While watching pre-shot reality videos on TV, ever wondered how the US police always manage to track-down and finally nab the fleeing criminals madly zigzagging their way in a tow truck through the busy highways? The answer is ‘through the GPS device installed in the vehicle’. If you aren’t already aware, you must be wondering what a GPS device is, right? To understand how a GPS device works, you have to first know about the Global Positioning System (GPS)!
What is the Global Positioning System?
Global Positioning System is the sole fully functional Global Navigation Satellite System developed by the United States Department of Defense. GPS works via the 24 satellites embedded around the Earth’s orbit, which transmits precise microwave signals that can be received using a GPS receiver to determine its location, speed, direction, and time. Onwards 1983, US President Ronald Reagan made the use of GPS free for even civilians. This, in turn, made GPS units (comprising transmitting device and receiver) very popular as it uses the satellites as reference points to calculate positions of anything on the ground.
The GPS technology is being used as a handy tool by nations worldwide for a variety of purposes like scientific study of earthquakes, synchronization of telecommunications networks, navigation, map-making, land surveying, commerce and other uses. After the GPS was made free for civilian use, GPS units comprising transmitting devices and receivers have been selling like hotcakes in US and Europe. Though vital developments have taken place in the fields of GPS in last two decades in India, to make it popular to the same extent will take some time and necessary awareness-creation initiative.
Global Positioning System (GPS) in India
India has been making use of the GPS technology for monitoring weather conditions, tracking vehicular traffic and irrigation aspects, identifying national borders, vegetation areas and so on. It has proved to be a highly efficient technique for the terrestrial surveying. Infact, the three main GPS features - instrumentation, software and manpower, have developed crucially in India with time. GPS got boost in India due to the burgeoning IT industry. Now more and more organizations are using GPS technology for making best use of their resources. As such, the GPS technology is also widely popular in transportation industry and delivery services. Surveying, field data collection, yellow pages, tourism, infrastructure, communication - the Global Positioning System has major utility in all these areas.
Vehicle tracking and other value-added GPS service providers in India
Jetnet Telematrix India
Consulting Geo Info Systems
Use of GPS by General Indian Citizens
GPS technology can be used by anyone, anywhere in India. There is no subscription fee, except for GPS transmitting device-receiver set price you will pay while buying. A variety of GPS sets are available nowadays which can cost you anywhere between a few thousand rupees to lakhs. To use the GPS effectively, you need a clear view of the sky, which connotes that a GPS transmitter cannot work underground, inside buildings or anyplace that can block the reception of the microwave signals by the GPS receiver.
- GPS is most widely used for navigation. So you can purchase a car navigation system that will provide you directions while you are traveling by car. Also do remember purchasing the 'data' for the city where you wish to use your system along with the GPS receiver. The use of car navigation system is steadily catching up in India.
- GPS devices cum transmitters also come in miniature sizes, which can be installed into a shoe or a watch. This way you can easily keep track on your child. The GPS device will instantly message you whenever your child goes beyond a specified area.
- Some GPS devices can be used to play interesting 'location' games. If you are the adventurous type, then Geocaching can be a fun activity for you and your family members. One can use their GPS devices to hunt for 'caches' of hidden by fellow enthusiasts. The GPS has innumerable uses in everyday life.