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Sunday, May 8, 2011

See How GPS Is At Work In Our Daily Lives

GPS has you covered
When most people think of GPS technology, I think the first thought is keeping track of where your going in your car.  Or if your on a hiking expedition so you don't get lost.  But there are vastly different uses for it in todays world.

Ways that you may know and some you might not know about.  In this article we will explore some of the other ways it's being used.  Primarily GPS is used for location or locating a particular point of interest.  The GPS unit will get its coordinates from the Systems satellites and calculate its position to within 35 feet on earth.

Brief History:

It is a remarkable system. GPS was first designed in the 1960's for the military. Then later, President Clinton opened it up for use to everyone in the 1990's. There are 2 companies who jumped on the bandwagon to create hand held units for consumers. And they are the oldest and most recognizable.
  • Garmin
  • And Magellan 

Other Ways For It:

These are the oldest, but today in 2011 there many more companies who manufacture them for consumers. What are some of the other ways and uses for them?  Besides the Military, here are other industries that use the technology:
    Aviation uses GPS
  • Police, Fire and other emergency service units 
  • Aviation Aircraft
  • Mapping, Construction, and Surveying Companies
  • Automobile Manufacturers 
  • Rescue Operations - Such as the Chilean Miners last year 
  • The Trucking Industry 
  • GPS Equipped Balloons - For Weather
  • Archaeologists, Biologists, and Explorers 
These are a few of the ways we see GPS at work in our daily lives.  In fact I'm sure most of you know that GPS is built right into every Cell Phone manufactured.  No, I'm not talking about the Apps that you can download to your Iphone or Android phone, that make it a hand held unit.  Although, that is really cool.

What I'm talking about is your cell phone has GPS built into the 911 emergency capability of the phone. You have 2 options for it.  Set it to "911 only" or "always on."  Truth is all cell phones have GPS tracking ability.  Whether its set to 911 emergency or not.  It is a tracking device, as long as there is power to it.

The Niche Details:

Let's run down that list of uses up there, and give a little more detail to them.  Emergency services units such as Police, etc., use it to determine the nearest available units to an accident or other emergency.  GPS for these folks results in many lives saved because of being able to get to the scene of the emergency much faster. 

trucking companies use gps
The GPS's ability to calculate the exact longitude and latitude has been and will continue to be a lifesaver to many who otherwise may not make it in life and death situations.  A very good use for the GPS System.

Most all Aviation Aircraft have it installed now and its uses are wide.  One such use would be for the autopilot system in airplanes.  Helping the aircraft and air-traffic controllers to navigate the sky's much more safely.

Another aircraft use, is it helps in the wild fires that some states have to plot the area of a wild fire so the firemen on the ground can get updated maps to the hottest key fires.  Thereby helping in fighting the fires for maximum control.

Construction companies use GPS to help them in the building process.  One such use was in the construction of the English Channel tunnel.  The British and French workers started construction from opposite sides of the channel.  The GPS system helped them to make sure they met right in the middle.

Construction crews rely on the GPS to help them mine and use mine equipment much more safely. Thereby saving these companies time and money.  Not to mention, saving costly accidents that might cost lives as well.

Of course as most know, that Automobile Corporations are building the GPS capability right into the vehicle's on-board computer systems.  Soon all makes and models of cars, trucks, etc. will have it built in. The first and most notable being the GM Onstar System.  A very useful system for GM and it's customers.

Other rescue options for the use of GPS, are such as last year when the Chilean Miners were rescued from 700m underground.  GPS was used to pinpoint the perfect place to drill the rescue hole.  Some of you may remember it was used in 2002, for the rescue of miners in Somerset, PA.

automotive industry uses gps
The Trucking Industry has a wide array of uses such as tracking company trucks on runs. Tracking mileage, time of driving, and speed. It also help those companies to keep track of the drivers log books as well.

Weather Stations such as the US National Weather Service use GPS on balloons to give constant location updates of storms, and also in the case of hurricanes and tornados to measure wind speed and direction, altitude, barometric pressure of the storms, and many other critical updates to them, for your's and my safety.

Archaeologists and Biologists can even use GPS to help them locate Ancient Ruins and migrating animals, as well as study endangered species of animals, such as Manatees, Giant Pandas and many others.

In Closing:

The uses for GPS are almost endless. It's as endless as the imagination. You've just seen a few here in this article.  Can you add anymore to this list?  If so, if you leave a comment please share your experience with us.

Thanks for coming by...


Garmin is a great brand for GPS units i have never had a problem with it, its is mindblowin to know that a little piece of electronic equipment can give you direct directions to anywhere.

Its pretty neat that the smart phones have navigation systems in them. Not good for Garmin or Magellan but neat non-the-less.

@ Chicago....GPS is very powerful stuff for sure. Thanks for the comment.

@ Kedron....Agreed. Thanks for your comment.

Hey Kev,

What occurred in my mind when I saw your title is the GPS apps on So basically this can be used by 911 and other organizations right? But we can't unless we install those apps? Though they're indeed helpful for everyone and its better that only authorized organizations can use them for our own safety.


@ Chicago...not sure if I know quite what you mean. But all phones have the GPS built in to them. When you install the apps for GPS thats something different. Not sure if they can work the same or not for the 911 thing.

Good read on this. I learn something new. Thanks!

I don't know where I would be without my GPS. I have a Garmin nuvi in my car and GPS built into my mobile. They make great gifts and since new models are coming out, they're becoming more affordable.

Thanks for the comments guys....keep coming back. Appreciate it.

My GPS is my best friend. Wherever I go, I need it. Thank God I just upgraded my phone so I have a built in GPS in it, but it doesn't talk to me like my Nuvi :)