Opinions

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

2, 4, 6, 8 — Who Do We Appreciate?

January 29, 2015By

Galileo, that’s who! For dogged determination and persistent pushing-forwardness in the face of adversity, obstacles, and the occasional technical difficulty. That there may be occasional confusion, as well, or mixed messages as to just what the future may bring, is certainly understandable. In fact, it is to be expected, given the circumstances. Let’s review the math. Two Two for the... read more

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Self-Driving Cars Find Their Way at CES

January 21, 2015By

This year’s CES featured the usual big TV screens, loudspeakers, wearables, 3D printers, drones and connected vehicles surrounded by 150,000 attendees over several Las Vegas meeting venues. What was interesting was the continued rise of autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles and platforms. Lost in all of the noise was a small, but important, location-based services enclave that consisted of GPS-enabled wearables and indoor positioning. read more