|Have you ever been lost?
Or have you ever found a great fishing spot and then had trouble
returning? Cars and
boats are using a new technology that will help people who are lost in their
cars or help them to return to that perfect fishing area.
The new technology basically consists of a computer, receiver and a
satellite. New technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are changing the way people
farm, as well as becoming more and more a part of our lives. With a GPS you can locate exactly where you are on the
earth’s surface and a GIS is the computer software that converts the
signals received by a GPS into geographic information and a map.
|A GPS consists of two items.
What do you think they might be?
receiver is the small yellow device sitting on the black box between the two
tripods. The GPS antenna (on
the left side) is connected to the receiver.
A constellation of 24 satellites circling the earth continuously
sends signals that are received by the GPS.
At any given time, the GPS may be receiving signals from 4 to 8
satellites. It is the
information imbedded in these
signals that allow a computer to give a
general position on the earth’s surface. Another
device, mounted on the second tripod (on the right), consists
of a two-way radio and antenna and is used for very specific positioning.
|The radio communicates with a rover GPS
position of the rover may be determined with an accuracy of less than 2cm. This base station, consisting of the GPS receiver, antenna,
and 2-way radio, is necessary to obtain this level of accuracy.
field computer contains GIS software that allows us to record geographic
positions as it receives information from the GPS receiver.
This particular computer provides a user-friendly interface that
allows us to display these geographic positions as a vehicle is driven
across the field. The file created in the field computer can then be
transferred to a desktop computer.
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