Back in the day, there was no way to figure out where we were in the world except to look at the stars. Finding your way anywhere was done by using compasses, maps and luck! With the advancement of technology being as unique as it is, people have developed a technological way never to get lost again. GPS, otherwise known as the Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based navigation system to help you determine precisely where you are in the world and can also give you directions to wherever you want to go. The first satellite was launched in 1978, each lasting about ten years, meaning satellites are constantly being made and launched into orbit. These run on solar energy, one of our renewable energy sources.

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So what exactly is GPS?

Back in the day, there was no way to figure out where we were except to look at the stars. Finding your way anywhere was done by using compasses, maps and luck! With the advancement of technology being as unique as it is, people have developed a technological way never to get lost again. GPS, otherwise known as the Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based navigation system to help you determine precisely where you are in the world and can also give you directions to wherever you want to go. The first satellite was launched in 1978, each lasting about ten years, meaning satellites are constantly being made and launched into orbit. These run on solar energy, one of our renewable energy sources.

It’s compatible!

The great thing about GPS is that it is compatible with most devices; it works in any weather and will work anywhere in the world. It’s 24 hours a day, works for free, and comes already installed. 

Initially, when GPS came out, it was specifically for the US Military. However, in the 1980s, it was public for all to use. The system consists of 31 satellites orbiting the earth twice a day. Twelve thousand miles separate us from these satellites! Their speed around the globe is approximately seven thousand miles per hour! These satellites each have their unique signal, which your GPS device can then use to determine their locations. 

The type of tracking you do, 2D or 3D, will determine how many satellites your GPS connects. For 2D, which is your longitude and latitude, your device will need to connect to at least three satellites! With four or more satellites related, your device can tell you longitude, latitude AND altitude! 

But what can GPS do for us?

It tracks a lot more than you think. It gives us our location, speed, tracks where we go, and distance in different vehicles and helps us find the best routes. 

There are so many advantages to using this technology!

The easy navigation and real-time tracking keep you on the map! And due to its knowledge, it can guide you to your nearest petrol stations, restaurants, bars and landmarks! Since this technology is low-cost, it is easier to integrate with most devices and works worldwide.

There are disadvantages to GPS technology.

You need to have a battery in your device, so you will be lost if you’ve not got a working machine. It can use up much of your energy! So your device will lose power much faster with GPS than without it. Another disadvantage is that GPS doesn’t work within concrete walls, so it’s best used when outside!

In summary, you can see that GPS is a beneficial and valuable tool in our daily lives, and although it might not cost a lot of money to run, it does have a few downfalls. The idea of being able to track yourself and never get lost is a fantastic thing that we use to keep us right, and without it, disasters, like getting lost, getting hurt and going missing, would be at a much higher chance of happening. 

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