That’s what my lady friend calls the voice in my automobile GPS telling me what’s upcoming, when to turn, and in a variety of ways where to get off. Could I do without either of them? No way, which shows that I was born to be led.
Developed initially for the military, GPS has been around for nearly three decades and since has been finding its way into a variety of civilian activities in which real-time location information is of value. Led by transportation and construction applications, the demand for GPS has emerged as a 21st century “must-have,” second only to the cell phone for day-to-day wizardry, and the only wonder is why it seems to have taken many business applications longer than the general public to recognize its value. In our neck of the woods, collection and route management operators are turning to GPS to monitor and in some cases direct activities. Inevitably, this will become increasingly important as security concerns, traffic and facilities congestion, and destination scheduling both for the delivery of reclaimed materials to manufacturers and of waste to intermodal sites for transshipment to remote landfills push us increasingly toward positive control of all vehicle movements.
Nor is GPS use in our industry restricted to roadway activities. Initially conceived as a means of monitoring waste compaction, GPS is becoming more and more a mainstay at landfills where airspace is just too valuable a commodity to give away because of boundary errors that grow in magnitude with each successive lift.
At present there are two separate systems available for use, Navstar GPS (US) and GLONASS (Russia), but a third—christened Galileo, initially commissioned by a private European consortium but now under the control of the EU—is slated to become operational by 2013. Not surprisingly, Galileo will be more accurate than it predecessors—one meter for public use and a sub-meter for military and paying customers—and provide better coverage at high latitudes.
Do you make use of GPS in your operations? If so, how and how extensively? Is it a subject on which you’d like us to devote more coverage?
Upcoming Forester University Webinars:
January 26th, 2012
5 Steps to Creating a Successful Public Outreach Campaign
Change starts with people. Whether your focus is stormwater pollution, energy conservation, pavement restoration, or recycling, a successful public outreach campaign resonates with your target audience and leads to long-lasting behavior change. Join Erica Hooper of SGA to explore a proven 5-step approach to crafting a successful outreach campaign based on real-world examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Read more…
February 9th, 2012
Differentiating & Monitoring Groundwater Plumes
Threatened by various plumes of mobile contaminants, urban potable groundwater resources require groundwater professionals to not only determine the source of individual plumes, but apportion the contributions of multiple sources within a composite plume. Join William G. Soukup, P.G. of Cornerstone Environmental Group LLC to discuss the analytical and interpretive techniques for differentiating plumes and their sources, as well as tips to improve long-term plume monitoring and management. Read More...