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GPS Software as seen on Television

Updated Saturday 22nd December 2012 UK time

from 1992: the military origins of Robin's GPS Software: see the " The Barossa Operation" page and the Barossa video
from 1996: an extract from " GPSS on Put It To The Test " (7MB) broadcast on ITV Meridian TV, then BBC1 TV nationwide.
Robin's December 2007 attempt at a promotional video: " GPS Software from Sunninghill " (10MB)
2008 until now: crazy Snoopy Sloop robot boat. Checkout the BBCTV South broadcast below, then play our "Snoopy sails !" video :-)
from 2008: amusing spoof video is on Robin effects USA Election result ? - what could have happened :-)
from 2012: Play the BBC TV South video of Snoopy's launch, filmed by reporter Ben Moore, then see our family video of Ben getting wet too ! NEW !
the Lovelock family take up dancing, dressed as elves for Christmas: checkout the video "here" :-)
All Robin's youtube videos are on www.youtube.com/user/RobinLovelock or, if that fails, here
More details, including pictures, from some of these TV broadcasts, are below. Enjoy! :-)

Robin Robin This page shows the many times that GPSS has been featured in UK Television broadcasts - mostly years ago, when Robin had a moustache :-) Maybe this will give ideas to some of you outside the UK on how GPSS might appear on TV Networks in your own country.

The picture further below was from when the BBC used GPSS "for real", tracking people both in vehicles and on foot. This was for an internal "pilot" programme where pairs of people started 100 miles apart and there was a race to see which couple met first. They were all tracked in the studio. The detailed map is from Bartholomew, and discussed in detail on the UK download page.

Another programme, and in some ways both amusing and exciting development, was GPSS being used as special effects for "NCS Manhunt" - an action packed police drama starring David Suchet. Amusing ? - because this is where fact has preceeded fiction by several years. Exciting ? - even the trailer "knocked my socks off" :-)

Here are the known UK Television broadcasts that have appeared: BBCTV Centre

  • Meridian TV News, 5th May '95, Nick Knowles (Early GPSS in a Lexus Soarer).
  • London Motor Show, BBC1 National News, 17 Oct '95, Chris Wain (his car).
  • London Motor Show, Carlton ITV, 17 Oct '95, Paul Larsman (Robin's Merc)
  • London Motor Show, BBC1 NRSE, 18 Oct '95, Simon Montegue (Robin's Merc)
  • "Technophobe's Guide to the Future" BBC2 23rd April '96 (Silva's Volvo).
  • Meridian TV News on May 24th '96 (Finding Falcons by Satellite, Robin's Merc).
  • "Out and About" BBC2 7.30 pm May 30th '96 (on foot).
  • Meridian Television. "Put It To The Test". 27th Nov '96. (Police/Car Security)
  • Yorkshire Television. "Tonight" Programme. 27th Nov. (Notebook PC game)
  • "Put It To The Test". BBC1 Tues 21 Jan '97. Carol Vorderman (Police/Security)
  • "NCS Manhunt". BBC1 9pm 26 March 2001 + earlier trailers. (Police drama).
  • "Radio Foxhunters". Carlton East Midlands 6pm News on 6th August 2001.
  • "Geocaching" Click-Online. BBC World Television: 10th-16th January 2002.
  • "The Web Review" on UK Ch3 (ITV1) in the early hours of 18th November 2002.
  • Snoopy-Sloop the Robot Boat. BBC TV South Lunchtime News: 27th December 2012

These pictures below are in reverse chronological order - those appearing first are from the recent BBCTV South news coverage of Robin's Robot Boat launch. Those at the bottom are from the news broadcast on Meridian local Television in May '95. Software appearing in this first broadcast was the original DOS prototype, and GPSS v1 released on PC Magazine CDs.

Snoopy-Sloop the Robot Boat. BBC TV South: 27th December 2012

Not GPSS, but it did include Robin, three GPS, some bespoke GPS software he squeezed into a picaxe - and Snoopy :-)

BBC TV South broadcast of launch, reported by Ben Moore, BBC Reporter

Snoopy was launched at 1130am Tuesday 27th November 2012, but something pulled him into Alum Bay, Isle of Wight. Snoopy last reported on the rocks at 1939 (7:39pm) in Alum Bay, then stopped reporting - water in his electronics ? Snoopy may have sailed over 5000 miles on Bray Lake this year, in winds over 50mph, but hard rocks are something else ! :-) Play the BBC TV South video of Snoopy's launch, filmed by reporter Ben Moore, then see our video of Snoopy's launch - with Ben getting wet too ! on youtube or here :-)

Geocaching: Click-Online: BBC World Television: 10th-16th January 2002

Not GPSS, but it did include Robin and GPS :-) A television feature on Geocaching was broadcast into 200 million homes. Robin, Tony and friends helped BBC World make this "Click Online" TV feature. It was broadcast on worldwide TV networks nine times from 10th until 16th January 2002. Please visit TVINRAIN for the "inside story" and www.caching.info for more information on Geocaching.

