5 Surprisingly Useful & Unusual Uses of GPS Maps & Apps

Usually when we think about GPS, we think about how it’s used to get us from Point A to B in our cars. It actually can help out with way more than that, and can relay info on just about anything, whether moving or stationary. You probably already know that it’s used extensively in the monitoring of earthquakes and measuring the movement along fault lines, but did you know farmers use it to keep track of areas of high insect or weed infestation?

Here are 5 other ways that GPS devices and associated applications can (and are) being used that you may not be aware of, but might find beneficial:

1. Getting Actual Local, Local News

The free AP Mobile News Network app  will deliver the breaking headlines in your current location. Want to know what that hubbub is going on down the street? Just ask it. It’s a great tool for staying informed during an emergency, or in case Lady Gaga has decided to do some impromptu street performing.

2. The Condom Finder

Cares Community Health Condom Finder app (for Android  and iPhone ) can lead you to the nearest place to get condoms, which have been shown to be 95% effective in reducing the risk of HIV, STD’s, as well as unwanted pregnancies. This one could be a life saver in many ways.

3. Trackable School Uniforms

Some 20,000 Brazilian elementary school students have had microchips embedded into their school uniforms in an attempt to cut down on truancy. If their child is more than 20 minutes late arriving at school, parents receive a text message informing them of this fact.

4. Golf Balls

This one is seemingly a no-brainer, isn’t it? Using such a chip-implanted ball is currently not allowed by the PGA, but how many of us duffers are on the PGA tour? It not only enables you to find lost balls, but also monitors the trajectory, distance, angle and speed of your drive.

5. NFL Players

As of August 1, the NFL will "require players to wear non-obtrusive tracking devices in select practices and games." Tracking devices will gather "positional and performance data," including speed, distance traveled, and field locations. Not sure how this will help, but I’m am sure someone is working on a program right now that will transform that raw data into leading to actual touchdowns.

So, what do we have to look forward to in the future, GPS wise? Well, for one our cars will all be communicating with to prevent accidents and traffic snarls. Of course, if you don’t have the latest, most up-to-date maps installed on your device (and most people don’t!) you be ill-informed and unable to take full advantage of all that GPS devices and related apps can do for you.

I usually check with mapmaker Navteq once a month to make sure I have the latest versions installed. Updates are easy and you can usually find a discount code if there are any charges involved.

As for me, I plan on utilizing some of this information as soon as I finish typing this. I leave it up to you to decide what that might be.

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By: Peter

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