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									GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Home » Applications » Roads & Highways




Roads & Highways
“The promise of GPS technology for increasing safety and security, reducing congestion, and
improving efficiency are limitless. Quite simply, GPS has become the enabling technology for
transportation.”

Jeffrey N. Shane, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation

Benefits

      Higher levels of safety and mobility for all surface transportation system users.
      More accurate position determination to provide greater passenger information
      More effective monitoring to ensure schedule adherence, creating a transit system
       more responsive to transportation users needs.
      Better location information with electronic maps to provide in-vehicle navigation
       systems for both commercial and private users.
      Increased efficiencies and reduced costs in surveying roads.

It is estimated that delays from congestion on highways, streets, and transit systems
throughout the world result in productivity losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars
annually. Other negative effects of congestion include property damage, personal injuries,
increased air pollution, and inefficient fuel consumption.

The availability and accuracy of the Global Positioning System (GPS) offers increased
efficiencies and safety for vehicles using highways, streets, and mass transit systems. Many of
the problems associated with the routing and dispatch of commercial vehicles is significantly
reduced or eliminated with the help of GPS. This is also true for the management of mass
transit systems, road maintenance crews, and emergency vehicles,

GPS enables automatic vehicle location and in-vehicle navigation systems that are widely
used throughout the world today. By combining GPS position technology with systems that
can display geographic information or with systems that can automatically transmit data to
display screens or computers, a new dimension in surface transportation is realized.
A geographic information system (GIS) stores, analyzes, and displays geographically
referenced information provided in large part by GPS. Today GIS is used to monitor vehicle
location, making possible effective strategies that can keep transit vehicles on schedule and
inform passengers of precise arrival times. Mass transit systems use this capability to track
rail, bus, and other services to improve on-time performance.

Many new capabilities are made possible with the help of GPS. Instant car pools are feasible
since people desiring a ride can be instantly matched with a vehicle in a nearby area.

Using GPS technology to help track and forecast the movement of freight has made a
logistical revolution, including an application known as time-definite delivery. In time-
definite delivery, trucking companies use GPS for tracking to guarantee delivery and pickup
at the time promised, whether over short distances or across time zones. When an order comes
in, a dispatcher punches a computer function, and a list of trucks appears on the screen,
displaying a full array of detailed information on the status of each of them. If a truck is
running late or strays off route, an alert is sent to the dispatcher.




                            Many nations use GPS to help survey their road and highway
networks, by identifying the location of features on, near, or adjacent to the road networks.
These include service stations, maintenance and emergency services and supplies, entry and
exit ramps, damage to the road system, etc. The information serves as an input to the GIS data
gathering process. This database of knowledge helps transportation agencies to reduce
maintenance and service costs and enhances the safety of drivers using the roads.

Research is underway to provide warnings to drivers of potential critical situations, such as
traffic violations or crashes. Additional research is being conducted to examine the potential
for minimal vehicle control when there is a clear need for action, such as the pre-deployment
of air bags. The position information provided by GPS is an integral part of this research.
                               GPS is an essential element in the future of Intelligent
Transportation Systems (ITS). ITS encompasses a broad range of communications-based
information and electronics technologies. Research is being conducted in the area of advanced
driver assistance systems, which include road departure and lane change collision avoidance
systems. These systems need to estimate the position of a vehicle relative to lane and road
edge with an accuracy of 10 centimeters.

With the continuous modernization of GPS, one can expect even more effective systems for
crash prevention, distress alerts and position notification, electronic mapping, and in-vehicle
navigation with audible instructions.

For additional information about the use of GPS on roads and highways, visit any of the
following websites:

      U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Nationwide Differential GPS
       Homepage

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Home » Applications » Space




Space
“GPS is transforming the way nations operate in space -- from guidance systems for the
International Space Station’s return vehicle to the control of communication satellites to
entirely new forms of Earth remote sensing. When all is said and done, the power and
compass of this new tool will surely surpass what we can imagine now.”

Dr. Tom Yunck, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California, USA

Benefits

      Providing high precision positioning with minimum ground control.
      Replacing high cost, and high mass, on-board sensors.

