Global Positioning System

A series of twenty-four geosynchronous earth-orbiting satellites. The satellites continually transmit signals that help people determine their actual, geographic (3-D) position. This satellite-based navigation technology works 24/7, in all kinds of weather, anywhere in the world, and is accurate within 30 meters.

GPS technology has been available since 1995 through the U.S. Department of Defense's Global Positioning Satellite system and is used by millions of people (including hikers, divers, and pilots, and it is now being embedded in some automobiles). Computer scientists and Internet technologists are coupling GPS technology with wireless services so no matter where you are, you can use a handheld device to locate a coffeehouse near you.

A growing number of businesses are now beginning to track their workers and vehicles using GPS technology. This monitoring system allows the employer to keep close tabs on productivity and customer service. At any given time, the employer may zero in on a driver of a particular truck and can verify their speed and positioning.

Historical perspective: Relying too much on your GPS could deactivate parts of the brain, a study reported in 2017 as seen in The Week. Neuroscientists at University College London scanned the brains of 24 people as they navigated simulations of the British capital. Sometimes they had to find their own way, and sometimes they were given turn-by-turn directions similar to those offered by SatNav systems. Activity in the hippocampus—the brain region involved in memory and spatial mapping—increased when participants navigated by themselves. It also stimulated their prefrontal cortex, which is involved in planning and decision making. But when participants were given GPS-like directions, “brain activity in these regions ‘switched off,’” reports Scientific American. This shift could free up mental resources for other tasks, but researchers note that over time the brain’s ability to navigate could suffer. “If you think about the brain as a muscle,” says study leader Hugo Spiers, “then certain activities, like learning maps of London’s streets, are like body building.”

See also : PND  location-based service  20  
NetLingo Classification: Net Technology