Finding Our Way
People have always loved to explore. Our natural curiosity makes us wonder what is over the next hill, or where a stream might take us. It's exciting to set off on a journey to a new place, but if we don't know where we are going, we might end up losing our way.
We can travel on foot, by boat, or by car. Sometimes, we choose to ride bicycles to reach our destination. We might even take an airplane or train to travel a long distance. Wherever we go, it's important to have a plan so that we don't get lost.
Early explorers used the Sun and the stars to find their way. Later, compasses were developed. A hiker could use a map to plan his route, and a compass to tell him in which direction he should travel. Maps and compasses are helpful, but a new technology can do much, much more.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a system of satellites, monitoring stations, and receivers. The United States government developed the technology for military use. In 1983, it became available to the public. Now, anyone with a GPS receiver can use the system for free.