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Impact of the GPS Invention on the History of Web Technologies

The development of the World Wide Web dates back to the end of the 20th century. Therefore, it is relatively a new invention of the humanity, which, however, has brought considerable changes to the life of the society. It is crucial that nowadays, one can hardly imagine the world without them. Hence, they make up a noticeable part of human culture. The major contributions of the Web technologies is the unification of the world information in one great network that ensures the globalization of the world. In addition to that, they contribute to the commerce and everyday life of people in all parts of the world. Finally, the instant information sharing, web communication, navigation and informing about the localization of the objects are the essential achievements of the web technologies. While the latter is strongly associated with Global positioning system, there are good reasons to pay more attention to GPS role in the modern society. Therefore, the GPS invention on the latest stages of the web technologies development can be considered as the basis for the mobile social web functioning and a successful resource for human connectedness. At the same time, it has made humans even more dependent on the technological achievements and connected to the existing world web. Based on the literature review, this paper will prove that GPS invention has become the important stage in not only human lives’ simplification, but also a good evidence that the entire process of web technologies development leads to human strong connectedness and inseparability from the world web.

The History of GPS

The analysis of GPS invention must start with clear understanding that it is a system based on the internationally common signal. Therefore, it is initially an interesting and systems that unifies all the civil signal for various purposes. Any navigation as the essential and helpful meant to orient in the space effectively. What is important, the value of GPS is not solely orientation in time, but reflects the geophysical dimension, position in the social infrastructure, fundamental data with regard to such services as transportation, banking, communication, government and many other systems. In such a way, one can see that Global Positioning System has become strongly modified with time due to the specific demands of the population. One can even refer to the early 1700s to prove that such option was highly demanded in the society by the adventurers and shipmen, who put numerous efforts to find a way by stars or define the location in space. Therefore, creation of the precise navigation has been a dream of people for ages.

The earliest attempts of making the precise navigation a reality date back to 1959, when cooperation of DAPRA and John Hopkins have offered the American Navy a Satellite Positioning System called TRANSIT. However, approximately at the same time, the president of Aerospace Corporation Ivan Getting was working on the development of another navigation technology called GPS. The work on this system continued for decades. One of the relatively successful navigation developments was NAVSTAR Global Positioning System presented in 1989. The work of this system demanded three major components: ground stations necessary for the control, a configuration of satellites, and receivers. In fact, the work of the modern GPS is very similar. However, much work was still needed to finally bring GPS on the higher levels and make it available for the wide public, not only navy and military. In particular, the weight of the receivers, the price of the production and some other issues had to undergo some changes. Nevertheless, what is important, the initial aims that the GPS creation followed were strongly associated with military and astronautics. Instead, with time, and with WWW development it has effectively changed its direction for entrepreneurial, social and commercial activities. Finally, it has really become a serious contribution to the human culture and ensuring strong unification of all people worldwide.

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Major Stages of the Web Technologies Development

The history of the Web technologies development is strongly associated with the name of Tim Berners-Lee, who has developed the ENQUIRE software models, hypertext and links between the existing pages. Due to his work and cooperation with the other researchers, Internet was becoming more and more helpful to communicate data. At the same time, the World Wide Web has become an efficient project gradually ensuring easier information access. Since 1990s, HTTP, HTML, CERN server, NeXT software and some other web services have contributed to the public availability of the first web technologies. By 1993, the number of the Web servers has grown and reached five. The earliest websites were the financial portals, musical archives, magazines, map servers, webcomics and scientific department laboratories. Later, the Web governance has also appeared online. Overall, one can easily see that the WWW development was gradually building up to involve more and more interested users.

The period after 1996 was marked by the increased popularity of the web and involvement of more new consumers. The number of the PC users has grown drastically and was followed by the rapid Web commercialization. Since 2001, a great number of organizations started using Web as a useful channel of content distribution. By 2002, it has become a unique mean to connect people and has formed a unique part of the world culture. Since that time, online stores, social networks, Google search and other well-known notions have become inseparable from human life in all parts of the planet. In particular, Web 2.0 deserves special attention as one that is quite helpful for the users, who collaborate and communicate in social media. Mainly such websites are used for social networking, video sharing, hosting, collaborative platforms and other web communication means.

The last stage of the Web technologies development is strongly associated with the increased usage of the mobile devices like smartphones and tablets as the new types of devices for everyday usage for the Internet access. Since 2011, the mobile devices ensure the regular connection and staying in touch. In the same way, they create the mobile web today and ensure web browsing, instant information exchange and navigation. Having become ubiquitous, mobile communication is strongly associated with various technical services that include GSM, GPRS and GPS as one of the strongly demanded nowadays. As a feasible localization technology, specifically Global Positioning System is becoming compatible with practically all devices and is a great way to identify the lost or stolen device, the location of the user or track one for various other purposes. Moreover, a great umber of the location-based services on Android becomes helpful in many cases be it the necessity to find out the traffic conditions, route information or some organization search. In such a way, GPS is a good example of how the World Wide Web has developed its social aspect and united people even stronger with each decade.

