Executive Summary

        There are many current uses for the Global Positioning System (GPS) and many more that have not yet been thought of or implemented . This report will demonstrate how much GPS has improved navigation and explain some of its lesser known applications. A comparison to other navigational systems and a section on how GPS works are included. The research for this report was concentrated in the field of open-pit mining and so this application of GPS will be explained in greater detail than the other areas of applicability. Also explained is how society is being affected by these applications and what future applications may be in store.


Introduction

        This report is about the Global Positioning System (GPS) and its many applications. The history of navigation and how GPS works are important for understanding this report and so each has its own section within the report. How it compares to other navigational systems and its uses outside of navigation will be discussed as well. The goal of this report is to explain how GPS technology is affecting society. This report is intended for anyone who:
- uses GPS in their job,
- uses GPS for leisure activities,
- is curious about the applications, or
- is curious about how it works,
Actually, this report is for everyone since GPS affects us all whether we directly use it or not.

        Ultimately, this report conveys that GPS is not just a navigational system. A good analogy is the clock which was originally used as a navigational tool. Since stars look different at different times, people who used celestial navigation needed to know what time of night it was. The market forecasters shortly after the invention of the clock probably could not have imagined the impact that timekeeping would have on the world or the other products and services that this technology would someday make possible. The same situation can be found now with GPS. In fact, it was first intended for military use but is now meeting numerous civilian needs as well. We can only guess at some of the eventual uses that this relatively new technology will bring about.

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