"The global positioning system (GPS) is a satellite-based system for determining accurate positions on or near Earth's surface (Physical Geo p.43)". "The GPS system was developed in the 1970's and 1980's by the US defense department to aid in guiding missiles, navigating air crafts, and controlling ground troops (Physical Geo p.43)". GPS is based on 24 satellites. They are set up so that a minimum of four are in the view of the earth atmosphere. The accuracy of GPS is greater then that of a base map.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan made access to the system free to the public, and astounding commercial growth has resulted (Physical Geo p.43)". The ideal that eventually everything in the near future will be using the system of GPS, for example cars. .
The graph above shows how much each part of the military spends on GPS based off 1995 information.
The issue with GPS is should it be accessible to the public? GPS is used in earthquake prediction, ocean floor mapping volcano monitoring and a variety of mapping projects. These things are helpful to the United States; the system is helping us figure out what's going on with the world. "The GPS is so powerful that the Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has used the system for damage assessment following a natural disaster like floods and hurricanes.
Can the GPS system be misused by the public, the answer is YES. The type of misuse can be a number of things although there are many I will cover only two. Intelligence collection is the first one. "The information that might be gathered by terrorist using or own system with the use of collecting data form our own satellites could be a problem (Intro to GPS p1)". The second problem is people can get a hold of GPS and use it in away it shouldn't be used. In a case that sparked a lot of controversy a man put a GPS system on his ex- girlfriend car and began to stalk her. He was later convicted and sentence to jail because of his behavior and use of having use the GPS system that way.