Did you know that GPS location data can be recorded when someone takes a picture of you?
According to the New York Times, when Adam Savage, host of the popular science program “MythBusters,” posted a picture on Twitter of his car parked in front of his house, he let his fans know much more than that he drove a Toyota Land Cruiser. Embedded in the image was a geotag, a bit of GPS data providing the longitude and latitude of where the photo was taken. Hence, he revealed exactly where he lived. And since the accompanying text was “Now it’s off to work,” potential thieves knew he would not be at home.
Geotagging is when a device such as an iPhone, Android smartphone or digital camera stores your location or geographical information, such as your GPS coordinates, within a photo or movie file (such as .jpg or .mov files). According to Wikipedia, a geotagged photograph is a photograph which is associated with a geographical location by geotagging. Geotags are useful in helping people find a wide variety of location-specific information. For example, one can find images taken near a given location by entering latitude and longitude coordinates into a suitable image search engine.
No one knows how to get around a city faster than a cab driver, which is why Microsoft gathered GPS tracking data from 33,000 taxi cab drivers in Beijing for several months. Microsoft engineers sifted through three months of GPS vehicle tracking data transmitted from the GPS devices. They wanted to identify shortcuts cab drivers were using to avoid traffic signals, congested intersections and other slow-downs.
T-Drive, complete with the capability to find real solutions to real street traffic situations. The software can determine what is the best route for a Beijing cab driver at any given time based on the accumulated Beijing cab drivers’’ knowledge of congested areas and shortcuts. According to Microsoft, “on average, the cabbies’ routes shave off 16 percent of a trip, saving 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of driving.”
In some cases, if someone is caught doing something illegal, and 1) the GPS tracking system information was used to convict him or her and 2) the GPS tracking system was placed by law enforcement without a warrant, convictions are not possible or overturned. But in other cases, courts have upheld the use of evidence obtained by placing a GPS device on a suspect’s car without a warrant.
Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek and host of Global Public Sphere (GPS) for CNN Worldwide answered questions about prompting job creation in the U.S. in a session of the show broadcast Oct 31. Among the fields Zakaria discussed as having huge potential for growth was Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology which he credits as the fuel behind the “next internet revolution.” Zakaria, who is among the best respected financial commentators in journalism today, suggested that America needs more investment in industries that will continue to shape the way society works and people communicate, like GPS systems, in order to reclaim jobs that have gone to other countries.
Zakaria says that the key to getting growth and middle-class jobs back is that we make massive investments, investments in technology, investments in research and development, investments in infrastructure. That is in a sense, investing in the middle class, because that is investing in the industries of the future, the industries that will create middle-class jobs. “Perhaps the most intelligent investment we can make is in human capital, particularly in talented people in science, math and computers,” said Zakaria.
The best GPS vehicle tracking systems are all user-friendly. Users with limited computer skills can easily learn how to master the systems and produce results quickly. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all GPS tracking solution. Depending on your situation, there are a number of things you should look for.
1) If you are going to be tracking a person or a small piece of property, ensure that you look for a small, inconspicuous, easy-to-install tracker.
2) For tracking a personal vehicle, you will want something that will track your vehicle both indoors and outdoors, and one that will run on the car’s battery so you don’t have to worry about replacing a dead battery.
3) If you are concerned with tracking a fleet of vehicles, you will need a tracker that will allow you to customize settings for different vehicles, that provides you with convenient text message and email alerts. Trackers like the FieldLogix GPS Fleet Management boast each of these features plus provides in-depth performance metrics, identifies problems such as excessive speeding and idling, inaccurate time-sheets, unauthorized vehicle stops and personal vehicle use. Fleet GPS tracking systems should always be integrated with Garmin navigation and Google Maps.
What’s a minute worth to you? To Southwest Airlines, it’s worth over a million dollars. According to FAA-TV in Dallas, this year Southwest Airlines is spending over $175 million on GPS navigation system updates to make its fleet of jets fly more precisely, saving the airline both time and and money. This all new GPS tracking system technology is making pilot’s job much cheaper, easier and safer for all.
