GPS News, News Archives


Aug 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GPS

USS Cape St. George is first ship using digital mapping system

Sailors on the USS Cape St. George is the first in the U.S. Navy fleet to switch from paper maps to a new digital charting system, linked to GPS and instant updates on ocean obstructions. The Navy, which has been working on the new technology since 1998, plans to install and use the new digital maps on the entire flee by 2009.

Satellite data, GPS aids study on Antarctic iceberg detachment

A multifaceted research effort by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and their international colleagues from the University of Tasmania and the Australian Antarctic Division, have been investigating the mechanisms by which Antarctic icebergs detach from the main continental ice sheet because of the importance of determining the future stability of the entire Antarctic ice mass. Little is known about the processes and forces that lead to iceberg detachments, or “calving.”

School buses to be equipped with GPS


All 600 school buses in Metro Nashville in U.S.A. will have a GPS monitoring device onboard. The GPS will use software for tracking these buses from a computer at the school system’s transportation headquarters, which shall include their location, speed etc.. The devices are so accurate that during a test run last year, officials caught several bus drivers speeding.

China to introduce electronic GPS maps

China will use electronic GPS maps in 142 cities in order to weave a network across the country within 10 years. China’s Planet Map Publishing House and Shenzhen Maxwell Technology Corp. Ltd., the developers, have invested more than 100million yuan (some 12.2 million US dollars) in the project, hoping to make the system cover major Chinese cities, counties and towns. The maps can help car drivers to choose the best travel route and people can easily fi nd the exact positions of restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals and other facilities on the map.

Boy scouts of US embrace GPS

More than 42,000 Boy Scouts and leaders from across the USA used more than maps and compasses to learn the ropes of outdoor navigation during Boy Scouts of America’s 2005 National Scout Jamboree. For the first time in its 68-year history, the Jamboree is teaching advanced navigation skills through the use of Magellan(R) GPS receivers donated by Thales and offer scouts a fun and exciting learning experience through geocaching, an increasingly popular outdoor GPS challenge likened to a high-tech treasure hunt.

Microsoft tracks WiFi for new mapping system

Microsoft has dispatched cars to trawl many city and suburban streets across the U.S. to locate the signals sent out by millions of short-range home and office wireless (or WiFi) networks. The unusual move, is part of a plan to create a ground-based location system as an alternative to the GPS satellite system. This echoes an effort by A9, a search engine owned by, the online retailer, to use trucks with cameras mounted on the roof to photograph millions of storefronts in the U.S.

Microsoft says it has a database containing the whereabouts of “millions” of WiFi networks, while A9’s Web site gives access to 26m pictures from 20 US cities. Microsoft has also used low-flying aircraft to catch big urban centers on fi lm, while the software company and Google, the search company, are racing to make widely available the most detailed satellite images of every corner of the earth’s surface. These and other initiatives are now being extended internationally, as the Internet companies vie to attract users.

Microsoft said it had collected only the unique identifi er, known as a MAC address which each WiFi network broadcasts. This could not be traced to an address or an individual user. Microsoft said that, by recording the position of every MAC address on a giant map, it had created a positioning system that would make it possible for anyone with a WiFi-enabled laptop computer to identify their location to within 30.5 meters.

UK Union calls for European ban on staff tracking

A UK trade union is calling for a European-wide ban on supermarkets and other employers using Radio Frequency Identifi cation (RFID) and GPS technology to tag and track staff in the workplace. The general workers’ union GMB has submitted a report to the European Commission warning that tagging technologies are an invasion of workers’ privacy and calling for legislation to restrict its use. The GMB warned supermarkets last month that they face strike action if they continue doing the same.

Lawmakers introduce GPS tracking bill in Wisconsin

Two state lawmakers have joined forces to protect Wisconsin’s childrenfrom repeat sexual predators. State Representative Scott Suder (RAbbotsford) and Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) unveiled their groundbreaking legislation recently called Project KidSafe, which will require the state’s mostdangerous sex offenders to wear satellite tracking devices to aid law enforcement offi cials in monitoring their exact whereabouts 24 hours a day.

GPS bracelets to safeguard mentally disordered offenders

The TBS system of secure hospitalisation for offenders with psychiatric difficulties in the Netherlands is to be reformed making them wear GPS-tracking ankle bracelets when on supervised visits outside the hospital to cut down on escapes. This will help to track the person with great accuracy by GPS positional satellites.

Locating Iraq’s missing artefacts

Archaeological sites in southern Iraq have been systematically looted or over two years, but experts say the dig will have to go much deeper to fi nd out where thousands of lost artefacts have ended up. Experts say it may be years before the riddle is solved. What is known is the breadth of looting, with satellite images showing ancient sites turned into chessboards of square-shaped holes. The focus has also concentrated on the smugglers of such artifacts. Archaeologist Abdal Amir Hamdani, in charge of antiquities for Dhi Qar province, home to some of Iraq’s most famous archaeological sites uses what he calls a “hunting dog”, a former looter turned paid informant, who follows up rumours and goes out with a digital camera and GPS equipment to locate and mark smugglers’ houses. These expeditions often result in fruitful raids.

Maps and GPS help historians retrace a historic route

Guided by a 1914 article by Harvard University professor John Kennedy Lacock, and using old maps, journals and GPS technology, Bantz, a historian has painstakingly plotted most of the 58 kilometres of Braddock’s Road in western Maryland in the U.S.A. He said there are 29 kilometres of undisturbed road in Maryland, almost all on private land, while just traces exist in Pennsylvania. 250 years ago, British and colonial American troops hacked through almost 200 kilometres of Maryland and Pennsylvania wilderness en route to a resounding defeat by the French near what is now Pittsburgh. Today, their route known as Braddock’s road is barely recognizable.

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