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Geospatial technologies. Phew! Those are big words! You could be forgiven for thinking they pertain to something highly technical that you've never encountered before in your life and probably never will. But geospatial technologies aren't something that's confined to a scientific laboratory somewhere. We use them almost every day. Plenty of ordinary people make use of them all the time without realizing that geospatial technologies are their technical name. Have you guessed what it is we're talking about? It's computer mapping devices such as GPS! If you've ever wondered how GPS came about, how it works, and what other mapping systems are out there, you should find this website enlightening.
Geospatial technologies, which are also commonly known in the scientific and cartographic communities as geomatics or spatial information technology, is any type of technology that is used for making representations of the features on Earth. Whereas years ago cartographers had to take measurements with their own eyes and use their brains to translate them and their hands to produce them in small scale representations on paper, today most of these tasks are done by computerized devices. Satellites take measurements, computers interpret them, and software creates digital maps.
GPS, or Global Positioning System, is the most commonly used geospatial technology. It was invented in 1973 by scientists from the US Department of Defense to replace their older and less reliable navigation systems. By coordinating the signals from at least four of a network of navigation satellites, anyone with a GPS receiver can be sure of their location on a digital map and the time. In the late 1990s, GPS also became available to civilians and people in other countries so that today many people have GPS units in their cars or in their backpacks when they go hiking.
Though GPS is the most popular geospatial technology, there are also two other systems that fall under the same umbrella. One of them is GIS, or Geographic Information System, which you may have come across if you have been looking for information on land ownership and usage, as many cities use GIS on their websites. GIS doesn't offer positioning data, rather, it combines statistics and land information with maps and survey data to provide a more effective picture of land usage. GIS is essential to a variety of professions, including urban planning, surveying, and archeology. So you can be sure that Vance Auctions won't be added to this list!
Remote sensing is the third geospatial technology system, which is used extensively in the scientific, defense, and medical communities. Remote sensing uses non-evasive techniques, such as X-Rays or sound waves, to gather information about other objects or land masses without touching them. MRI machines, sonar, and weather satellites are all examples of devices used for remote sensing. Remote sensing, along with its sister technologies GPS and GIS, were recently celebrated in an international exhibition in Indonesia. If you want to see more of geospatial technology in action, you can visit their website at http://www.igte-indonesia.com/web/.
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