Southwest pilot Kent Perry said the changes are based on the same global positioning satellite (GPS) technology you might be using in your car, only more sophisticated. Now the landing points can be programmed into the plane’s computer before takeoff. Because of precise GPS data, the plane “knows” its position and altitude at all times. I’m not touching the throttles or the yoke,” Perry says as we “fly” over the lights of Chicago. “I’m basically running it with this panel up here.” The plane uses the information to approach the runway, and Perry takes over just before touchdown.
GPS tracking devices have been placed on several Rhinos in South Africa in an effort to stop the endangered animals from being killed by poachers. According to BBC News, the The North West Park Board in the Mafikeng Game Reserve began placing the GPS tracking devices on the Rhinos in April of 2010. To date, several Rhinos are being monitored by the GPS tracking system. The Board plans to tag many more animals with GPS tracking devices in the upcoming months.
The GPS tracking devices are fitted into the rhino’s horn by drilling a small hole in the inert or dead part of the horn. As well as GPS tracking, the devices are equipped with an alarm system to notify game wardens of unusual Rhino movement or location. According to Rusty Hustler, head of security for North West Parks Board,”There are a number of alarms that can be programmed: one for excessive movement, so if the rhino starts running, and another that goes off if the rhino sleeps for longer than six hours, which is abnormal.” He added that in the future, the devices could even help to track rhino horns that were taken by poachers to help combat the illegal trade.
Vehicle GPS Tracking Systems enabled with Telematics technology will forever change the way Americans drive, according to an article on an Edmunds company website – Insideline.com. The article titled “Five Car Technologies That Will Change How You Drive” discusses up and coming technological advances that will make driving better, safer, more convenient and more entertaining than ever.
The five up and coming auto technologies highlighted in the Edmunds article include:
* Telematics and GPS Tracking – Voice activation, text-to-speech technology, audible RSS feeds, and vehicle tracking systems are being upgraded and developed.
* Connected Cars – Updated maps, local services and listings, real-time traffic information and much more are now available from your dashboard. Features like Ford’s Sync system and connected navigation such as Google Maps Navigation bring “cloud computing” to your car’s interior.
* Next-Generation Head-Up Displays – Holographic Laser Projection (HLP) display information on the windshield and infrared cameras “paint” the edges of a road during low visibility.
* Advanced Driver Assistance Systems – Lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, blind-spot detection and pedestrian detection can help protect drivers from even themselves.
* In-Car Apps – Soon drivers will be able to download a wide variety of apps to create customizable dashboards, navigation, communication and entertainment options within their vehicles.
GPS fleet tracking systems were installed last year in 300 school buses in St. Paul, MN. At first, drivers were not overly enthusiastic about the installation of the GPS fleet tracking devices. Until the drivers realized just how useful they could be. Not only have the GPS tracking devices help resolve heated disputes between parents and drivers, but in some cases, the GPS tracking devices have saved bus drivers from losing their jobs.
On a typical day, the public school system in St. Paul is responsible for transporting an average of 38,000 students. The school’s transportation department often receive dozens of calls a day from parents complaining that the bus never picked up their child. Until recently, before the
GPS systems were installed, it was the school bus driver’s word against the parent’s. That has all changed since the school district installed a GPS fleet tracking system in every one of the school district’s 300 buses.
According to the latest ruling out of the Ninth Circuit Court, it’s perfectly legal for state, local, or federal agents to secretly plant a GPS tracking system on your car in the middle of the night, even if it’s parked in your driveway, and then use said GPS vehicle tracking system to track your movements as they see fit. BAscially the ruling says that federal agents can secretly install a GPS vehicle tracking device into your car without a warrant – and this doesn’t violate a citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights.
The ruling, which sets precedent for Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, holds that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures” doesn’t apply to driveways. But the Ninth Circuit doesn’t make precedent for the whole country, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently ruled that extended tracking via GPS requires a warrant. But, since conflicting precedent has now been set on the West Coast, this issue is bound for the Supreme Court.
In the case, DEA agents secretly planted a GPS vehicle tracking system on Juan Pineda-Moreno’s Jeep at night while it was parked outside his home, and then used it to pinpoint the illegal marijuana crop he was cultivating. Pineda-Moreno appealed the case on the grounds that the secret GPS tracking violated his Fourth Amendment rights, but a three-judge panel denied his appeal in January and a larger panel ruled this month against reconsidering the case.