Global Positioninh System

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By paulgnzaga
Words 1167
Pages 5
Social Impact of the Global Positioning System (GPS)

A Paper Submitted to Ann Holms

By Writing 2E (11:00-12:50)

February 15, 2005

1

GPS – A Navigational Improvement Up to now, navigation has been considered a skill. It took work and knowledge to use a map and compass. In fact, during America’s colonial period, only gentlemen were allowed to learn such techniques. For example, if an ordinary British redcoat was spotted attempting to learn to navigate, he would be hung. Only the officers who were considered gentlemen were allowed to conduct such education [Norman, 1998]. However, as we enter the twentieth century, a new technology emerges to cover the distance between a knowledgeable navigator and an ordinary person. This technology is Global Positioning System (GPS). With a click on a screen, an ordinary person can find his or her way via a complex system involving satellite technology. Essentially, the GPS satellites transmit a signal to receivers on Earth; the GPS receivers then compare the time the signal was transmitted to the time it was received [Leick, 2004]. The results proved extremely precise. However, the new technology not only improves society but hinders it as well. GPS technology improved navigational accuracy significantly in the military, in the economy, and in our ordinary lives; however, it may cause problems for people who don’t have the required knowledge to navigate and it offers an easier way for criminals to accomplish illegal tasks. Military Success Like the internet, GPS was a military creation with huge civilian potential. So it is no surprise that the first proof that GPS worked was during a military campaign. The 1991 Gulf War was a very quick war, thanks to advance technology such as GPS [Norman, 1998]. The desert terrain where American troops operated was almost impossible to navigate due to lack of landmarks. However,…...

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