Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Clever GPS Enabled Trig Pillars

A keen-eyed Geographical reader sent me a great article today entitled "I'm a geographer". It is an interview with a sewage engineer who has the goal of being the first person to visit all 6100 surviving OS trig pillars. The paragraph he circled for me was amazing...

"....Some of the trig pillars I visit are still used today in the GPS network. They have signals buried deep into them that help to keep the satellite network functioning".

Well that's the first time I've heard of trig pillars keeping GPS on the road! As Martin wryly pointed out perhaps the trig pillar hunter should stick to sewage engineering. To be fair to the guy I've no idea what he said compared to what was published; but I'm similarly confounded that the Geographical editorial team deemed it intelligent copy. For the first time in my life I've actually sent in a letter to a magazine; I just couldn't let this one pass.

I wonder if those smart trig pillars are Galileo enabled too...?


DCV said...


Let's just hope the satellites are Gallileo capable first!

John said...

Unrelated comment:

Given the ubiquity of GPS, what's the point to Gallileo?

Ken said...

Changing the batteries might be a challenge!