Essay 1 - Jessica Gimbel October 27, 2010 Geography...

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Jessica Gimbel October 27, 2010 Geography 101/Section 312 Shifting Geographies of Production and Consumption People don’t usually associate simple technological advances as major influences of the global economy. Global positioning systems were initiated by the military after the creation of Russian satellite, Sputnik. After the launch of Sputnik, the United States government realized that location could be pinpointed through satellites in space and began setting up satellites in the 1940s. Global positioning systems (GPS) were established in 1973 by the United States Department of Defense in order to allow the military to locate people and places in any climate condition. GPS uses a combination of longitudinal, latitudinal, and altitudinal coordinates to locate a specific aim on land, sea or in the air. Today there are twenty-four NAVSTAR (formal name for global positioning system) satellites orbiting on a twelve- hour schedule (Faghri &Hamad, 2002). This essay will investigate how the evolution of global positioning systems in the past four decades has paralleled the incredible shifts in the geography of a globalizing world by examining its uses to the military, the government and to the people. Widespread knowledge and access to global positioning systems has effectively spurred economic growth in the world because it has grown to become available to anyone who finds its numerous uses valuable. GPS systems affect the success of the global economy through military and general uses specifically. To support this argument, the essay will first explore the direct or indirect role that regional and national institutions play in the changes that GPS has brought to the globalizing economy. The essay will then go on to discuss the uses of global positioning systems
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from a Fordist approach and subsequently from a post-Fordist approach. This will provide evidence of a changed society that doesn’t need to rely on past methods to get to specific places and has changed how GPS systems are manufactured. Finally, the essay will study the spread of global positioning systems from a centralized and governmental power to a benefit any person can enjoy. Evidence will be provided to support that GPS has shifted as a global commodity and has become affordable, transportable and relatively easy to obtain. In a rapidly changing world, technology must be able to keep up in order to survive. The global economy has experienced major geographic and historical shifts due to the advances in high tech and electronic sectors involved. Global positioning systems began as a military invention that sent satellites into space that could locate a position from within ten meters anywhere in the world. The satellites were sent into space and now orbit at an altitude of 12,000 miles above Earth’s surface (James, 2009). GPS was competing against Soviet GLONASS in their everlasting arms race (Spelman, 1999). The military used GPS in moving troops in and out of the area as well as around the area.
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2012 for the course GEO 101 taught by Professor Dempsey during the Fall '10 term at Wisconsin.

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Essay 1 - Jessica Gimbel October 27, 2010 Geography...

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