Earth Orbit

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is revolutionizing and revitalizing the way nations
operate in space, from guidance systems for crewed vehicles to the management, tracking,
and control of communication satellite constellations, to monitoring the Earth from space.
Benefits of using GPS include:




Jason-1 Ocean Surface Topography Mission (includes a GPS receiver and a laser
reflectometer for high precision orbit determination)

      Navigation solutions -- providing high precision orbit determination, and minimum
       ground control crews, with existing space-qualified GPS units.
      Attitude solutions -- replacing high cost on-board attitude sensors with low-cost
       multiple GPS antennae and specialized algorithms.
      Timing solutions -- replacing expensive spacecraft atomic clocks with low-cost,
       precise time GPS receivers.
      Constellation control -- providing single point-of-contact to control for the orbit
       maintenance of large numbers of space vehicles such as telecommunication satellites.
      Formation flying -- allowing precision satellite formations with minimal intervention
       from ground crews.
      Virtual platforms -- providing automatic "station-keeping" and relative position
       services for advanced science tracking maneuvers such as interferometry.
      Launch vehicle tracking -- replacing or augmenting tracking radars with higher
       precision, lower-cost GPS units for range safety and autonomous flight termination.

The Moon, Mars, and Beyond




                         The U.S. vision for space exploration, being implemented by the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), includes developing innovative
technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures for returning to the Moon and preparing the way
for future human missions to Mars and beyond. The vision will stimulate new research that
will literally become the final frontier in navigation. Drawing on the experience with GPS,
one could imagine creating a GPS-like network of satellites around the Moon and Mars. A
Lunar or Martian network could provide an integrated communications and navigation
infrastructure to support exploration and science missions both in lunar orbit and on the
surface of the Moon and Mars.

NASA is also studying the utility of placing GPS-like beacons on satellites destined for the
Sun-Earth Lagrangian points. Geodetic reference points could be established at these
locations to support the future exploration of the Solar System.




Concept Martian Communications & Navigation Network

The figure on the right depicts a Martian communication and navigation concept of two
satellites in areostationary orbit (equivalent of geostationary orbit in Mars).

For additional information about the use of GPS in space, visit any of the following websites:
      NASA Global Differential GPS System Applications
      The Navigator GPS Receiver

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Home » Applications » Aviation




Aviation
“Ten of the major airports here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo now have the added
capability of GPS approaches and departures. The satellite-based navigation system we are
using is not dependent on expensive ground-based navigational aides, and it increases the
safety and efficiency of our operations.”

Chris O'Brien, Deputy Chief of Aviation, MONUC/ICAO Project, Democratic Republic of
the Congo

Benefits

      Continuous, reliable, and accurate positioning information for all phases of flight on a
       global basis, freely available to all.
      Safe, flexible, and fuel-efficient routes for airspace service providers and airspace
       users.
      Potential decommissioning and reduction of expensive ground based navigation
       facilities, systems, and services.
      Increased safety for surface movement operations made possible by situational
       awareness.
      Reduced aircraft delays due to increased capacity made possible through reduced
       separation minimums and more efficient air traffic management, particularly during
       inclement weather.
      Increased safety-of-life capabilities such as EGPWS.

Aviators throughout the world use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to increase the safety
and efficiency of flight. With its accurate, continuous, and global capabilities, GPS offers
seamless satellite navigation services that satisfy many of the requirements for aviation users.
Space-based position and navigation enables three-dimensional position determination for all
phases of flight from departure, en route, and arrival, to airport surface navigation.




                                      The trend toward an Area Navigation concept means a
greater role for GPS. Area Navigation allows aircraft to fly user-preferred routes from
waypoint to waypoint, where waypoints do not depend on ground infrastructure. Procedures
have been expanded to use GPS and augmented services for all phases of flight. This has been
especially true in areas that lack suitable ground based navigation aids or surveillance
equipment.

New and more efficient air routes made possible by GPS are continuing to expand. Vast
savings in time and money are being realized. In many cases, aircraft flying over data-sparse
areas such as oceans have been able to safely reduce their separation between one another,
allowing more aircraft to fly more favorable and efficient routes, saving time, fuel, and
increasing cargo revenue.

Improved approaches to airports, which significantly increase operational benefits and safety,
are now being implemented even at remote locations where traditional ground-based services
are unavailable. In some regions of the world, satellite signals are augmented, or improved for
special aviation applications, such as landing planes during poor visibility conditions. In those
cases, even greater precision operations are possible.

The good news for the aviation community is that GPS is being constantly improved and
modernized. A main component of the ongoing civilian modernization effort is the addition of
two new signals. These signals complement the existing civilian service. The first of these
new signals is for general use in non-safety critical applications. The second new signal will
be internationally protected for aviation navigational purposes. This additional safety-of-life
civilian signal will make GPS an even more robust navigation service for many aviation
applications.
                           The second safety-of-life signal will enable significant benefits
above and beyond the capabilities of the current GPS services. The availability of this signal
offers increased instrument approach opportunity throughout the world by making the use of
dual-frequency avionics possible. Dual frequency means that errors that occur in the signals
due to disturbances in the ionosphere can be significantly reduced through the simultaneous
use of two signals. This will improve the overall system robustness, to include accuracy,
availability, and integrity, and will allow a precise approach capability with little or no ground
infrastructure investment.

