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Practical Uses for GPS Technology
 by: Jeremy Maddock

Since the US Department of Defense established the worldwide Global Positioning System (GPS) network, it has been put to a very wide variety of uses by governments, corporations, organizations, and individuals alike.

It has been put to good use for many years in its original, and most obvious, purpose of coordinating military operations. In fact, if it weren't for GPS, many modern military operations and practices would simply not be possible. It is also frequently used in search-and-rescue missions as well as disaster relief efforts.

In addition to this, GPS technology has proven to be instrumental in numerous scientific research expeditions, especially in very remote regions such as mountain ranges and the north and south poles.

The other side of GPS functionality, which is sometimes forgotten, is the many uses it can be put to by individual consumers. Handheld GPS units ( ) and other GPS devices ( ) are available for sale through many ordinary retail channels, and can be very useful for a variety recreational purposes. For example, having a GPS device handy when camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, or boating can be an excellent way to ensure that you don't get lost, even if you somehow manage to wander off course.

Another common consumer use of GPS technology is for safety security purposes. Using a GPS tracking system ( ) can be an excellent way to combat crimes such as theft and kidnapping.