The technology and applications of GPS systems using satellite-based technology have evolved at a rapid rate since the launch of the first global positioning system satellite almost two decades ago.
With no signs of waning, GPS technology is on the verge of experiencing a massive explosion of newer use cases and newer markets for implementation.
Like almost all new technologies, the decision of whether to implement on something new is influenced by a lot of external factors. Nevertheless, as we welcome 2019, the scope of GPS technology is still largely unrealized.
GPS technology can be used in a variety of industries and different use cases as we enter the new year, and this article aims to highlight a few of them.
The agricultural and farming sector has already been using GPS technology at small levels. And this trend is expected to go mainstream in 2019. By combining both GPS and Geography Information Systems, GPS- guided tractors are routinely achieving position accuracy of 10 centimeters or even better.
Such tractors and other GPS powered farming equipment can be used for increased accuracy in areas such as farm planning, soil and field mapping, tractor guidance, crop scouting, and even yield mapping.
Train transportation is evolving at a steady rate with many countries around the world substituting their old manual systems and new automated and accurate systems.
This ensures passenger safety as well as improved efficiency of rail operations. GPS technology is at the heart of this revolution, with many railroad systems around the world using GPS technology in tandem with various sensors, computers and communication systems. It guarantees operational effectiveness.
Public Safety and Disaster Relief
Activities for public safety involving disaster response teams conducting search and rescue operations have greatly been impacted using GPS technology in recent years, saving countless lives.
This trend is carrying over to the new year, with newer advancements in how we search and rescue.
One of the greatest challenges in this regard, is performing accurate and comprehensive searches to find victims or survivors quickly. Items such as emergency beacons are GPS equipped and have played vital roles in some of the major disasters in the last decade, such as during the 2004 Tsunami rescue efforts.
Various Recreational Activities
Outdoor exploration and other recreational activities involve many hazards which could be eliminated. It has solved many of the traditional problems associated with outdoor exploration, such as following the “right” trail.
Thus, hikers, adventurers, bicyclists etc. are relying on GPS rather than traditional paper maps and compasses.
Vehicle Tracking using GPS is not a new concept and has been around for at least 6 years in many parts of the world. This technology is further expected to evolve going forward, providing effective real time location information. This is especially useful for vehicle owners in case of theft or any unauthorized usage. This technology is used both for personal vehicles as well as commercial vehicles for business purposes.
Safety of Children
Children are at more risk than ever in the modern world, and parents do all they can to ensure that they are safe.
Over the past couple of years, the implementation of GPS technology for children safety has been heavily debated, with the opposition citing a lack of privacy as the major reason to oppose it.
However, the advantages that GPS technology would bring for child safety cannot be overlooked. Parents can now easily track their child’s movements on their smart phones and be alerted when the child deviates from the agreed path.
In areas where child abduction is rampant, this technology can be the answer to tackle increasing crime rates in many countries.
GPS is now being used by many tourism companies for the purpose of mobile tourist information retrieval systems.
For instance, a GPS powered application can provide a tourist different information relating to his/her surroundings, based on their location. This not only helps to make the system more efficient, but also acts as a virtual guide, so that tourists do not get lost easily.
NASA’s recent use of GPS technology via the Deep Space Network has helped its users to determine their position more accurately. This is achieved by using communications channel tracking.
GPS technology and all its related applications appear to be growing at a rapid rate, with the GPS industry expected to appreciate by several million dollars. It is already starting to enter personal consumer applications related to transport telematics and personal location. Let us see what the future has in store!