Reliance on GPS as the foundation for today and tomorrow's air traffic management system is
a major part of many national plans. Those aviation authorities that are moving forward with
GPS have observed and documented reductions in flight time, workload, and operating costs
for both the airspace user and service provider. GPS also serves as an essential component for
many other aviation systems, such as the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System
(EGPWS) that has proven successful in reducing the risk of Controlled Flight into Terrain, a
major cause of many aircraft accidents.

For additional information about the use of GPS in aviation, visit any of the following
external websites:

      Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Satellite Navigation Product Teams

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Home » Applications » Agriculture
Agriculture
“We started using more digital technology in the last 10 years. We have gone to GPS (Global
Positioning System) for a handful of different operations from cultivating to planting. By
using GPS on the tractors, the entire process from leveling the field to planting the seed to
irrigating the crop has been much more efficient than in the past. GPS is used in a lot of
applications throughout most aspects of agriculture.”

John Boelts, Vice President of the Yuma County Farm Bureau, Yuma County, Arizona, USA

Benefits

      Precision soil sampling, data collection, and data analysis, enable localized variation
       of chemical applications and planting density to suit specific areas of the field.
      Accurate field navigation minimizes redundant applications and skipped areas, and
       enables maximum ground coverage in the shortest possible time.
      Ability to work through low visibility field conditions such as rain, dust, fog and
       darkness increases productivity.
      Accurately monitored yield data enables future site-specific field preparation.
      Elimination of the need for human "flaggers" increases spray efficiency and minimizes
       over-spray.

The development and implementation of precision agriculture or site-specific farming has
been made possible by combining the Global Positioning System (GPS) and geographic
information systems (GIS). These technologies enable the coupling of real-time data
collection with accurate position information, leading to the efficient manipulation and
analysis of large amounts of geospatial data. GPS-based applications in precision farming are
being used for farm planning, field mapping, soil sampling, tractor guidance, crop scouting,
variable rate applications, and yield mapping. GPS allows farmers to work during low
visibility field conditions such as rain, dust, fog, and darkness.

In the past, it was difficult for farmers to correlate production techniques and crop yields with
land variability. This limited their ability to develop the most effective soil/plant treatment
strategies that could have enhanced their production. Today, more precise application of
pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, and better control of the dispersion of those chemicals
are possible through precision agriculture, thus reducing expenses, producing a higher yield,
and creating a more environmentally friendly farm.




                                    Precision agriculture is now changing the way farmers and
agribusinesses view the land from which they reap their profits. Precision agriculture is about
collecting timely geospatial information on soil-plant-animal requirements and prescribing
and applying site-specific treatments to increase agricultural production and protect the
environment. Where farmers may have once treated their fields uniformly, they are now
seeing benefits from micromanaging their fields. Precision agriculture is gaining in popularity
largely due to the introduction of high technology tools into the agricultural community that
are more accurate, cost effective, and user friendly. Many of the new innovations rely on the
integration of on-board computers, data collection sensors, and GPS time and position
reference systems.

Many believe that the benefits of precision agriculture can only be realized on large farms
with huge capital investments and experience with information technologies. Such is not the
case. There are inexpensive and easy-to-use methods and techniques that can be developed for
use by all farmers. Through the use of GPS, GIS, and remote sensing, information needed for
improving land and water use can be collected. Farmers can achieve additional benefits by
combining better utilization of fertilizers and other soil amendments, determining the
economic threshold for treating pest and weed infestations, and protecting the natural
resources for future use.

GPS equipment manufacturers have developed several tools to help farmers and
agribusinesses become more productive and efficient in their precision farming activities.
Today, many farmers use GPS-derived products to enhance operations in their farming
businesses. Location information is collected by GPS receivers for mapping field boundaries,
roads, irrigation systems, and problem areas in crops such as weeds or disease. The accuracy
of GPS allows farmers to create farm maps with precise acreage for field areas, road locations
and distances between points of interest. GPS allows farmers to accurately navigate to
specific locations in the field, year after year, to collect soil samples or monitor crop
conditions.

