Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GPS - how would we get along without it?

There are very few of us who are unfamiliar with satellite-based navigation system called GPS (Global Positioning Systems). We have them on our phones, in our cars, and our Garmins. Hikers, hunters, snowmobile enthusiasts, mountain bikers, and cross-country skiers enjoy the ability to track their progress or their position when they’re out having fun.

A year ago I purchased a GPS tracker for my husband who does a lot of riding in the “wilderness” of Nevada.  Every ten minutes or so it sends back a signal where I can track his progress. There are several buttons in case of emergency along with customizable ones that inform me of his progress.  It provides a level of comfort that I can always track where he is at as he treks through the mountains behind our home.

Last month, after staying in Alaska to take care of my son who’d been in a serious accident, my hubby drove home.  He turned on his tracker and I was able to follow him all the way to our back door.  You can see the print screen I took of his progress (all except the first day).
Growing up, this kind of technology was unheard of.  In fact, the first GPS satellite wasn't launched in 1978 and the grid of 24 satellites wasn't completed until 1994.  But today, it’s common to punch in your desire for a cup of Starbucks coffee, or a friends address and find its location to within 15 meters.  For some it is used for security.

I often wonder how we ever made it down the road before GPS.  I guess we needed to learn how to read a map!

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