The group is kind of quiet, so I hope people don't mind if I post
something interesting that occurred in Guatemala. It is GPS related,
but not Central Texas related.
15.37, -90.35 (approx. coords.)
First some background. I grew up in San Cristobal, Alta Verapaz, just
a few clicks west of the coordinates I just gave. My brother is an
architect working in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. So he was amazed when he
found out that his firm was doing work with a company at the
coordinates I listed.
Our family was in Guatemala the end of June and the beginning of July.
While we were there, we decided to try to find my brother's company's
land. Armed with my iPad, we set off. Amazingly, the road east of
Santa Cruz from the Park Hotel was paved and in excellent condition.
Most of the people were Kekchi or Pokomchi, as expected, so we were
really caught off guard when we rounded a corner head on with a speed
skater. A couple of the Mayan kids had some inline skates and were
racing down the road looking like Olympic competitors.
Anyway, eventually, we had to turn off the paved road onto a dirt
road, which soon became a muddy road. Soon, the way looked like it
would become impassible, so we left the car and walked the rest of the
I brout my iPad with me keeping track of the coordinates, but I lost
the signal before we got there. The reason I lost a signal becomes
apparent when you view the local topography. You can do this
effectively by opening up Google Earth and entering the coordinates.
Then zoom in until you get ground view or the airplane simulator to do
a 360 view.
I measured the angle from the property to the tops of the hills there,
and it was generally around 40 degrees according to my iPad
inclinometer app. It's an amazingly beautiful place that the Google
earth view doesn't to justice to. The site is nestled in a hidden
valley surrounded by mountains on every side.
I didn't get a GPS signal again until we were several kilometers west
of the spot.