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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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