Perhaps one of the outstandingly life changing technologies that the world has ever experienced is GPS. This is short for global positioning system. Prior to the rampaging spread of the technology in the public sphere GPS was essentially a military technology protected by layers of government regulations. Since the later 90s into early 2000 the technology was allowed to be used in public technologies. Since then things have not been the same again. Huge technological advances have since come about due to this lifting of limitations so to speak.
Today gps is used in the aviation industry as well as other public navigation such as handheld gps navigators for marine use and outdoor use. In fact today we have some of the best handheld mapping gps technology in the hands of hikers, outdoor lovers and geocaching participants. In terms of how it works, gps is a technology which is able to determine latitude, longitude,altitude, speed and direction. This is essentially achieved by gps device receiving satellite signals from at least three satellites in order to determine location and at least four satellites in order to determine altitude.
The rule goes that the more satellites a gps receiver is able to lock on to the more accuracy in terms of location is given. Advanced models of gps navigators such as those from Garmin use advanced technology to produce high-sensitivity receivers. What this high-sensitivity receivers essentially aim to achieve is the ability to lock on to more satellites and maintain signal even under the heaviest of cover. This produces more accuracy and greater user benefit. GPS receivers are able to tell you your location by calculating the speed by which the signal travels from the satellites to your receiver. A comparison of handheld gps will tell the specific endowments of each receiver.
The greatest advantage of gps technology is that it knows no time of day, weather, night nor day. It is essentially an all weather system which relies on a total of 31 satellites in orbit that receivers can lock on to. The signals themselves released by the satellites in orbit are not controlled by any institution neither can they be charged for. They are only hindered by dense cover in forests which may cause in accuracies in pinpointing your position. Some of the top GPS receiver manufacturers include Tom Tom, Garmin and others. The Garmin eTrex Legend Handheld gps receiver is amounts the best known navigators. Today we have vehicle gps, marine gps, cycling gps, running gps and even golf gps.
It looks likely that gps technology will keep on developing rapidly as companies compete to even make their receivers as accurate as they can. Today gps receivers can be as accurate as up to 15 meters. As technology advances this number will likely be reduced further to possibly pinpoint exact location. This may also mean a higher price to pay for the more advanced navigators. For those in aviation, flying will continue to be made easier as the technology used in aviation gps develops as well.