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Global Positioning System

Essay by   •  February 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  350 Words (2 Pages)  •  841 Views

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A global positioning system (GPS) consists of one or more earth-based receivers that accept and analyze signals sent by satellites in order to determine the receiver's geographic location. A GPS receiver is a handheld or mountable device, which can be secure to an automobile, boat, airplane, farm and construction equipment, or a computer. Some GPS receivers send location information to a base station, where humans can give you personal directions.

GPS has a variety of uses: to locate a person or object; ascertain the best route between two points; monitor the movement of a person or object; or create a map (Slifka 16-19). GPSs help scientists, farmers pilots, dispatchers, and rescue workers operate more productively and safely. A new rescue worker, for example, might use a GPS to locate motorist stranded in a blizzard. A surveyor might use GPS to create design maps for construction projects.

GPSs also are popular in consumer products for travel and recreational activities (Microsoft Word 2002 Project 2). Many cars use GPSs to provide drivers with directions or other information, automatically call for help if the airbag deploys, dispatch roadside assistance, unlock the driver's side door if keys are locked in the car, and track the vehicle if it is stolen. For cars not equipped with a GPS, drivers can mount or place one in the glove compartment. Hikers and remote campers also carry GPS receivers in case the need help or directions.

A New use of GPS places the device on a computer chip. The chip, called Digital AngelÐ'™, is worn as a bracelet or chain or woven into fabric and has an antenna that communicates with a GPS satellite (Dugan and Rosen 42-50). The chip measures and sends biological information to the GPS satellite. If the information relayed indicates a person needs medical attention, dispatchers can send emergency medical help immediately. Other possible uses of Digital AngelÐ'™ include locating a missing person or pet tracking parolees, and protecting valuables. Retailers take advantage if this technology, too. Fro example a Coffee shop could send a coupon into a handheld computer as the people walk be their store.

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