David's Blog | Misc ramblings about things in general, work and technical items of interest.

TAG | geocaching



GPS – 10 years ago today

10 years ago today on May 1, 2000 President Bill Clinton had Selective Availability turned off and GPS accuracy for civilians went from 1000 ft to 65 ft or less. The consumer GPS revolution was set to begin.

Statement by President Bill Clinton

We use a GPS for many things now though most folks associate it with driving directions on their Garmin, Magellan & other brands of auto GPS units. I’ve had one for many years before they were $100 and full color so I’ve seen quite a change in the capabilities of the technology.

I got my first GPS to start geocaching.  I did that for a few years with the family or on my own. It also helped me get in the best shape of my life doing mega hikes of 15+ miles in a day over pretty extreme terrain.

I also use a GPS connected to my ham radio in the car which runs APRS and allows my position to be transmitted to a worldwide network of other ham radio stations.  I don’t run it all the time, but my most recent activity can be viewed on APRS,fi.

As the technology becomes more accepted and exploited, location based services will continue to emerge so as you move through your daily life you will be notified, if you so choose, about nearby items of interest and friends.  It is all there already just waiting to become more mainstream. I wonder what we’ll be experiencing via GPS on May 1, 2020?

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