GPS Systems

One of mans goals throughout the years has been determining his position in the world and that of those around him in order to explore, navigate and learn about his surroundings.Until recently this involved complicated readings using maps and compasses to gain a rough understanding of where you were in relation to your surroundings but now a system that is rapidly increasing in popularity, GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) makes this process a lot easier.

GPS came about when the US Ministry of Defence decided that they needed a more reliable way to figure out exactly where an individual man or vehicle was in the world and therefore they invested billions in a sophisticated satellite system to exactly pinpoint a position of a device on the globe.The system works using a constellation of 24 satellites and their base stations as reference points so that any device of the earths surface can triangulate its position exactly by measuring the time taken for radio signals to come from the satellites; the system is accurate on average to a metre or so.

This technology is becoming more and more prevalent in modern day devices ranging from car navigation systems, boat mapping systems and even modern computers.This has its obvious uses:

Location – You can easily find your current location in the world, even down to a number of centimetres wherever you are; especially useful if in remote areas of the world or at sea.

Navigation – Obviously if you know your current position and the positions of the objects around you then you are able to navigate the best route from one place to another.

Tracking – You can easily monitor the movement of people and objects in the world; especially good for tracking the military activity of countries considered hostile.

Mapping – Sophisticated and accurate maps can be created of the world in a more accurate way than would be possible without GPS.This is especially useful for areas of the world that haven’t yet been properly mapped.

As a good use for GPS, lets say for example that you have a GPS device in your car then the system can instantly pinpoint exactly where you are in the world.You can then state where you want to end up ultimately and the system will work out the best route for you based on the road maps stored in its database and guide you from start from finish.At any point you could look back down at the screen and you’d be able to tell exactly where on the M5 you currently were.Imagine a day when all mobile phones have GPS systems built in and if you ever get lost all you have to do is take a quick glance at your phone to discover where you were and which directions you would have to take to get to where you actually wanted to be.

As well as becoming more and more popular, GPS is also becoming more and more affordable.Many systems are already being incorporated into cars as standard and standalone GPS systems can be purchased for a couple of hundred pounds.


About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.