Improved GPS monitoring with the GoPro HERO11

The GoPro HERO11 tracks multiple satellite constellations

A bike ride using GPS data from a Garmin device and a GoPro camera

In optimal conditions, the HERO11 performs well with standalone activity trackers

A road with overlaid GPS data from two GoPro models

The new action cam does not improve the GPS accuracy of its predecessor

The new flagship action camera improves its geolocation capabilities

This upgrade expands the possibilities of the action camera in professional areas such as technology, fitness and motorsport.”

-Juan Irache

BARCELONA, SPAIN, Sept. 30, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The recent launch of the GoPro HERO11 introduced action camera fans to a larger sensor and long exposure modes, but another significant upgrade went largely unnoticed: the GPS module that enables geolocation videos and displaying metrics such as speed, altitude and g-force, has been updated for the first time since 2016.

The team at Telemetry Overlay analyzed the stability and accuracy of GPS data recorded by the HERO11 and the results are promising: the camera tends to find a GPS lock faster, is able to maintain a valid location in more difficult situations, and appears to be recording a more accurate position than his predecessors. How did GoPro do it?

One step back, two steps forward

The key change that made this improvement possible isn’t so much in the hardware as it is in the firmware. Previous models could record GPS data at an impressive 18 samples per second. While this put them ahead of many dedicated activity trackers, the GPS chip could only achieve that number by locking onto a single GNSS constellation, which hurt reliability. A constellation is a group of geolocation satellites, such as the American GPS, the Russian GLONASS, the Chinese BeiDou or the European Galileo. The more satellites a GPS antenna reads, the more accurate the GPS coordinates tend to be. The new HERO11 uses a lower frequency for the GPS module: only 10 Hz (10 samples per second). This allows the included U-Blox MAX-M10S module to read data from up to 3 constellations simultaneously. For most users, time-to-lock and overall accuracy were more common concerns than high-frequency data, so the change shouldn’t have many critics.

HERO10 users are not left out

While the change was introduced with the launch of the HERO11, a firmware update also lowered the GPS frequency in HERO10 cameras to 10Hz. The benefit is less obvious in this case, but still likely given last year’s model over a different one GPS module (UBX-M8030-CT) that can perform two simultaneous constellations at 10 Hz. Interestingly, supply chain constraints seem to have forced GoPro to include the HERO11’s newer module in some HERO10 units, allowing some users to see the full benefit of the update.

Do more with telemetry data

This analysis was possible thanks to the Telemetry Overlay and Telemetry Extractor tools, which display and extract endless GPS and sensor metrics from videos and compatible activity trackers.

Juan Irache
Telemetry Overlay
app@prototyping.barcelona
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Testing the HERO11’s GPS capabilities

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Sep 30, 2022 at 11:29 am


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