Robin shows Sevan a GPS... Poppy & Sam find the geocache... Tony Wale explains...
Geocache Page

Radio "Fox-Hunters": Carlton East Midlands TV News

Monday 6th August 2001: Carlton TV 6pm News in the UK East Midlands area: A couple of guys in the Nottingham area of UK doing some Radio DF "Fox-hunting". That aerial on top of their car is whizzing round at about 1 rev. a second - no wonder they attract attention :-) This hobby involves them using radio to track down the "fox" - a radio transmitter. More is on the Radio Direction Finding Page.
DF Car DF Map Dave Bullock

"NCS:Manhunt" BBC1 9pm Monday 26th March 2001

Starring David Suchet, Samantha Bond, Keith Barron, Kenneth Cranham, Phyllis Logan and - of course - the GPS Software, GPSS :-) The BBC paid for GPSS to be used as special effects within the covert tracking sequences of this "Crime Double" drama. A National Crime Squad team tracking down Ricky Valesi, a particularly nasty villain. All mapping appearing was provided by Bartholomews and typical of that delivered on real police systems several years earlier. Sometimes fact preceeds fiction - see below.
Dave+LSD David Suchet Surprise

"Put It To The Test" with Carol Vordeman, Nick Knowles

Light hearted science programme made by Topical Television, showing GPSS being used in a Lexus Soarer driven by Nick Knowles. GPSS was also used in "chase" mode within a Thames Valley Police Vauxhall Astra. The programme was filmed in October 1996, broadcast on Meridian local Television in November, and again on BBC1 throughout the UK in January '97. More details are on the Car Security & "Chase" page
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"Tonight" on Yorkshire Television.

This was a "team challenge" with the three blind-folded contestents dropped in the middle of the countryside, with no paper map ("not computery enough is it") but a GPS and Laptop running GPSS. They had to find their way back to Yorkshire Television Centre.
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"Finding Falcons with Satellites"

Meridian Television News. Gary Morris gives demonstrations of Falconry, and uses the transmitters to ensure the birds do not fly off and get lost. Filmed by Meridian TV at Dorney Court near Windsor by Meridian Television, and broadcast on Friday 24th May.
More details are on the Finding Falcons with Satellites page
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"Technophobe's Guide to the Future"

BBC2 23rd April '96. Nick Higham and Tony Wale, MD of Silva (UK).
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"London Tonight" with Allister Stewart & Paul Larsman

Precious quotes from this piece, broadcast only hours after filming, were Allister's opening remarks of, "if you hate back seat drivers - you'll really hate this ..", and Paul Larsman's introduction of, "don't be fooled by the old banger - it's really a mobile laboratory for what is claimed to be the most advanced navigation system in the world.."
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BBC1 Lunchtime News with Chris Wain

We really thought we were living dangerously when Chris Wain came to Sunninghill : the Laptop PC was trained to recognise his voice and everything installed in his car - for some pretty hairy filming around local roads - and it all worked.
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BBC Newsroom South East with Simon Montegue

Simon Montegue also came to Sunninghill, so that his piece broadcast from the London Motor Show could include something actually working, 'on the road'. Not so long after this, Simon went off on his 'round the world' sailing adventure, on 'BT Global Challenge' - and got back safely. See the news page for more on this under 'Knight Riders Kitt'.
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Meridian Television News with Nick Knowles

This Meridian Television news feature was broadcast on 5th May '95, having been filmed a month ealier. It was our first TV publicity, and was Michelle Lovelock's debut as a TV star - along with her friend Julie. Nick starts the programme asking where the nearest petrol station is, gives up asking the locals, and asks the computer instead :-)
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Other people appearing included Robin, Clive de Carle of Rare Imports, and Martin Dix of Intek. Carol Parks, next door, was heard speaking French from the 'mouth' of the computer - Carol teaches French at a local school. Software used was the DOS prototype and the very first version of GPSS, shortly before it was released for publication on PC Magazine CDROMs, for issue to the UK public in the summer of '95.