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All About GPS
spacer.GIF (43 bytes)"Where am I?"

The first and most obvious application of GPS is the simple determination of a "position" or location. GPS is the first positioning system to offer highly precise location data for any point on the planet, in any weather. That alone would be enough to qualify it as a major utility, but the accuracy of GPS and the creativity of its users is pushing it into some surprising realms.

Knowing the precise location of something, or someone, is especially critical when the consequences of inaccurate data are measured in human terms. For example, when a stranded motorist was lost in a South Dakota blizzard for 2 days, GPS helped rescuers find her.

GPS is also being applied in Italy to create exact location points for their nationwide geodetic network which will be used for surveying projects. Once in place it will support the first implementation of a nationally created location survey linked to the WGS-84 global grid.

Sometimes an exact reference locator is needed for extremely precise scientific work. Just getting to the world's tallest mountain was tricky, but GPS made measuring the growth of Mt. Everest easy. The data collected strengthened past work, but also revealed that as the Khumbu glacier moves toward Everest's Base Camp, the mountain itself is getting taller.

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