Crop advisors use rugged data collection devices with GPS for accurate positioning to map
pest, insect, and weed infestations in the field. Pest problem areas in crops can be pinpointed
and mapped for future management decisions and input recommendations. The same field
data can also be used by aircraft sprayers, enabling accurate swathing of fields without use of
human “flaggers” to guide them. Crop dusters equipped with GPS are able to fly accurate
swaths over the field, applying chemicals only where needed, minimizing chemical drift,
reducing the amount of chemicals needed, thereby benefiting the environment. GPS also
allows pilots to provide farmers with accurate maps.
Farmers and agriculture service providers can expect even further improvements as GPS
continues to modernize. In addition to the current civilian service provided by GPS, the
United States is committed to implementing a second and a third civil signal on GPS
satellites. The first satellite with the second civilian signal was launched in 2005. The new
signals will enhance both the quality and efficiency of agricultural operations in the future.

For additional information about the use of GPS in agriculture, visit any of the following
external websites:

      U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service GPS Home Page

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM

Home » Applications » Marine




Marine
“We implemented a GPS based container management system three months ago and have
already seen direct benefits to our business. We have documented a 4-8% decrease in costs
and a 5-10% increase in efficiency.”

LingSen Xue, General Manager, Tianjin port Container Terminals (TCT), China

Benefits
      Allows access to fast and accurate position, course, and speed information, saving
       navigators time and fuel through more efficient traffic routing.
      Provides precise navigation information to boaters.
      Improves precision and efficiency of buoy positioning, sweeping, and dredging
       operations.
      Enhances efficiency and economy for container management in port facilities.
      Increases safety and security for vessels using the AIS.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has changed the way the world operates. This is
especially true for marine operations, including search and rescue. GPS provides the fastest
and most accurate method for mariners to navigate, measure speed, and determine location.
This enables increased levels of safety and efficiency for mariners worldwide.

It is important in marine navigation for the ship's officer to know the vessel's position while in
open sea and also in congested harbors and waterways. While at sea, accurate position, speed,
and heading are needed to ensure the vessel reaches its destination in the safest, most
economical and timely fashion that conditions will permit. The need for accurate position
information becomes even more critical as the vessel departs from or arrives in port. Vessel
traffic and other waterway hazards make maneuvering more difficult, and the risk of accidents
becomes greater.

Mariners and oceanographers are increasingly using GPS data for underwater surveying, buoy
placement, and navigational hazard location and mapping. Commercial fishing fleets use GPS
to navigate to optimum fishing locations, track fish migrations, and ensure compliance with
regulations.

An enhancement to the basic GPS signal known as Differential GPS (DGPS) provides much
higher precision and increased safety in its coverage areas for maritime operations. Many
nations use DGPS for operations such as buoy positioning, sweeping, and dredging. This
enhancement improves harbor navigation.

Governments and industrial organizations around the world are working together to develop
performance standards for Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems, which use GPS
and/or DGPS for positioning information. These systems are revolutionizing marine
navigation and are leading to the replacement of paper nautical charts. With DGPS, position
and radar information can be integrated and displayed on an electronic chart, forming the
basis of the Integrated Bridge System which is being installed on commercial vessels of all
types.

GPS is playing an increasingly important role in the management of maritime port facilities.
GPS technology, coupled with geographic information system (GIS) software, is key to the
efficient management and operation of automated container placement in the world's largest
port facilities. GPS facilitates the automation of the pick-up, transfer, and placement process
of containers by tracking them from port entry to exit. With millions of container shipments
being placed in port terminals annually, GPS has greatly reduced the number of lost or
misdirected containers and lowered associated operation costs.

GPS information is embedded within a system known as the Automatic Identification System
(AIS) transmission. The AIS, which is endorsed by the International Maritime Organization,
is used for vessel traffic control around busy seaways. This service is not only vital for
navigation, but is increasingly used to bolster the security of ports and waterways by
providing governments with greater situational awareness of commercial vessels and their
cargo.

AIS uses a transponder system that operates in the VHF maritime band and is capable of
communicating ship to ship as well as ship to shore, transmitting information relating to ship
identification, geographic location, vessel type, and cargo information -- all on a real-time,
wholly automated basis. Because the ship's GPS position is embedded in these transmissions,
all essential information about vessel movements and contents can be uploaded automatically
to electronic charts. The safety and security of vessels using this system is significantly
enhanced.

Finally, with the modernization of GPS, mariners can look forward to even better service. In
addition to the current GPS civilian service, the United States is committed to implementing
two additional civilian signals. Access to the new signals will mean increased accuracy, more
availability, and better integrity for all users.

