Gps Tracking Systems Replacing Paper Maps

GPS tracking systems use satellites that are in a geosynchronous orbit around the earth to determine exact locations of objects or individuals to within several feet of resolution. GPS was originally used for assisting in locating military targets and also for navigation purposes. Recently, as the price of GPS technology has come down, civilian use has increased and accuracy has increase as well since the military no longer degrades the signal.

There’s nothing like GPS tracking systems for keeping tabs on a company’s motorized assets. Not only do such systems help optimize drivers’ delivery performance, it also makes estimating delivery times far more accurate. These global positioning systems also make it possible to map out the best routes to maximize driver efficiency.

A potential down-side to increasing use of these devices is the invasion of privacy some see these devices as presenting. Already, commercial drivers have their daily trips catalogued and analyzed. Similarly GPS tracking device technology has already been shown to be effective at allowing the tracking of individuals as these devices have been implemented in espionage for years.

GPS has become a consumer tool as well; several new tools allow laymen to use GPS systems to plan hikes, find locations for fishing or camping, and find their way around unfamiliar places. Commercial GPS devices have given rise to “geocaching,” a pastime where participants search for hidden items using their latitude and longitude coordinates.

The miniaturization of Global Positioning Services has created a new component for auto owners, the GPS receiver. The driver can now find their exact location, get turn-by-turn directions, and have it delivered by voice. The days of folding or flipping maps are gone. New innovations include the ability to locate the nearest rest stop, dining establishment, bed and breakfast, or fueling station.

GPS devices are likely to become increasingly common as the cost of GPS devices decreases. GPS technology is quite flexible, and it is not difficult to envision it completely replacing current technologies such as paper maps. Nor is it difficult to imagine it playing an important role in new technologies. Who knows, perhaps one day GPS tracking will make loss and theft a thing of the past by providing real time information about the location of all our possessions.

Satellites allow GPS units to locate and track objects and people. GPS was first used by the United States military for targeting and navigation. Accuracy of the GPS signal for the general public has improved since the military stopped degrading the signal available to civilians. Delivery companies make widespread use of GPS vehicle tracking systems for scheduling and route efficiency. In private automobiles, GPS tracking systems simplify navigation. Outdoor enthusiasts have made GPS devices common in recreational pursuits. “Geocaching” is a hobby that uses a GPS tracking device to find hidden treasures. As prices drop, the use of the GPS system will continue to render older methods of navigation obsolete.

- Brad Seaborne

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