Advances in satellite technology have transformed the media and telecommunications industries in just a few decades. One particular output is the global positioning system (GPS). It is technically a system consisting of satellites, ground stations, and receivers. GPS data transmission is in our phone, our car, and the collar of our pet. GPS has also expanded into personal navigation units through devices that are capable of GPS simulation. But with the growing popularity of GPS, where exactly can we find its many applications in our day-to-day lives?
1. Road Navigation
The most common GPS application is in our vehicles. Road signs and maps are a thing of the past now that GPS is steering every drive. Getting from point A to point B is so convenient that GPS satellites lead you to your destinations without any problems. Getting lost on the road is no longer a worry.
2. Real-time Positioning
Smartphones are GPS-capable. There are wristbands with a GPS device on them. Tags attached to bags or clothing in department stores have GPS, too. Geotagging on the Internet is GPS-powered as well. Through applications designed to tell where you or an object is, GPS has also conquered the commercial world.
3. Sports Events
Real-time GPS is also now heavily used in sports. Racehorses are now guided with GPS technology. In golf, tracking a wayward golf ball does not require wading through tall grass or scouring into the lagoon anymore. Golf balls now contain a small GPS chip inside. Other sports such as association football are also using GPS to track player speed and heart rate, among others.
4. Wildlife Conservation and Livestock Agriculture
If your pet cat has a collar with a GPS microchip, you should not be surprised if wildlife biologists have been using the technology in the field for some time now to track animals. Captive wildlife, before release, is attached with GPS collars to improve survival rates. On the farm, GPS is now used in cattle grazing to manage the herd better.
5. Maritime Navigation
Of course, ships and boats heavily rely on GPS for pinpoint accuracy in navigation. GPS has long been a mariner’s tool. The technology does not just guide them to their destination; it also helps them detect and avoid storms or severe weather. Weather satellites and underwater reading devices use GPS technology to ensure that navigation is smoother and safer.
Managing fleet efficiently for logistics companies would never be a possibility if it were not for GPS systems. They can monitor their drivers, track consignments, and locate where their units are. GPS also allows them to obtain real-time data on total drive time, average speed, and the number of stops made.
7. Crime Management
In crime management, especially in the U.S., the police use GPS bullets to track criminals. Particularly those escaping in a car, one shot at the car is enough to locate where the car (and criminal) is. With the GPS data transmitted, law enforcement can see the car’s trail, allowing them to end the chase effectively.
8. Military Applications
Missiles, especially long-range ones, require GPS for accurate strikes. Even in the midst of bad weather, the GPS-guided missiles can proceed without being diverted. The use of GPS in the military is built on the purpose of reducing collateral damage significantly.
GPS technology applications are so widespread nowadays that almost every aspect of human life makes use of it. Their applications are nearly boundless. As long as humans keep on refining communication for precision and efficiency, GPS will always be there.