For additional information about the use of GPS in marine operations, visit any of the
following external websites:

      U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN)
      U.S. National Ocean Service (NOS)

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Home » Applications » Rail
Rail
“Knowing the exact location of our commuter trains has been a great benefit to our riders.
Each of our commuter trains is fitted with a GPS receiver and a communications system that
relays our position to our Internet site on a real time basis. From there it is available to any
interested party who wants to know where the train is and when to expect it.”

James W. Latchford, Road Trainmaster, AMTRAK/Virginia Railway Express

Benefits

      Enhanced levels of safety.
      Increased capacity and efficiency for all rail users.
      Dependable schedule and equipment location awareness.
      Improved track, traffic, and train sensor information that flows together and produces
       a constantly updated plan to manage operations.
      Increased situational awareness for improved safety of trains and maintenance crews.

Rail systems in many parts of the world use the Global Positioning System (GPS) in
combination with various sensors, computers, and communication systems to improve safety,
security, and operational effectiveness. These technologies help to reduce accidents, delays,
operating costs, and dangerous emissions, while increasing track capacity, customer
satisfaction, and cost effectiveness. Integral to the efficient operation of rail systems is the
requirement for accurate, real-time position information of locomotives, rail cars,
maintenance-of-way vehicles, and wayside equipment.

Ensuring high levels of safety, improving the efficiency of rail operations, and expanding
system capacity are all key objectives of today’s railroad industry. Unlike most other modes
of transportation, there is little flexibility in managing rail traffic. Most rail systems are
comprised of long stretches of a single set of tracks. Trains bound for thousands of
destinations must simultaneously share the use of these single line tracks.
                                  Precise knowledge of where a train is located is essential to
prevent collisions, maintain smooth flow of traffic, and minimize costly delays due to waiting
for clearance for track use. Only the skill of the crews, accurate timing, a dynamic dispatching
capability, and a critical array of “meet and passes” locations on short stretches of parallel
tracks, allow rail dispatchers to guide their trains safely through. It is therefore critical for
safety and efficiency reasons to know the position and performance of these trains both
individually and system-wide.

GPS also contributes to dependable scheduling through train location awareness, enhancing
connectivity with other modes of transportation, such as rail station to airport transfers.

An enhancement to the basic GPS signal known as Differential GPS (DGPS) improves
accuracy and safety within its coverage areas. The enhanced position information enables the
dispatcher to determine on which of two parallel tracks a train is located. When coupled with
other location and navigation devices to account for time in tunnels, behind hills, and other
obstructions, DGPS can provide a reliable and accurate position-locating capability for rail
traffic management systems.

Differential GPS is an essential element of the Positive Train Control (PTC) concept being
adopted in many parts of the world. This concept involves providing precise railroad position
information to sophisticated command and control systems to produce the best operating plan
to include varying train speed, re-routing traffic, and safely moving maintenance crews onto
and off tracks.

A PTC system can track the location and speed of a train more accurately than was previously
possible, providing train movement information to rail management personnel who can then
enforce speeds and limits of authority, as necessary. By providing better tracking of train
location and speed, PTC increases operational efficiency, allows higher track capacity,
enhances crew, passenger, and cargo safety, and also results in a safer environment for
personnel working on the track.

Differential GPS can also aid in surveying and mapping track structure for maintenance and
future system planning. By using DGPS, one can precisely locate mileposts, signal masts,
switch points, bridges, road crossings, signal equipment, etc. GPS can satisfy the high level of
accuracy needed for operation in terminal areas and rail yards, where dozens of tracks may
run in parallel.

Finally, with the modernization of GPS, rail operators can look forward to providing better
service. In addition to the current GPS civilian service, the United States is committed to
implementing two additional civilian signals. Access to the new signals will mean increased
accuracy, more availability, and better integrity for all users.

For additional information about the use of GPS in rail operations, visit any of the following
external websites:
      U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Intelligent Railroad Systems Page

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Home » Applications » Environment




Environment
“Until the advent of GPS tracking, it was practically impossible to record elephant
movements with sufficient temporal resolution to give a full picture of movement patterns.
The presence of elephants in Kenya is a key indicator of the health of the environment.”

Honorable Dr. Newton Kulundu, Minister for Environment, Natural Resources, and Wildlife,
Kenya

Benefits

      GPS data collection systems complemented with GIS packages provide a means for
       comprehensive analysis of environmental concerns.
      Environmental patterns and trends can be efficiently recognized with GPS/GIS data
       collection systems, and thematic maps can be easily created.
      GPS data can be quickly analyzed without the preliminary requirement for field data
       transcription into a digitized form.
      Accurate tracking of environmental disasters such as fires and oil spills can be
       conducted more efficiently.
      Precise positional data from GPS can assist scientists in crustal and seismic
       monitoring.
      Monitoring and preservation of endangered species can be facilitated through GPS
       tracking and mapping.

