Making GPS tracklogs and geotagging when flying in an airplane?

Started by QuestionsGPS, April 18, 2013, 09:12:06 PM

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Hi, I emailed Delta Airlines if it's okay to use a handheld GPS when being a passenger in one of their airplanes.  They responded back with it's okay at cruise heights, although not when taking off or landing (apparently some airlines even say no GPS whatsoever).

Since I'm flying with Delta in a couple of weeks to Hawaii, I thought it could be fun to make a GPS tracklog to share on Facebook, and geotagg pictures I take out the window (probably would be more fun taking the pictures when I'm flying over the Continental U.S., rather than the open boring ocean part of it).

Anyway, would there be any special settings I'd need to set my Garmin Oregon 450 to, for the tracklog and geotagging to work properly?  Are there only a certain number of points in a track before the GPS archives it and starts a new one?  Because of that, would I need to tell it to only record the track every mile, rather than how I have it now at 1/100th of a mile?  Would I need to go to the time settings and tell it to not detect what time zone it's in, so that it'll allow me to "geotagg from track" later on?  If I don't do that, would BaseCamp get confused because it would see multiples of the same time within the same track?


I don't know the answers to all your questions, but I suspect you will want one of the automatic modes. Can the Oregon auto-archive when the tracklog is full (10,000 points)? I didn't think it could, although the Montana can definitely do this.

From my own experience, be sure to get a window seat or you may have trouble getting a good satellite fix.


Quote from: Boyd on April 18, 2013, 09:41:04 PM
Can the Oregon auto-archive when the tracklog is full (10,000 points)? I didn't think it could, although the Montana can definitely do this.

What I do know is if I drive so many hundreds of miles, with the Oregon set to record every 1/100th of a mile, part of the track will be cut off from the last time I turned it off and then on.  when I look in the "Archive" track section, I'll see something labeled Auto Archive such and such time /date.


You don't need to worry about GPS time.  It will all be UTC.  I'm pretty sure you'll just need to tell BaseCamp the offset to use for takeoff.  Will be zero if your camera is set to the same time as your starting airport.  I wouldn't count on a perfect track though.  Every time I try it cross country, I lose the satellites somewhere along the line.  The plane body just shields too many satellites to get a good fix.


Try to leave it on for a solid half hour that day or the day before you fly, in order to fully download satellite almanac data. That should improve your chance of getting a fix from the plane.


Have it on as close to the flight as possible.  I've done it a few times.

All garmin handhelds since the 60 series auto-archive tracks.  Even all newer Nuvis auto-archive.