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10-17-2017, 08:30 AM   #1
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Chinese K1 Version without GPS?

I'm currently based in China and trying to buy a K1. The other day I went to a shop ready to make the purchase when the guy told me that the Chinese version comes without the GPS. I was surprised since the model he showed me hat the GPS button on the top but he still insisted that it did not support GPS therefor also no Astrotracer. He did to have any carged batteries for me to test it.

I could not find any information on the web about that. Does anybody ever heard about this. If its even true I can only imagine that it is disabled in the firmware.

Even the Chinese Ricoh page advertises the GPS and Astrotracer feature so I'm totally confused

10-17-2017, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #2
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So far as I can tell, it should have GPS but it won't necessarily work as well as it might... Perhaps that's what the guy at the shop meant?

From an Imaging Resource article relating to the K-1:

"Of course, we live in a world where there are now multiple competing standard for satellite positioning systems, and so when one refers to GPS, it isn't immediately clear which systems the device is compatible with. For the Pentax K-3 II, it's compatible with the United States government's GPS system, but not other systems such as Russia's GLONASS, China's Beidou, Europe's Galileo or India's IRNSS. That doesn't mean it can't get a fix in these regions, though, as GPS has pretty-much global coverage -- it just means that it can't take advantage of the extra satellites from the rival systems to gain a faster, more accurate fix."
10-17-2017, 08:45 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
So far as I can tell, it should have GPS but it won't necessarily work as well as it might... Perhaps that's what the guy at the shop meant?

From an Imaging Resource article relating to the K-1:

"Of course, we live in a world where there are now multiple competing standard for satellite positioning systems, and so when one refers to GPS, it isn't immediately clear which systems the device is compatible with. For the Pentax K-3 II, it's compatible with the United States government's GPS system, but not other systems such as Russia's GLONASS, China's Beidou, Europe's Galileo or India's IRNSS. That doesn't mean it can't get a fix in these regions, though, as GPS has pretty-much global coverage -- it just means that it can't take advantage of the extra satellites from the rival systems to gain a faster, more accurate fix."
From Wikipedia: Due to national security concerns, the use of geographic information in China is restricted to entities that obtain a special authorization from the administrative department for surveying and mapping under the State Council.Consequences of the restriction include fines for unauthorized surveys, lack of geotagging information on many cameras when the GPS chip detects a location within China, incorrect alignment of street maps with satellite maps in various applications, and seeming unlawfulness of crowdsourced mapping efforts such as OpenStreetMap .

I have heard of people being arrested for "illegal mapping" for using GPS equipped devices.

Could be why the Chinese version of the K-1 apparently doesn't have GPS.
10-17-2017, 08:48 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by subsea Quote
Due to national security concerns, the use of geographic information in China is restricted to entities that obtain a special authorization...
...
Could be why the Chinese version of the K-1 apparently doesn't have GPS.
Fascinating! Thanks for that

10-17-2017, 09:04 AM   #5
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That's it. I think subsea you are absolutely right. I followed up on this and found this article on PetaPixel Why Your Digital Camera's GPS Might Not Work in China

I sure that's what the guy meant but due to language barrier I got on the wrong track.

Thank you guys a lot. I will get the help of a native speaker and go back and try again
10-17-2017, 12:47 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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Just talked to my Chinese friend, he says GPS definitely does work in China, so unless they physically took the antenna out of the camera you'll probably be good. He did say that's a possibility, so you should test it if you can.

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10-17-2017, 01:51 PM   #7
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Russia

Note that Russia is also problematic, but not in the same way. There's been a big controversy recently, because people are finding that GPS is extremely inaccurate, particularly in big cities and near military installations. Most people are finding things like the GPS receivers are placing them in the middle of bodies of water, for instance, because the Russians are spoofing the normal GPS signals with locally generated signals intended to fool GPS systems on weapons systems such as Tomahawk cruise missiles. Just within the last 2 months there have been reports in the news regarding this.
10-17-2017, 02:31 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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GPS is perfectly accurate in China (I've used my K3 II there), as it is anywhere on the globe: you get exact lat-long coordinates. However, published digital maps are skewed, that's the issue: they are off by a variable amount (order of 100s of metres) so that they don't give precise locations, unless you use an authorized conversion/encryption algorithm that the Chinese government controls.

10-17-2017, 02:34 PM   #9
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K-1 GPS worked fine in Beijing for me earlier this year. The maps in Lightroom seem very accurate.
10-17-2017, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bar_foo Quote
GPS is perfectly accurate in China (I've used my K3 II there), as it is anywhere on the globe: you get exact lat-long coordinates. However, published digital maps are skewed, that's the issue: they are off by a variable amount (order of 100s of metres) so that they don't give precise locations, unless you use an authorized conversion/encryption algorithm that the Chinese government controls.
Although not, perhaps, the OP's original intention, this is one of the more interesting threads I've read lately
10-17-2017, 02:52 PM   #11
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It could be only the version who are sold in China. IF you bring yours, from outside of China, it will work OK.
10-17-2017, 03:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bar_foo Quote
However, published digital maps are skewed, that's the issue: they are off by a variable amount (order of 100s of metres) so that they don't give precise locations, unless you use an authorized conversion/encryption algorithm that the Chinese government controls.
Indeed. It's weird browsing maps sourced via Google alongside maps sourced from Baidu, for example. When using Google-sourced maps, hotels you are looking for in some Chinese cities can end up hundreds of metres away from where Baidu [correctly] locates them.
10-17-2017, 07:04 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Just talked to my Chinese friend, he says GPS definitely does work in China, so unless they physically took the antenna out of the camera you'll probably be good. He did say that's a possibility, so you should test it if you can.
Using GPS to know where you are is generally okay. Using GPS to record where you are risks prosecution for unauthorized mapping and possession of state secrets. Geotagging a photo with GPS coordinates can potentially land you in jail if someone in power chooses to single you out.

Restrictions on geographic data in China - Wikipedia
11-03-2017, 03:40 PM   #14
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You have to re-calibrate a GPS when you travel a fairly good distance. So if you go to China or Europe from North America you should re-calibrate if you want fairly accurate GPS positions.
12-20-2017, 10:49 AM   #15
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GPS signals are available almost world wide - the pole regions are missing. You cannot selectively block the signal or temper with it easily - this is called the anti spoofing feature. You cannot track down a GPS device that is receiving signals as the device is not sending any data. You can on the other hand ban sales of GPS chips in cell phones, cameras, ..., but it is hard to track usage. Unless you run around China with a D-GPS unit, you should be covered. A position solution is calculated not calibrated. Yes you need to find your position again after long travels, but you will not get something a little off. Your cell phone GPS chip will give you 20m lateral precision in good conditions - everything else is magic - snap position to a road, use wifi signals, averaging and GLONASS satellites... Buildings, trees etc can block the signal or cause multi-pathing resulting in a bad position fix. GPS was not designed to work in cityscapes.
Remeber who designed GPS - it was not google, it was the military. You want to navigate world wide, you don't want soldiers to be tracked down using a GPS, you don't want any signal spoofing. For the longest time selective availability would alter the signal so that 100-200m was your best position fix with a single receiver. President Clinton gave us 20m for simple GPS devices.

We all use google maps, but google neither invented maps nor are they interested in making perfect maps. They sell location based services. A small error in the projection matrix will put you off 100m easily.

Taking a photo in the wrong place will get you into jail even faster - in many places of the world not only in China.
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