[To jump straight to a page to determine the latitude and longitude for a tank you
have found, see Mapping].
Having started to record the locations of preserved tanks some quarter of a century
ago, it is clear to me that the biggest revolution in this has been the introduction
of satellite navigation. In the past, it was not unusual to spend half a day or
even a whole day trying to find a particular tank, particularly war wrecks around
Belgium and France or the Middle East. Having done that, it was important to record
the exact location, in reference to nearby towns, road names, etc. but it still
was not possible to guarantee that anyone following your directions could find it
themselves (especially when out in the middle of the countryside or desert).
That has all changed with the introduction of SatNav, which has the ability to record any vehicle location
as an unequivocal GPS
latitude and longitude. It is now an important aim of Armour Archive and this website to record and publicise
the GPS locations of all preserved tanks. Where known, such location information
will be added to each location description.
Specific satnav models and experiences with GPS are discussed here.
One interesting and convenient way to distribute GPS locations is through using
NavPix, as this method avoids the need to transfer complex numerical information
directly. Instead, the location data is recorded inside an image, typically a picture
of the particular tank or museum at that location. With compatible satnav systems
it is possible to upload the image to the satnav, select it, and be immediately
given directions to get there.
NavPix is primarily
a technology promoted by the manufacturer
NavMan, as an important feature of their satnavs, particularly those that incorporate
a camera (for instant creation of NavPix). Such images can also be used in satnavs
from other manufacturers, for example Mio. Navman has a NavPix Library website to publicise and share NavPix.
However, looking beyond the publicity it appears that NavPix actually use standard
data types (EXIF
data) recorded in the image so they are not in fact proprietary to any particular
manufacturer. In fact, that means that it is possible to create a NavPix retrospectively
if suitable software is available. Some initial experiments with IrfanView have been encouraging, and many other software
options appear to be available (e.g. Microsoft Pro Photo Tools) though they have not yet been
tested for use on this site.
Where a NavPix image is available for a particular vehicle or museum location it
is included amongst the displayed images for that location.
Unfortunately, of course, for most museum and vehicle locations there are no GPS
co-ordinates available, and it is likely to be some considerable time before they
are visited, or revisted, by someone with a GPS. Therefore a method is required
to determine such locations without a satnav, and for that purpose
Google Maps is used. The principle is straightforward - find the location
via Google Maps, zoom in on it, then record the latitude and longitude for the location.
In practice it is somewhat more complicated than that, and so a special map page
has been created tailored for this purpose. With this in place, Google Maps provides
a workable means to determine the latitude and longitude for a particular location
and has been used widely on this site.
Given that different locations are determined in different ways (e.g. directly from
a GPS or through NavPix, indirectly using Google Maps, etc.) systems are required
to collate these locations together, while keeping track of the relative accuracy
provided by each method.
For details of the Location Accuracy system used on this site see the