Global Positioning Systems, better known as GPS, has become an integral part of everyday life. From how we move from place to place to how we defend our borders, GPS can be used to enhance our directional accuracy considerably.
These days, locating an establishment you’ve never been to is as easy as asking your phone for directions. GPS makes this seemingly small action possible, the same ways it allows the military to launch accurate missile strikes on targets that are continents away from their base.
GPS is one of those technologies that crept up on everyone and entwined itself with other useful technologies to become invaluable in our ever-growing world. To fully understand just how vital GPS is in the modern world, it is necessary to see just what this technology, in its entire expedience, helps us achieve in different areas.
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It may seem like years since you last drove somewhere solely relying only on road signs and printed maps, doesn’t it? That’s because GPS has made transportation so easy that we may have forgotten how far we’ve advanced technologically.
These days, all you need to do to get from point A to point B is to key in the location of point B into your vehicle’s GPS. Navigating unfamiliar places no longer requires the need for physical maps as GPS satellites do all the work for you. GPS eliminates the risk of getting lost or missing the right exits when traveling across states, but it also drastically improves how quickly we get from one point to another.
Real-Time Positioning Data
Real-time GPS data has numerous applications. If you’ve been to a racetrack recently, you may have noticed that it is no longer necessary to be anywhere near the tracks while the races go on. That’s because GPS devices are attached to racehorses these days, and these provide crucial real-time data. Viewers don’t even have to be in attendance anymore to enjoy such events; play-by-play commentary usually accompanies the real-time visual feed of the horses as they race around the track.
Long-range missiles need GPS to strike their targets accurately. This technology is what keeps them on-course even when they encounter strong winds and other changes in weather that can divert them from their intended path.
Military personnel deploy the use of GPS-controlled missiles when their targets are in areas with high risk of collateral damage. For them, accuracy is a matter of life and death, and without GPS, it is almost impossible to know whether these missiles will land on the specified targets.
This is only one of several GPS applications that improve military operations.
Navigating the seas requires pinpoint accuracy; otherwise, a lot of sailors’ lives would be lost at sea. GPS is vital in maritime navigation, not just because it shows us where to go, but also because it enables us to detect storms and severe weather before we encounter it.
Weather satellites, satellite imaging and sea-depth-reading devices all utilize GPS technology, and they are crucial to our survival when we’re out at sea.
Fleet management and GPS go hand-in-hand these days. Logistics companies use GPS systems to monitor their drivers, keep track of their consignments and to obtain useful real-time data such as total drive time, number of stops made and the average speed of travel.
It can also be used on multiple vehicles at once, making it a rich source of comparative vehicle data as well.
Other areas in which GPS technology has proven useful include on the internet where geotagging has made it possible to attach a location to all posts and media. GPS hasn’t been around for very long, but it is already evident that it is one of the technologies humankind will not be able to do without as we go into the future.