Thesis: GPS Tracking Devices on Blackberry Phones and or Cell

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Assessing Global Positioning Systems

Defining Global Positioning Systems

Commercialization of GPS: From Personal Technology to the Enterprise

GPS Use in E-Commerce - Emerging Applications

Assessing the Value of GPS and its Limitations

The intent of this paper is to define the concepts behind Global Positioning Systems (GPS), specifically focusing on how the data is used from these systems and their role on data communications networks as well. As GPS is becoming a pervasive technology, its role in convergence of personal electronic devices ranging from cellular phones to Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) is discussed. The paper ends with a discussion of the value of GPS, its potential problems and recommendations on how to effectively use this technology in a variety of applications.

Defining Global Positioning Systems

The underlying foundation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) is based on the United States' Department of Defense Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) (Jung, Lee, Chun, 2006). The U.S. Department of Defense has created specific initiatives and configuration options to allow for commercial use of the satellites that comprise the GNSS, was has resulted in a consistent growth rate of 15% per year in terms of usage and growth in convergence-based products and services (Tong, Merry, Coifman, 2009). The entire GNSS network is comprised of a total of 32 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that are capable of bidirectional sending and receiving microwave signals across a spread spectrum range that does not conflict with other electromagnetic and microwave-based devices. This allows for GPS technologies to provide location-aware coordinates including the time within a specific time zone of the observation, velocity of the object, and current location. As a result of the detailed data pertaining to location, distance travelled and velocity, GPS is achieving high rates of adoption in locational-based and locational-oriented routing, which is proving to be indispensible in managing logistics and supply chain functions (Ko, Vaidya, 2000). The use of GPS in cellular phones, Blackberries, and other Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) products are providing telecommunications service providers with exceptionally detailed data on the location, habitual travel patterns and even the retail establishments customers visit. Google's introduction of the Latitude Service in 2009 (Bradner, 2009) is an opt-in service that capitalizes on the three dominant systems that comprise the GPS telecommunications backbone globally by using the space segment (SS), control segment (CS) and user segment (U.S.) to tell current and anticipated locations of friends who also opt into the service. This is setting the foundation for context-aware marketing of services and even the distribution of coupons that are location aware and contextually-based through an emerging concept called cyber foraging (Soylemezoglu, Zawodniok, Cha, Hall, et al., 2006).

The three critical segments of the GNSS also function to triangulate the location of specific GPS transmitters, taking into account a myriad of factors that are used for computing relative location, object velocity, and relative location using dead reckoning based algorithms to verify locations over time (Weinberg, 2009). What is impressive about this technology is that the triangulation that is at the core of its value is also capable of generating a consistent stream of data at 50 bits/second on average (Weinberg, 2009). While the performance of GPS streaming varies significantly over extended periods of time, the approach taken for ensuring accuracy and reliability of the data signals focus first on using a modulation/demodulation sequence that includes the use of cyclic redundancy checking (CRC) that can be configured for specific devices and communications protocols with the inbound and outbound data streams (GPS Management Application, 2009). GPS communications are also packetized and including CRC and Error Correction Code (ECC) segments at the front and end of each packet sent and received to check for byte ordering and validity, further ensuring a high level of accuracy, reliability and redundancy in the data transmissions (GPS Management Application, 2009). The use of triangulation to route the packets sent and received is completed at each of the inbound and outbound messaging and transmission locations (GPS Management Application, 2009). The entire transmission process within the GNSS is also monitored and audited to ensure accuracy, consistency and reliability is achieved over the long-term, with audits used to further increase CRS, ECC and other error correction algorithms and routing protocols to ensure continual gains are made in overall system performance (Bangert, 2009). If the Space Segment (SS), Control Segment (CS) and User Segment (U.S.) are visualized as a Venn diagram, the use of auditing procedures as defined by the U.S. Department of Defense in conjunction with telecommunications equipment and services providers are used for ensuring the SS and CS stay in relative synchronization with each other (Bangert, 2009). As these twp aspects of the GNSS fluctuate in terms of orbital accuracy and message clarity, it is critical for auditing and error correction procedures to be in place to compensate for these variations.

