Since the online debut of MapQuest in the year 2000, GPS and digital mapping services have seen
many advances, especially when Google premiered Google Maps in 2004. With the advent of Google
Earth, mapping technology is now one of the more rapidly developing aspects of technology with such
companies as Yahoo and Microsoft developing their own GPS based mapping services.

GPS was first developed in the 1980′s for the United States military. It became available for civilian use following a a directive from President Ronald Reagan. The directive was issued after a civilian airplane with navigation problems strayed into military airspace and was shot down.Want more? Click here/tag Thanks to its accuracy, GPS is now the main reference for maps and mapping technology.

GPS is only one aspect of what is quickly becoming a very profitable industry. Thanks to the
satellites that GPS uses to map our planet, such software as Google Earth has become essential to everyone from computer users to the average person looking for their doctor’s office. Google Earth was
originally developed by a company called Keyhole, which was bought by Google in 2004. The original
name of Google Earth was Earth Viewer and was based on GPS technology and 3D technology. After
Keyhole’s acquisition by Google, it was introduced in 2004 as Google Earth.

With Google Earth it is possible to find many landmarks, everything from the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA to the Kremlin.

With the 2004 advent of Google Maps, it became possible to easily find any location. It became easy to plot out any set of directions, between any locations. Google Earth and Maps now include such features as Google Ride Finder, Google Transit and and Google Sky.

It’s not just Google jumping into the mapping technology arena. Microsoft is developing a Web
based search and mapping application similar to Google Earth. It’s called MSN Virtual Earth and
with it, you can use the Microsoft Location Finder to discover directions to a given position or address. It also uses WiFi access points or an Internet Protocol address to find someone.

In the future, GPS technology promises to become both more
accurate and convenient for civilian users, with very little application to the military. Also, GPS
will be used more frequently. Currently there are 50 million GPS users employing various applications, mostly mapping. Also, the European version of GPS, known as GALLILEO, will be integrated into the NAVSTAR system, covering a broader area with much more accuracy in data.

The added satellites will be a great
help to GPS users worldwide. Mapping technology is becoming much more advanced and more
accessible to the average person. Keep your eye on this rapidly advancing field.