sealy - here in Geneva where most of the carparks are as above, many car parks have little, tear-off pads of paper with the location printed on it attached to the columns in the carpark. Bloody Swiss efficency. I've always fancied swapping a few round to see what sort of pandemonium I could create, but knowing Switzerland this is probably an offence punishable by death or 10 years hard cuckoo-clock making (whichever is the worse).
Gordon Comstock, Jan 27 2001

       I had this idea recently (before reading about it here) and decided to do a patent search. Lo and behold there is US patent #6,489,921, "Vehicle locating apparatus", filed July 12, 2001. Pretty much as described.
NewIntellectual, Dec 08 2003


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