Opinions

Expert Advice: A Leap into the Unknown?

March 1, 2015By
Leap-Second-O

A leap second will be introduced this year at 23:59 on June 30. This phenomenon comes around periodically and is necessary for keeping UTC in line with the Earth’s slowing rotation. Although it will pass unnoticed by most, it has implications for anyone involved in the development of GNSS-enabled devices. For some, it can be the cause of a major headache. read more

Markey Report Concerns Connected Vehicle Industry

February 26, 2015By
Markey-report-O

Sen. Ed Markey’s new car technology report, released earlier this month, basically says that connected vehicles can be hacked, causing danger to drivers and presenting major privacy concerns. While some critics believe Markey’s report was meant to drive media hysteria, others say it raises serious issues that the industry needs to address. In other location news, I'll be covering the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona for GPS World. What will be the showcased location technology? Wearables? Connected vehicles? Or something new? read more

Obstacles in the Orbit Path of GPS III

February 25, 2015By

A Lockheed Martin vice president has stated that the first GPS III satellite will likely launch in 2017, not 2016 as had been projected in the most recent update. The company is readying the first satellite for launch availability by the end of 2015, for launch as early as the end of this year, but Space News reports that Mark... read more

A Milestone in Digital Mapping

February 25, 2015By

Hard to believe, we have only now reached the 10th anniversary of Google Maps. As important as digital maps have become, their purpose is much the same as the printed and drawn maps that preceded them. Digital maps emerged in the 1960s with the Census Bureau’s DIME maps. These first digital maps were used for analysis of place-specific data, such as populations within census tracts or cities. Digital maps in turn led to geographic information systems (GIS) for spatial analysis. Though GIS had uses in fields like city planning, the main stimulus for digital maps came in the 1990s with the convergence of the completion of GPS infrastructure, and affordable and portable computers. read more

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USAF FY16 Budget Plus $10B More, Please!

February 11, 2015By

The long-anticipated 2016 President’s Budget (PB) was submitted to Congress in early February. The PB is the spark that ignites the lengthy and often contentious congressional budget process, including: adopting a budget resolution framework, developing numerous discretionary spending bills, reconciling legislation between the House and Senate, approving continuing resolution stop-gap measures and finally, hopefully, appropriating funds for various programs — including the... read more

What Exactly Is GPS NMEA Data?

February 4, 2015By

You may have heard about “NMEA data” with respect to GPS. NMEA existed well before GPS was invented, and today is a standard supported by all GPS manufacturers. NMEA gives equipment users the ability to mix and match hardware and software, and makes it easier for software developers to write software for a wide variety of GPS receivers. What makes NMEA confusing is that there are quite a few NMEA messages, not just one. This month, I break down the mysterious NMEA code. read more

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Out in Front: Yes, We Have No Bananas

February 1, 2015By

What if the U.S. government stepped in and confiscated all your bananas? Grown foreignly, they lack proper accreditation to enter this country. That they have done so for years is no excuse. They are illegal. Those who consume said bananas engage in unlawful activity. Those who facilitate such consumption — you, in this case, whom we imagine to be a... read more