GPS Contributing to the Mobile Social Web

The mobile Internet is continuously growing bringing more and more attention to how all people become strongly interconnected. The social web becomes the new mean to strengthen the connection between people, and GPS that ensures the localization of each individual contributes to these links with new force. While the wireless connection was the effective mean to increase the social web community offering freedom to people, GPS is the voluntary restriction of this freedom. Offering the convenient methods to communicate through the web platform, web technologies get the information about human location quite easily. Such functionality can be applied for various purposes be it the navigation help for the users, the search of some individuals or some commercial purposes. Anyway, contributing to human community connectedness, GPS must be identified as an essential evidence that technologies really transform the society, but provide both opportunities and drawbacks.

Various opportunities that GPS ensures can be observed in a number of spheres. Boulous&Wheeler reported that the sphere of health and health care education have benefited considerably from the social web development be it Web 1.0, Web 2.0 or Web 3.0 that is being developed and will be improved in future. The connective matrix of the social web is crucial for materials’ obtaining by the clinicians and patients. The spectrum of the essential sociable technologies include wikis, blogs, podcasts, social bookmarking, tag clouds, RSS feeds, social networks, instant and virtual messaging, social gaming etc. GPS has become the optional obligatory supplement to at least half of these applications. In such a way, as web tools become helpful for various researches, informational searches and various other activities, in many cases, GPS becomes supportive for the professional interaction and sometimes provides a location filter for the specific purposes.

It can also become helpful for those, who are interested to control or analyse their transportation modes and their results for health. The GPS logs of various applications are quite helpful to identify the trajectories and algorithms for different people. Nevertheless, all these applications are based on a similar model of gathering the data for the common web and getting the ability to predict the human behaviours. Moreover, the research conducted by Cinnamon&Schuurman proves that the GeoWeb tools are potentially effective to control the public health distantly. Primarily human unification and collaboration with the willingness and ability to share the information can ensure such surveillance.

Internet Mapping

The location filter provided due to the GPS is widely used by many people. In particular, it is often based on the Internet mapping technologies that are getting more and more widely used since 2005. Some examples of the map applications that have become used by millions of users on the daily basis are Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, Platial application and many others. Based on the new techniques, they offer the unique opportunities to the users and even introduce in the lexicon such new words as mash-ups, crowdsourcing, neogeography, geostack etc. Such evolution in the sphere of the geographic applications or as it is called GeoWeb is a real contribution to the human abilities to orient self in any place, erase the geographical borders and expand the understanding of geography.

One of the best examples of how GPS and Google Maps are used is the navigation system in the cars. Rao et al. referred to the current situation with traffic to prove that primarily the Global Positioning system is effective to create the application that would track and position the vehicles, locate the appropriate routes and lessen the load of transport on the roads. Mainly such continuous monitoring through GPS is a great approach to get the cues on the roads, control the routes and get to the desired destination more quickly and effectively. A good example of a social navigation that often becomes quite helpful is Waze. Sinai et al. emphasized that this application is becoming a prevalent navigation system unifying more than 50 million users online and offering them the updated information about the traffic jams or any other problems on the roads quickly and effectively. At the same time, such application offers the drivers to get unified into one community and share the information that becomes advantageous for everyone.

Technologies and GPS in Business

The web technologies in business are also predetermined by the changes in the society. Guo & Hu have put emphasis on the urbanization and commercial economy development as the essential factors for the demand of navigation and map services in business. While GPS was initially used mostly for the outdoor activities, the latest elaborations in the sphere of technologies have also implemented its signals for the indoor navigation. Such positioning technology is connected to the smartphone usage and ensure the accurate location service methods with the deepest 3D information. As a result, such accuracy of the data ensures the detailed information about one’s location without any necessity of physical presence. Hence, in makes the life of the individuals become even more open to the society and more strongly interconnected.

Another example of GPS crucial role in the life of the modern society is its impact on the further technological developments. While the 21st century has brought a great number of technological innovations, it has also made the life of people much different from the perspective of they self-positioning in the world. All the digital devices have altered the cognitive and problem-solving skills for more automated and technologies-dependent. In such a way, both human reasoning and actions have become more standardized and automatized.


Although GPS was initially designed for the military and astronautics purposes, one can see that it became harmoniously integrated in the life of the society. As an important stage in the process of the World Wide Web development, GPS role in connecting humans and contributing to their culture cannot be underestimated. While the aim of the WWW can be defined as simplification of humans’ lives and communication, the GPS is also a strong and effective mean to unify people and let them share their knowledge for the common purposes. Not only navigation and localization, but also predicting the patterns of behaviour, standardization of various issues and contributing to entrepreneurial, social and commercial activities are the major achievements of GPS development. GPS not only simplifies human lives, but also leads inseparability of each individual from the world web.

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