As parts of the western USA, particularly California, are reaching historic drought conditions, GPS tracking devices typically used to provide earthquake prediction data are providing some important measurements of the earth’s crust. As drought conditions worsen, the earth’s crust rises because of the lack of water in the soil which would normally weigh it down. By tracking the rises in the earth’s crust, scientists are able to measure and track the drought’s severity. In the west, the average rise of the earth’s crust over the last year is 4cm. However, the mountainous regions of California have seen rises as high as 15 cm this year.
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The end of summer and back to school season mean only one thing to football fans everywhere–the much-anticipated start of the 2014 NFL season. The New York Giants are perhaps a step ahead of other teams for their use of GPS tracking software and tracking devices to monitor players during practice. The program, now in its second year, delivers personalized data for each participating player,which could include precise movement data and fatigue levels.
Here’s another post on utilizing GPS tracking for improving athletic performance.
NFL Using Tracking Devices:
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According to a 2014 study released by the Yale Law Journal, using GPS tracking for covert tracking operations for law enforcement departments is incredibly less expensive than utilizing officers for covert tracking operations. In fact, the study estimated the cost of GPS tracking to be 1000 times more affordable than tracking vehicles the old fashioned way, with officers trailing behind their target in unmarked vehicles.
In the study, the cost comparisons are dramatic– covert tracking using the standard 5 car surveillance box strategy is estimated to cost $275 dollars per hour, yet the cost of GPS tracking for law enforcement covert tracking can range from just 36-cents to around $5 per hour.
GPS tracking for law enforcement has been described as a “game changer” in the law enforcement community for both its cost effectiveness and the number of vehicles that can be tracked simultaneously.
The study included both cell phone GPS tracking units, and GPS tracking systems mounted to target vehicles.
Visit www.trackingtheworld.com for more information on professional grade GPS tracking systems.
You’ve probably seen them in your own community…large metal bins for dropping off clothing donations. As it turns out, not even donations given in good will are exempt from those who rummage through clothing bins in hopes of reselling or keeping the goods. One Baltimore company, that originally thought donations were down, has successfully retrieved stolen goods, and led authorities to recycled clothing thieves with the help of GPS tracking software– and in the process found out that donations weren’t down after all. By placing GPS tracking devices in various clothing items–in pockets, liners, etc., and using GPS tracking software, the company has successfully retrieved several batches of stolen clothing. Company officials use geofencing, a feature of the tracking software to receive cell phone alerts whenever one of their GPS tracking devices leaves the immediate area of the clothing collection bins. The clothing collected by the company is bailed and then shipped to third world countries.
South Bend, Indiana schools have taken a major step forward in making their school bus system more user-friendly. With the addition of GPS tracking devices and a mobile phone app called “My Stop”, parents can now track their child’s bus from the time it leaves the lot in the morning, when it is nearing their child’s stop, and even when it has safely delivered their children to school.
School officials report that the new GPS tracking program has reduced the number of phone calls regarding bus arrival times. Parents appreciate the program as it allows them to send their child to the bus stop just before the bus arrives, reducing the amount of time the child has to spend in the cold and reducing the amount of time the child is vulnerable to other risks.
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Similar to just about every other electronic device, GPS tracking devices are becoming smaller and smaller with each advancement in technology. With the decreased sizes of GPS trackers, consumers are able to track smaller devices such as electronics like cameras and laptops.
Recently, an Arizona man realized the value of tracking smaller items of value after his home was burglarized. During the burglary, approximately $10-thousand dollars in jewelry along with a camera and other electronics were stolen. Due to the micro GPS tracking devices installed on the stolen camera, and satellite imagery provided by GPS tracking software, the victim was able to view the location of the suspect’s car and even identify in which area of the suspect’s home his belongings were being stored.
Although authorities were able to recover most of the victim’s belonging based on the GPS tracking information, some of his wife’s jewelry was not recovered. Authorities suspect it could have been pawned shortly after the crime. A suspect is in custody.
Here are the latest bits of GPS tracking news we’ve found around the Web this week.
A vehicle linked to country music star, Wynonna Judd, was discovered to have been outfitted with a GPS tracking device. The device was discovered by a muffler shop and removed by police. Here’s the original story: http://tasteofcountry.com/gps-tracking-device-wynonna-judd/.
Robertson County, TN school may soon be getting GPS tracking software for school buses to monitor bus location and driving behavior of bus drivers. After approved by the school board, the he project is now under consideration by county officials. Source: http://www.tennessean.com/viewart/20131113/ROBERTSON01/311130067/Buses-may-get-GPS-tracking
Wildlife biologists in Montana have successfully used GPS tracking devices (collars) to track the location of elk in the off season and were surprised to find that the three cow elk tracked moved more than 60 air miles from where they’re usually seen during the hunting season. Source: http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_e58bb456-4cd9-11e3-a2a7-001a4bcf887a.html
Florida and Iowa police departments are testing GPS tracking devices which enable them to fire sticky GPS “darts” at fleeing vehicles in hopes of cutting off dangerous, high-speed pursuits to increase both public and officer safety. Using a firing mechanism installed in the front of the police cruiser, officers can deploy the GPS tracking devices from the inside of their cars. The deployed GPS darts are designed to stick to fleeing vehicles allowing police to track them from a safe distance using GPS tracking software. Here’s another post on GPS tracking for law enforcement.
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Here are two of the latest GPS tracking news updates we’ve found around the Web today:
Just when Samsung is making James Bond-ish watches popular again, AT&T has announced it will release a GPS tracking equipped smartwatch for kids which will use geo-fencing to alert parents when a child leaves his or her predetermined safe zone, and will enable parents to see their child’s location at any time provided the child is wearing the tracker. Known as the FiLIP, the GPS tracking device for kids is also capable of voice communication with up to 5 numbers which are preprogrammed by parents. There’s also a panic button that, when pressed for 3 seconds, will cause the device to begin dialing contact numbers.
China to Use GPS Tracking on Government Cars
In an effort to curb abuse by public officials, China will begin installing GPS tracking devices on thousands of government vehicles. The move comes partly in response to criticism for supposed widespread corruption and flamboyant lifestyles among government officials. Guangzhou, a city in southern China, took on a similar project for fleet tracking of government vehicles in 2011. The city now reports that it saves more than $6 million dollars per year due to the GPS tracking systems.
In the aftermath of a recent fatal accident and numerous close calls, Italy’s famed gondolas will begin using GPS tracking systems to help manage water traffic and prevent injuries. The addition of GPS tracking devices will affect approximately 5,000 vessels, including water taxis. Other changes will include a requirement for vessels to be equipped with identifying plates on their exteriors, a reduction in overall traffic, and restricted travel times in the early morning when larger crafts such as barges are at work. CCTV cameras have also been added to some canals. Venice receives more than 60,000 tourists per day during the summer months.