GPS or Global Positioning Systems is a term that most commonly conjures up images of vehiclenavigation systems, space-age satellite technology, and interactive maps for outdoors-types andsportsmen. But the reality is that there are far more applications of Global Positioning Systems beyondGPS vehicle tracking or map navigation that everyday people like us can benefit from. All it takes is abit of creativity, and some trial and error. Here are a few of the many possibilities that can benefit youright now in your busy and hectic life.1. Know where your children are using services from companies like uLocate Communications.2. Keep track of elderly members of your family, so that they don’t wander off alone.3. Plan a road trip around interesting points of interests, landmarks, campsites, diners, etc, and hearfewer Are we there yets?- and of course get the most out of that expensive gas.4. Get emergency road side assistance at a touch of a button from your vehicle, so you can get helpexactly where and when you need it.5. Keep a visual journal and bookmark collection of your favorite hot spots, sceneries, and points ofinterests, that may not be listed in any travel guide (You can create your own mini travel guides andmemories).6. Find lost pets easily using collars with built-in GPS, better than running around in your pajamashollering like a maniac.7. Feel safer with cellular phone 911 calls, so emergency personnel can pinpoint your location onceyou make an emergency call. Please double check your carrier service to see that it has GPS featuresand get a primer on how it works if possible.8. Get to your interview, or any important time sensitive destination or engagement, faster by findingshortcuts and correct directions.9. Find a good Italian restaurant near your movie theatre on the fly.10. Track your luggage, laptops, and anything of importance while traveling.11. Track and find family, friends in a crowded concert, graduation, or any social gathering.12. When going on a vacation, feel free to separate from group for a while to venture on your ownbased on your own interests and find them later on with your GPS enabled device- even in anunfamiliar place.Our ability to use GPS so far is limited by the relatively poor connection to the satellite feeds when weare indoors in buildings, homes, or behind anything that could obstruct the GPS connection. Howeverwith the investment and development in a new satellite network called Galileo which should becompleted in the near future, these problems should be eliminated drastically. Despite theseproblems, GPS still offers a world of benefits as mentioned earlier, and with any technology, it willonly get better.In addition to more practical usage applications, GPS will make a great educational and fun gift foryour loved one’s and friends as well. Consider just two of the many creative and educational uses ofGPS:
1. Stay physically active and fit by playing RayGun! A locational based cell phone game based on GPStechnology.2. Become more cultured, make global friends, and learn about the world playing GeoCache, a globalGPS based treasure hunt.With many affordable feature-rich models to satisfy anyone’s preferences and budgets, now is as gooda time as any to learn more about GPS technologies, which are surely to become more assimilatedinto the mainstream within the decade. One day we will take these things for granted just like we donow for the internet and cell phones. The key is to dive in, without paralyzing yourself with theoverwhelming array of choices in the GPS market, and enjoying some truly amazing technology.Become an instant expert on Global Positioning Systems whether it be on non-intrusive GPS trackingservices for people, a GPS freight tracking system, or laptop or car tracking device.And more.ApplicationsWhile originally a military project, GPS is considered a dual-use technology, meaning it has significantmilitary and civilian applications.GPS has become a widely deployed and useful tool for commerce, scientific uses, tracking, andsurveillance. GPSs accurate time facilitates everyday activities such as banking, mobile phone operations, and even the control of power grids by allowing well synchronized hand-off switching.CivilianSee also: GNSS applications and GPS navigation device
