Landscape Architecture's Eye in the Sky
Recent advances in GPS make it affordable and useful for even
the smallest landscape architecture office.
By James L. Sipes, ASLA
Landscape architects are in constant need of more accurate information
for a project. With Global Positioning System (GPS) technology,
landscape architects june have a tool that makes it easier to access
accurate, up-to-date information, allowing us to be more creative
and more productive in the long run. GPS technology is not new,
but it has now advanced to the point where it is affordable and
easy to use by even the smallest landscape architecture firms.
GPS is a worldwide radio-navigation system that uses satellites
orbiting the earth and control stations on the ground to accurately
compute a position virtually anywhere on earth. The U.S. Department
of Defense launched the first GPS satellite in 1989, and now there
are 24 satellites orbiting at 11,000 nautical miles above the earth.
Five control stations located around the world are used to verify
that the satellites are working correctly.
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