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.
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.
- 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:
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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