If you grew up watching “Star Trek,” you may find something strange about the idea of knowing where you are on the planet simply by opening a small device. You should be familiar with this idea by now. In fact, this technology represents a true revolution, comparable to the invention of the accurate ship board clock that ushered in the round-the-world era of the 1700s. Today, GPS is causing a renaissance in the navigation, surveying, and mapping professions and may completely replace traditional methods of traffic navigation and land surveying with in just a few years.
The uses and significance of Global Positioning Systems have not yet been fully realized, and new applications are being discovered all the time. GPS is rapidly gaining importance in areas as diverse as natural resource management, mineral exploration, transportation, operations management, agriculture, shipping, utilities, disaster mitigation, and public safety.
About the Book
This book is designed to support an introductory course on the fundamentals of the Global Positioning System and is based on a series of graphical displays and extracted concept booklets. That level of information is readily available from many highly technical publications and is not necessary for most users any more than an electronics textbook is necessary for a television buyer.
Each concept is illustrated in this book with one to four graphics on the left-hand page of each page. On the opposite right-hand page is a brief explanation of the concept. Although much more could be said about each topic presented, only the highlights that the authors believe are of most immediate value to geographers, project managers, field technicians, or others who need to learn the basics of GPS are included here.
At the end of the book is a list of recommended reading for those interested in gathering more in-depth and detailed information on most of the topics covered.