Commercialization of GPS: From Personal Technology to the Enterprise

The pervasive use of GPS technologies in cellular phones, Blackberries and PDAs, and convergence devices of all types, from GPS navigational products to sonar products, have together increased awareness of the technology at the consumer and commercial level (Weinberg, 2009). In addition to these consumer uses, enterprise have been quick to adopt GPS-based technologies for logistics and route optimization, with many of the freight forwarding companies including UPS, FedEx, DHL and many others using GPS as a means to track their trucks and optimize their delivery and pick-up routes (Ko, Vaidya, 2000). Use within corporations of GPS also includes expediting order capture, order management and streamlining the entire manufacturing process as well with specific focus on emergency and short lead-time ordering (Gaukler, zer, Hausman, 2008).

While GPS is most evident in consumer products and services related to telecommunications, its greatest contribution is in the area of logistics, supply chain management and the optimization of 3rd party logistics providers whose business models focus on the synchronization of supply chains across entire industries (Malloy, 2003). The use of GPS for monitoring shipment has increasingly been the focus of freight forwarders whose customers' most frequent request is for the status of their shipments on a 24/7 basis (Gaukler, zer, Hausman, 2008).

When a process-centric view of both the many uses of consumer and commercial applications of GPS are taken into account, it is clear that the time and cost savings from using this technology to streamline processes is significant (Weinberg, 2009). The evolution of freight forwarding business models predicated on the availability of GPOS models is increasing, as is the development of distributed order management systems that are forming the foundation of trading exchanges globally as well (Gaukler, zer, Hausman, 2008). GPS has become an indispensible information element in these business models as entire industries seek out greater process efficiency and cost savings as the global economic recession forces cost reductions across other areas of these businesses.

GPS Use in E-Commerce - Emerging Applications

In assessing the value of GPS from an enterprise perspective there is also the emerging role of this technology in context-aware and location-aware e-commerce applications as well. The combining of individual preferences of consumers, stored in taxonomies and then combined with location-based GPS signals to determine if there is a match between interests and businesses in the area, is creating an entirely new approach to mobile e-commerce called cyber foraging (Soylemezoglu, Zawodniok, Cha, Hall, et al., 2006). Google's Latitude introduction earlier this year (Bradner, 2009) has initially been promoted as opt-in and egalitarian in approach. It is clear from the success of Google with their AdWords strategy and other advertising-centric initiatives that location-based and context-aware advertising to GPS devices is on the product roadmap for this service however. Google's investments in telecommunications networks that can interpret location and movements to define patterns of predictability in users who opts in will eventually receive advertisements, coupons and promotional items that align to their taxonomy, or organization of needs, on their GPS-enabled devices. The current research being completed is concentrating on how to intermediate interest of consumers who have multiple taxonomies, or approaches to organizing their data, so that context- and location-aware advertising and promotional materials sent to them are relevant (Soylemezoglu, Zawodniok, Cha, Hall, et al., 2006). Google is attempting to monetize GPS through the use of these early approaches to cyber foraging that can take into account multiple taxonomies of data, or as researchers have called them, role-based taxonomy definitions (Soylemezoglu, Zawodniok, Cha, Hall, et al., 2006).

The ethical and legal implications of cyber foraging networks are still unclear however. The use of cache-based servers that have GPS-based data streams that continually monitor and customize advertisements to consumers who are near them, even when opted in by the consumers, presents unique security and privacy standards that have yet to be addressed. The use of GPS data in general has long presented an ethical and moral challenge for marketers as well as the government (Satyanarayanan, 2000). It has been well-known that freight and logistics carriers can now with just the use of Web-based applications, monitor the movement,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Thesis:

APA Format

GPS Tracking Devices on Blackberry Phones and or Cell.  (2009, March 23).  Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

MLA Format

"GPS Tracking Devices on Blackberry Phones and or Cell."  23 March 2009.  Web.  20 June 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"GPS Tracking Devices on Blackberry Phones and or Cell."  March 23, 2009.  Accessed June 20, 2019.