Today’s modern society means ownership of a bevy of gadgets guaranteed to elevate us to new levels of convenience. What would we do with our cell phones, PDA’s, and Blackberry’s? And now, there’s another handy gadget that sits in our palm; it may be small but it harnesses an enormous amount of power and brings it streaming right to our hands. The Global Positioning System – or GPS system – is the newest of modern gadgets that promises to keep us on the cutting edge of technology.
The GPS system uses the positioning of 24 satellites that circle the earth to pinpoint any location in the world. Having been developed by the United States Department of Defense, the GPS system was initially intended for military use when the first operational satellite was launched in 1978. However, by the mid-90’s, 23 more satellites had been added to the rotation and the modern GPS system was born. Today’s civilian consumers have taken the system and elevated it to ever-growing popularity.
The GPS system of today includes a network of devices used for mapping, navigation, and tracking that has replaced the compass and paper road maps of yesteryear. Users operate their GPS system in a variety of ways – from the computer mapping device to the navigational system available in newer cars.
One part of the GPS system is the GPS receiver – a hand-held device that receives its information from government satellites. Using this information, the GPS receiver does a series of latitudinal and longitudinal calculations that can precisely pinpoint the user’s location. A small screen will literally mark the location of the user amidst a larger map that shows surrounding points of reference. This can be enormously beneficial in a number of situations including the use by outside enthusiasts who frequently camp and hike.
The GPS system that seems to be most in use today is the navigational unit found in modern vehicles. While some units are portable and can be transferred from one vehicle to another, there are others that are permanently mounted in newer cars as part of their standard features. This GPS system – when given a specific address – can navigate the driver to their destination including turns, landmarks, and distances of all portions of the trip.
Most importantly, the GPS system of today is one that provides you with the most convenience that is specific to your needs and frequency of use.