or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
I was in a meeting recently, where I am involved in a project around improved mobile working. We were walking through the bit in the mobile forms where the SatNav fires up and starts guiding the worker to the property, where the work will take place. The excitement was immense. Over the top slightly, considering we all seem these days, to take Satellite Navigation for granted, but at this site, it's something users have not had supplied from work before.
The first real SatNav that I remember was those on flights, where a plane graphic hung over the European landmass, seemingly making that flight take twice as long. Like a slow motion shot on a putting green. It was a US company called Airshow, that shared this with us, but it was 2005 before SatNav really took off with Garmin and TomTom.
Since then, directed sometimes by Homer Simpson, Yoda or Stephen Fry ("Now when possible, could you turn around. Ideally don't do it when impossible, bless"), we have pretty much all bought into them. There are many stories happens when we follow them blindly too. Muppets driving into rivers and juggernauts rumbling through our tiny villages. I honestly think humans as a race are losing the ability to read proper maps. Most of my friends don't seem to have one tucked into their rear seats anymore. If they do, it's likely they are over old.
What on earth would we do if those 20+ medium earth orbit satellites, which circle the earth about every twelve hours, go wrong? The ability to supply satellite navigation signals is also the ability to deny their availability. The operator of a satellite navigation system potentially has the ability to degrade or eliminate satellite navigation services over any territory it desires. It is currently the US and Russia, who provide these.
Seriously, withdrawal of GPS availability would have a worse effect than switching off the mains electricity for an hour. Malfunction would be a massive blow to our emergency services, repair operatives (of course), taxis, and all systems of flight traffic control. We could not stock our shops or feed ourselves. I almost want to equip those repair operatives with AA Road atlases 7 an AtoZ too, together with that spare mobile tablet booster and the Otterbox we supplied them with!
Related Post: So, how good is our ICT and when are we world beating?
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KC & The Sunshine band - That's The Way.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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