To sustain the Earth’s environment while balancing human needs requires better decision
making with more up-to-date information. Gathering accurate and timely information has
been one of the greatest challenges facing both government and private organizations that
must make these decisions. The Global Positioning System (GPS) helps to address that need.

Data collection systems provide decision makers with descriptive information and accurate
positional data about items that are spread across many kilometers of terrain. By connecting
position information with other types of data, it is possible to analyze many environmental
problems from a new perspective. Position data collected through GPS can be imported into
geographic information system (GIS) software, allowing spatial aspects to be analyzed with
other information to create a far more complete understanding of a particular situation than
might be possible through conventional means.

Aerial studies of some of the world’s most impenetrable wilderness are conducted with the
aid of GPS technology to evaluate an area’s wildlife, terrain, and human infrastructure. By
tagging imagery with GPS coordinates it is possible to evaluate conservation efforts and assist
in strategy planning.

Some nations collect and use mapping information to manage their regulatory programs such
as the control of royalties from mining operations, delineation of borders, and the
management of logging in their forests.

GPS technology supports efforts to understand and forecast changes in the environment. By
integrating GPS measurements into operational methods used by meteorologists, the
atmosphere’s water content can be determined, improving the accuracy of weather forecasts.
In addition, the proliferation of GPS tidal tracking sites, and improvement in estimating the
vertical component of a site’s position from GPS measurements, present a unique opportunity
to directly observe the effects of ocean tides.




                              GPS receivers mounted on buoys track the movement and spread
of oil spills. Helicopters use GPS to map the perimeter of forest fires and allow efficient use
of fire fighting resources.

The migratory patterns of endangered species, such as the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, are
tracked and mapped using GPS, helping to preserve and enhance declining populations.
In earthquake prone areas such as the Pacific Rim, GPS is playing an increasingly prominent
role in helping scientists to anticipate earthquakes. Using the precise position information
provided by GPS, scientists can study how strain builds up slowly over time in an attempt to
characterize, and in the future perhaps anticipate, earthquakes.

Another benefit to using GPS is timeliness with which critical products can be generated.
Because GPS data are in a digital form available at all times and in all parts of the world, they
can be captured and analyzed very quickly. This means that it is possible for analysis to be
completed in hours or days rather than weeks or months, thus ensuring that the final product is
timelier. With the rapid pace of change in the world today, these savings in time can be
critical.

The modernization of GPS will further enhance the support of GPS technology to the study
and management of the world’s environment. The United States is committed to
implementing two additional civilian signals that will provide ecological and conservation
applications with increased accuracy, availability, and reliability. Tropical rain forest ecology,
for example, will benefit from the increased availability of GPS within heavy foliage areas
and the reduction of spatial error in fine-scale vegetation mapping.

For additional information about the use of GPS in environmental applications, visit any of
the following external websites:

      U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service GPS Home Page

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM

Home » Applications » Public Safety & Disaster Relief
Public Safety &
Disaster Relief
“The data from the Southern California Integrated GPS Network will allow us to anticipate
future earthquakes with more accuracy, as well as to study in much greater detail the
fundamental processes of crustal deformation that are the root causes of earthquakes.”

Dr. Thomas Jordan, Director Designate, Southern California Earthquake Center

Benefits

      Deliver disaster relief to areas in a more timely and accurate manner, saving lives and
       restoring critical infrastructure.
      Provide position information for mapping of disaster regions where little or no
       mapping information is available.
      Enhance capability for flood prediction and monitoring of seismic precursors and
       events.
      Provide positional information about individuals with mobile phones and in vehicles
       in case of emergency.

A critical component of any successful rescue operation is time. Knowing the precise location
of landmarks, streets, buildings, emergency service resources, and disaster relief sites reduces
that time -- and saves lives. This information is critical to disaster relief teams and public
safety personnel in order to protect life and reduce property loss. The Global Positioning
System (GPS) serves as a facilitating technology in addressing these needs.

GPS has played a vital role in relief efforts for global disasters such as the tsunami that struck
in the Indian Ocean region in 2004, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that wreaked havoc in the
Gulf of Mexico in 2005, and the Pakistan-India earthquake in 2005. Search and rescue teams
used GPS, geographic information system (GIS), and remote sensing technology to create
maps of the disaster areas for rescue and aid operations, as well as to assess damage.

