Reading data from GPS devices

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With a small GPS receiver on his wrist, Mike has been jogging through San Francisco neighborhoods. While catching his breath, safe at home, he visualizes the data he acquired while running with Perl.

A few years ago, portable GPS devices looked more like the clunky cellphones of the early 1990s. Today, athletes no longer need to drag along that much extra weight, as devices like the Garmin Forerunner 10 [1] have shrunk to the size of digital LED watches from the 1970s (Figure 1). These ultimate sports accessories log geographic coordinates during runs.

Figure 1: The wristwatch-sized GPS receiver logs the coordinates of points on the route traveled with timestamps.

Thus, runners can see how fast they are currently traveling and whether they need to speed up or slow down to achieve their own time goals. After completing all of this muscular activity, runners can then enjoy the experience of logging new speed records, viewing the running route on a map, reviewing the miles traveled, or marveling at an altitude profile of the route.

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