GPS in Everyday Life

The GPS system was developed to meet military needs, but new ways to use its capabilities for everyday life are continually being found.
GPS is helping to save lives and property across the nation. Many police, fire, and
emergency medical-service units use GPS receivers
to determine the police car, fire
truck, or ambulance nearest to
an emergency, enabling the
quickest possible response in lifeor-
death situations. GPS-equipped
aircraft can quickly plot the perimeter
of a forest fire so fire supervisors can
produce updated maps in the field and
send firefighters safely to key hot spots.

Mapping, construction, and surveying companies use GPS extensively. During construction of the tunnel under the English Channel, British and French crews started digging from opposite ends: one from Dover, England, and one from Calais, France. They relied on GPS receivers outside the tunnel to check their positions along the way and to make sure they met exactly in the middle. Otherwise, the tunnel might have been crooked. GPS allows mine operators to navigate mining equipment safely, even when visibility is obscured.

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