Another important area of disaster relief is in the management of wildfires. To contain and
manage forest fires, aircraft combine GPS with infrared scanners to identify fire boundaries
and “hot spots.” Within minutes, fire maps are transmitted to a portable field computer at the
firefighters’ camp. Armed with this information, firefighters have a greater chance of winning
the battle against the blaze.




                            In earthquake prone areas such as the Pacific Rim, GPS is playing
an increasingly prominent role in helping scientists to anticipate earthquakes. Using the
precise position information provided by GPS, scientists can study how strain builds up
slowly over time in an attempt to characterize, and in the future perhaps anticipate,
earthquakes.

Meteorologists responsible for storm tracking and flood prediction also rely on GPS. They
can assess water vapor content by analyzing transmissions of GPS data through the
atmosphere.

GPS has become an integral part of modern emergency response systems -- whether helping
stranded motorists find assistance or guiding emergency vehicles.

As the international industry positioning standard for use by emergency and other specialty
vehicle fleets, GPS has given managers a quantum leap forward in efficient operation of their
emergency response teams. The ability to effectively identify and view the location of police,
fire, rescue, and individual vehicles or boats, and how their location relates to an entire
network of transportation systems in a geographic area, has resulted in a whole new way of
doing business. Location information provided by GPS, coupled with automation, reduces
delay in the dispatch of emergency services.

Incorporation of GPS in mobile phones places an emergency location capability in the hands
of everyday users. Today’s widespread placement of GPS location systems in passenger cars
provides another leap in developing a comprehensive safety net. Today, many ground and
maritime vehicles are equipped with autonomous crash sensors and GPS. This information,
when coupled with automatic communication systems, enables a call for help even when
occupants are unable to do so.

The modernization of GPS will further facilitate disaster relief and public safety services. The
addition of new civil signals will increase accuracy and reliability all over the world. In short,
GPS modernization translates to more lives saved and faster recovery for victims of global
tragedies.

For additional information about the use of GPS in public safety and disaster relief, visit any
of the following external websites:

      U.S. National Grid

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Home » Applications » Surveying & Mapping




Surveying & Mapping
“The most effective way to achieve a robust and globally consistent continental reference
system is through the technology of the Global Positioning System (GPS). The explosive
growth of GPS applications and the economics of GPS make it the technique of choice for
sustainable geodetic operations within Africa.”

Claude Boucher, Chairman, International Association of Geodesy (IAG), Commission X on
Global and Regional Geodetic Networks

Benefits

       Provides significant productivity gains over traditional surveying by eliminating many
        of its inherent limitations, such as the requirement for a line of sight between
        surveying points.
       Provides accurate positioning of natural and artificial features that can be used to
        create maps and models that are used for a wide range of services such as disaster
        relief and public safety.
       Gives decision-makers timely and valuable information for wise use of resources.
       Yields highly accurate surveying results in real-time at the centimeter-level.
      Allows surveyors to work uninterrupted in periods of poor weather conditions or
       reduced sunlight.

As technology evolves and expands throughout the world, the surveying and mapping
community is steadily redefining the tools required to increase productivity and obtain highly
accurate data.

Using the near pinpoint accuracy provided by the Global Positioning System (GPS) with
ground augmentations, highly accurate surveying and mapping results can be rapidly
obtained, thereby significantly reducing the amount of equipment and labor hours that are
normally required of other conventional surveying and mapping techniques. Today it is
possible for a single surveyor to accomplish in one day what used to take weeks with an entire
team. GPS is unaffected by rain, wind, or reduced sunlight, and is rapidly being adopted by
professional surveyors and mapping personnel throughout the world.

GPS provides accurate three-dimensional positioning information for natural and artificial
features that can be displayed on maps and models of everything in the world - mountains,
rivers, forests, endangered animals, precious minerals and many other resources. GPS position
information for these features serves as a prime input to geographic information systems
(GIS), that assemble, store, manipulate, and display geographically referenced information.

GPS has played a vital role in relief efforts for global disasters such as the tsunami that struck
in the Indian Ocean region in 2004, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that wreaked havoc in the
Gulf of Mexico in 2005, and the Pakistan-India earthquake in 2005. Search and rescue teams
used GPS position information to create maps of the disaster areas for rescue and aid
operations, as well as to help assess damage.

