What Does GPS Stand For
What Does GPS Stand For? The quick answer is: Global Positioning System.
In today’s world, chances are that everyone out there has a GPS; owning one is as simple has having a smart phone in your pocket. They come in all sorts of things, from cars to electronic appliances and gadgets, which still somehow seems far-fetched to those who grew up alongside the technology; it’s almost like magic seeing how fast and simple modern GPS can be to a person who had to use the earliest ones, but many young people might use it without bothering to know what the name even stands for.
The term “GPS” has two separate meanings that both relate to the same thing depending on context. Its most common use means “Global Positioning System,” while the second one refers to “Global Positioning Satellite.” Both terms are related in the sense that you need a GPS to make use of the GPS, get it? One is merely the device that you use to triangulate your position and see where you stand on God’s green earth, while the other is the eye in the sky relaying all the necessary info to the palm of your hand.
How Does GPS Work
Though it might sound like a rather complicated piece of technology, and with reason since it actually is, the concept behind the functionality of a GPS is rather simple. The GPS works both as a receiver and a transmitter by emitting a signal towards a group of satellites in different orbits and measuring how long it took for the signal to come back. This allows the receiver to process its relative position on the globe by calculating the time it took to transmit and receive the signal to the distance of a satellite, and since the signal is sent to at least four satellites, the signal is triangulated to its origin within a reasonable margin of error.
When Was GPS Invented
Like many of today’s technological wonders, the GPS was envisioned as a tool of war, at least to an extent. Its original intent was to replace all the rather cumbersome and somewhat unreliable navigational systems used by the American armed forces, which came up with the concept of the GPS in 1973 and began with the proposal of a Defense Navigation Satellite System. This system was the first functional ancestor of the modern GPS and it remained in place until it was renamed as Navstar out of convenience, even though the name Navstar wouldn’t last long before it was changed to the shorter and even more convenient name of GPS, which we still use to this day.
All GPS technology belonged exclusively to the Armed Forces, who had a plan to put a special constellation of satellites into orbit for the express purpose of giving GPS operators access to accurate information; information that wouldn’t become accessible to the public, at least not until things changed in the year 1983. It was during this year that the Korean Airlines Flight 007 disaster took place, and as a result of that President Ronald Reagan issued a directive to give civilians access to the use of GPS as soon as such a thing became feasible.
It would take a few years, but the first satellite was put into orbit in the year 1989 and it proved to be such a success that there would be a total of 24 of them after a mere six years. This granted the military their much needed navigational system, but it also provided citizens with access to detailed information about their position on the globe, though this information wasn’t nearly as accurate as the one obtained by the military.
It would take another president to ensure that GPS wasn’t just available to the people, but that it also worked at its full capacity. Said President was Bill Clinton, who ordered for the restrictions over GPS signals to be lifted in May of the year 2000, even though the order itself had been signed in 1996. The lack of restrictions improved the accuracy of commercial models greatly, as it was now possible to have a range of 66ft for a measurement, rather than the old 330ft range from the past.
How Can GPS Be Used In Other Technologies
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, and the ever-growing reach of the Wi-fi networks that allow us to access it across the world, we are now able to carry around a GPS as part of our regular set of gadgets. What was once a cumbersome and expensive gadget is now a common addition to any smart phone and computer, to the point where these services can be had for free through certain websites that don’t require any kind of installation. This is all possible thanks to the same basics that are at work behind the original GPS.
Your device of choice emits a signal that is triangulated and followed back to its origin, and thanks to the speed and reliability of the internet, it’s possible to see that signal come and go with such speed that we are able to receive constant tracking down to our last movement.
What Is The Best Handheld GPS
Some people don’t have the luxury of being in range of Wi-fi or any internet for that matter, so a handheld GPS device becomes a necessity for them. There are a myriad of offerings in the market, but none come close to the quality and reliability offered by Garmin products. They are simply the best when it comes to civilian GPS, whether it’s for hunting, trekking or even navigating the open seas.
There are models for every choice and every individual, all that matters is that you pick the one within your budget and to ensure that the type of GPS you choose fits your needs, since Garmin makes specialized products meant to be used in different situations, but at the end of the day you simply can’t go wrong with a GPS made by Garmin.