There used to be a time when Global Positioning System (GPS) was a technology exclusive to the military. Even when they opened it up for public use, only the really experienced navigators and travelers had any use for them. But nowadays, the technology became more mainstream and people started finding new uses for it.
Like GPS technology, the relatively younger cloud technology has also seen a wider acceptance outside of the tech industry, with consumers finding all new creative uses of the technology for their convenience. Some of the more popular ways people have adopted cloud technology is with data storage. People used to rely on local and limited storage to host files such as photos, documents, and audio. But with the advent of cloud storage, people now have access to an infinitely scalable amount of storage space that is safe from hard drive crashes or hardware failures. Additionally, people have also learned how to host applications on the cloud, so that they no longer need to be installed on their local PCs and can be accessed from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet connection.
The two technologies, GPS and Cloud, seem to be destined to cross each other’s paths. And it was only a matter of time before Cloud-based GPS applications were created. But first, what do we really use GPS technology for?
Uses of a GPS
The reason why the government opened up the use of GPS technology to the public is due to the fact that it has a number of practical – and sometimes even life-saving – benefits, with no downsides or disadvantages. Some of the more common uses of the technology include:
- Navigation – this is the original use of GPS technology. Instead of relying on possibly outdated maps that are drawn on fragile paper or stars that only come out at night, GPS technology allows navigators to find their way almost every single time, with data provided by the global positioning satellites guaranteed to be always updated and accurate.
- Fleet Tracking and Management – for businesses that rely on vehicles and schedules, such as with shipping and delivery, the ability to track the location and speed of their employees on the field in real time is indispensable, as it allows managers and supervisors to stay on top of problems, and to make rapid adjustments and deployments in case there are problems that get in the way of their schedule.
- Family Security – a child is abducted in the U.S. every 40 seconds. On any given day, the FBI gets at least 2,000 reports of officially missing children and more than 89% of these will wind up dead within 1 hour. A GPS tracking device will help parents monitor their kids in real time, or at least just be content knowing that in case problems do occur, all they need to do is check the tracker and find out where their kids are.
- Employee Tracking – in this day and age, it’s very hard for executives to keep an eye on their employees, as corporations get bigger and as businesses expand, looking over the shoulders of every single employee just to ensure that they are actually working is a logistics nightmare. With GPS devices, managers and supervisors can now monitor whether an employee is coming to the office and working without even leaving their tables.
- Law Enforcement and Emergency services – with GPS car tracking devices, law enforcement officials were given a means of knowing where to go, without even needing someone to tell them the address or location of an accident or a vehicle-related crime. Additionally, hijacked or stolen cars have become easy to retrieve.
Why You Should Choose a Cloud Based GPS
Since GPS Devices rely on software in order to function, it was only a matter of time before people realized that they can also host many of its functions on the cloud, such as map and waypoint updates, patches to the code, and in some devices, even entertainment content. But what exactly are the main reasons why you should prefer a cloud based GPS? Based on the article “The Benefits of Choosing a Cloud-Based GPS Tracking System” by Michael Raia:
- It’s Always Up to Date – if your GPS device is not on the cloud, any updates you need have to be sideloaded or installed manually. If it’s on the cloud, you’re sure that any patches to the code or updates to the content will be made available to you as soon as it is deployed. It’s basically one of the main benefits of cloud technology being applied to GPS devices.
- You Can Access Your Settings Anywhere at Any Time – another one of the benefits of cloud technology is that personal settings, configurations, and customizations are all stored in the cloud, so even if you lose or break your GPS device, you can just replace it with a new one and download your old settings and you won’t have to readjust to new settings. This also provides business continuity, as any problems on the part of the hardware will not affect the software hosted on the cloud, which means normal operations will resume as soon as the GPS device is replaced.
- Sharing Capabilities – cloud based GPS devices can easily share information with others online, provided that the sharing is facilitated by the vendors and its support systems. Through this sharing systems, waypoints, maps, traffic updates, and other custom content can be easily sent to your friends or family members. Additionally, this makes it easy to report to emergency services or law enforcement in case you need them to respond to a specific location.
- Lowered Costs – since cloud-based infrastructures are cost effective and does not require manufacturers to invest on their own hardware, they are able to save money, which usually trickles down to end users in the form of lower prices or better features and support.
- Security – cloud based applications can be protected by vendors and their trained staff, instead of the security of your data being your sole responsibility. With cloud-based GPS, you can rest assured that your data won’t fall into the wrong hands.