Throughout the world, government agencies, scientific organizations, and commercial
operations are using the surveys and maps deriving from GPS and GIS for timely decision-
making and wiser use of resources. Any organization or agency that requires accurate location
information can benefit from the efficiency and productivity provided by the positioning
capability of GPS.




                                      Unlike traditional techniques, GPS surveying is not
bound by constraints such as line-of-sight visibility between reference stations. Also, the
spacing between stations can be increased. The increased flexibility of GPS also permits
survey stations to be established at easily accessible sites rather than being confined to
hilltops as previously required.

Remote GPS systems may be carried by one person in a backpack, mounted on the roof of an
automobile, or fastened atop an all-terrain vehicle to permit rapid and accurate field data
collection. With a GPS radio communication link, real-time, continuous centimeter-level
accuracy makes possible a productivity level that is virtually unattainable using optical survey
instruments.

With the modernization of GPS even further enhancements are in the works. In addition to the
current GPS civilian service, the United States is committed to implementing two additional
civilian signals. The extra signals will, for example, provide a means for correcting errors
caused by the ionosphere, thus improving positioning accuracy. The new signals will also
improve the availability and overall integrity of the system for all users.

For additional information about the use of GPS in surveying and mapping, visit any of the
following websites:

      U.S. National Geodetic Survey
      Geodesy Tutorial

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GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
Home » Applications » Recreation




Recreation
“GPS has speeded up play on the golf course. For those in the rough, it tells them how far
away they are from the trap rather than the sprinkler heads and they don't have to agonize as
much over club selection if they know exactly how far they have to go. The unfortunate part
is that it tells you the brutal truth of exactly how far you hit your driver. Most people think
they hit it 20 or 30 yards farther than they actually do, but GPS doesn't lie.”

Bernie Friedrich, Vice President Golf Operations, Boyne, USA

Benefits

      Highly accurate all-weather positioning information using GPS receivers helps
       outdoor adventurers with safer exploration anywhere in the world.
      Ability to return to favorite fishing spots, trails, campsites or other locations with
       precision year after year, despite changing terrain conditions.
      New and interesting activities (based solely on the capabilities of GPS) are developed
       every day by outdoor enthusiasts and shared with others.
      Relatively small, portable, and affordable handsets can be used for multiple types of
       recreation activities.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has eliminated many of the hazards associated with
common recreational activities by providing a capability to determine a precise location. GPS
receivers have also broadened the scope and enjoyment of outdoor activities by simplifying
many of the traditional problems, such as staying on the “correct trail” or returning to the best
fishing spot.

Outdoor exploration carries with it many intrinsic dangers, one of the most important of
which is the potential for getting lost in unfamiliar or unsafe territory. Hikers, bicyclists, and
outdoor adventurers are increasingly relying on GPS instead of traditional paper maps,
compasses, or landmarks. Paper maps are often outdated, and compasses and landmarks may
not provide the precise location information necessary to avoid venturing into unfamiliar
areas. In addition, darkness and adverse weather conditions may also contribute to imprecise
navigation results.




                     GPS technology coupled with electronic mapping has helped to overcome
much of the traditional hardships associated with unbounded exploration. GPS handsets allow
users to safely traverse trails with the confidence of knowing precisely where they are at all
times, as well as how to return to their starting point. One of the benefits is the ability to
record and return to waypoints. Similarly, fishermen typically use GPS signals as a means to
continually stay apprised of location, heading, bearing, speed, distance-to-go, time-to-go,
chart plotting functions, and most importantly, returning to a location where the fish are
plentiful.
An advantage in newer GPS receivers is the capability to transfer data to and from a
computer. Outdoor enthusiasts can download waypoints from an exciting adventure and share
them. An example of this is a web site based in Malaysia dedicated to GPS for mountain
biking enthusiasts. Riders post waypoint files marking their favorite rides allowing other
riders to try out the trails.

Golfers use GPS to measure precise distances within the course and improve their game.
Other applications include skiing, as well as recreational aviation and boating.

GPS technology has generated entirely new sports and outdoor activities. An example of this
is geocaching, a sport which rolls a pleasurable day’s outing and a treasure hunt into one.
Another new sport is geodashing, a cross-country race to a predefined GPS coordinate.




                                GPS modernization efforts, designed to enhance more serious
applications than recreation have provided direct and indirect benefits to the user. Various
GPS augmentation systems that were developed in several countries for commerce and
transportation are also being widely used by outdoor enthusiasts for recreational purposes.
Modernization plans for GPS will result in even greater reliability and availability for all
users, such as under a denser forest cover -- just the environment in which many adventurers
most need this capability.

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