This antenna is mounted on the roof of a hut containing a scientific experiment needing precise timing.Many civilian applications use one or more of GPSs three basic components: absolute location, relativemovement, and time transfer.  Clock synchronization: The accuracy of GPS time signals (±10 ns) is second only to the atomic clocks upon which they are based. Cellular telephony: Clock synchronization enables time transfer, which is critical for synchronizing its spreading codes with other base stations to facilitate inter-cell handoff and support hybrid GPS/cellular position detection for mobile emergency calls and other applications. The first handsets with integrated GPS launched in the late 1990s. The U.S.Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated the feature in either the handset or in the towers (for use in triangulation) in 2002 so emergency services could locate 911 callers. Third-party software developers later gained access to GPS APIs from Nextel upon launch, followed by Sprint in 2006, and Verizon soon thereafter. Disaster relief/emergency services: Depend upon GPS for location and timing capabilities. Geofencing: Vehicle tracking systems, person tracking systems, and pet tracking systems use GPS to locate a vehicle, person, or pet. These devices are attached to the vehicle, person, or the pet collar. The application provides continuous tracking and mobile or Internet updates should the target  leave a designated area. Geotagging: Applying location coordinates to digital objects such as photographs and other documents for purposes such as creating map overlays. GPS Aircraft Tracking
GPS tours: Location determines what content to display; for instance, information about an approaching point of interest. Map-making: Both civilian and military cartographers use GPS extensively. Navigation: Navigators value digitally precise velocity and orientation measurements. Phasor measurements: GPS enables highly accurate timestamping of power system measurements, making it possible to computephasors. Robotics: Self-navigating, autonomous robots using a GPS sensors, which calculate latitude, longitude, time, speed, and heading. Recreation: For example, geocaching, geodashing, GPS drawing and waymarking. Surveying: Surveyors use absolute locations to make maps and determine property boundaries. Tectonics: GPS enables direct fault motion measurement in earthquakes. Telematics: GPS technology integrated with computers and mobile communications technology in automotive navigation systems Fleet Tracking: The use of GPS technology to identify, locate and maintain contact reports with one or more fleet vehicles in real-time.Restrictions on civilian useThe U.S. Government controls the export of some civilian receivers. All GPS receivers capable of functioning above 18 kilometres (11 mi)altitude and 515 metres per second (1,001 kn) are classifiedas munitions (weapons) for which State Department export licenses are required. These limits attempt toprevent use of a receiver in a ballistic missile. They would not prevent use in a cruise missile becausetheir altitudes and speeds are similar to those of ordinary aircraft.This rule applies even to otherwise purely civilian units that only receive the L1 frequency and the C/A(Coarse/Acquisition) code and cannot correct for Selective Availability (SA), etc.Disabling operation above these limits exempts the receiver from classification as a munition. Vendorinterpretations differ. The rule targets operation given the combination of altitude and speed, while somereceivers stop operating even when stationary. This has caused problems with some amateur radioballoon launches that regularly reach 30 kilometres (19 mi).These limits only apply to units exported from (or which have components exported from) the USA - thereis a growing trade in various components, including GPS units, supplied by other countries, which areexpressly sold as ITAR-free.Militarymilitary applications of GPS include: Navigation: GPS allows soldiers to find objectives, even in the dark or in unfamiliar territory, and to coordinate troop and supply movement. In the United States armed forces, commanders use  the Commanders Digital Assistant and lower ranks use the Soldier Digital Assistant. Target tracking: Various military weapons systems use GPS to track potential ground and air targets  before flagging them as hostile. These weapon systems pass target coordinates to precision-guided munitions to allow them to engage targets accurately. Military aircraft, particularly in air-to-ground roles, use GPS to find targets (for example, gun camera video from AH-1 Cobras in Iraq show GPS co-ordinates that can be viewed with specialized software).
Missile and projectile guidance: GPS allows accurate targeting of various military weapons including ICBMs, cruise missiles and precision-guided munitions. Artillery projectiles. Embedded GPS 2 receivers able to withstand accelerations of 12,000 g or about 118 km/s have been developed for  use in 155 millimetres (6.1 in) howitzers. Search and Rescue: Downed pilots can be located faster if their position is known. Reconnaissance: Patrol movement can be managed more closely. GPS satellites carry a set of nuclear detonation detectors consisting of an optical sensor (Y-sensor), an X-ray sensor, a dosimeter, and an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) sensor (W-sensor), that form a  major portion of the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System.