Case Analysis 3 - Personal Navigation Devices

Topics: Global Positioning System, GPS, Navigation Pages: 5 (1631 words) Published: January 13, 2014

Case Analysis 3 - Personal Navigation Devices


For as long as man has been mobile the need to know how to get from point A to point B and back to point A has been important. About 3500 B.C. man began sailing ships to travel and carry goods from one place to another. Travel in those times was limited to coastal travel; ships stayed within view of the shore and did not venture into open waters ("Early Navigation Tools," n.d.). Later on mariners learned to plot their courses through the use of major constellations and the movement of the sun and stars. First navigation was dangerous when elements like storms or navigator errors arose ("The History of Navigation," n.d.). As travel evolved so did the tools to make this possible. Man’s earliest “GPS” devices were Back Staff

Cross Staff
Magnetic Compass
Mariner's Astrolabe
Universal Ring Dial ("Early Navigation Tools," n.d.)
Why have Personal Navigation Devices become popular?
As our society has evolved and the population has increased along with metropolitan sprawl and traffic congestion along with a growing environmental awareness people have turned to the personal navigation device (PND). The PND has allowed people to arrive at their destination on-time and without getting lost by avoiding traffic congestion with the most efficient travel plan. In an article by Fred Zahradnik he defines PND as, “uses Global Positioning System satellite signals to provide position information and related data and services. PND is a generic term covering a wide variety of electronic devices, ranging from in-car portable GPS to handheld portable receivers to commercial fleet management devices and more” (Zahradnik, n.d.). According to Berg Insight, "At the end of 2011, there were 340 million navigation systems in use worldwide, including an estimated 60 million factory installed and aftermarket in dash navigation systems, about 150 million PNDs and an estimated 130 million navigation-enabled mobile phones"(Malm, n.d., p. 2). What technologies are required to facilitate the success of PNDs? Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is defined by as, “1. Global Positioning System: a global system of U.S. navigational satellites developed to provide precise positional and velocity data and global time synchronization for air, sea, and land travel. 2. an electronic system that uses these satellites to determine the position of a vehicle, person, etc.: The car is equipped with GPS, so I'm sure we won't get lost. 3. a receiver that determines its position by analyzing the satellite signals it receives: When we go on hikes, we use a GPS.” ("GPS," n.d.). GPS technology has its roots in time accuracy. Scientists wanted a better way to measure time accurately and they built the atomic clock accurate within a billion of a second (Etinger, 2009). With the entrance into the space race in the 1950s and the launch of satellites scientists learned that this technology could also be used to track global position on the earth. This prompted the US Navy to begin a program of their own and launch several satellites. By 1993 they had positioned 24 satellites and the GPS system was created (Etinger, 2009). In March of 1996 under a Presidential Decision Directive, President Clinton stated that his goals for providing access to the general public were, “encourage acceptance and integration of GPS into peaceful civil, commercial and scientific applications worldwide; and to encourage private sector investment in and use of U.S. GPS technologies and services” (Clinton, 2000) On May 1 in a statement released by the Office of the Press Secretary it was announced that as of midnight the signal would no longer be scrambled and GPS would now be available to the public (Clinton, 2000). Up until that time GPS was available in limited form to the public which allowed for very inaccurate positioning and the full use...

References: Brudtkuhl, A. (2007, June 7). The future of personal navigation devices.
Retrieved April 1, 2013, from
1, 2013, from
GPS. (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2013, from
Hesseldahl, A., & Schenker, J. L. (2008, April 9). TomTom and garmin lose their
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