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Who Invented GPS


So trivia question for GPS enthusiasts out there…. Who invented GPS? Good question. Apparently the courts are going to decide. A $1 billion lawsuit over the invention of GPS started today in Florida between SPS Technologies and Motorola. But the Miami Herald article leaves more questions than answers.

Part of the article reads:

“GPS, a tracking system used to monitor vehicles and objects via satellite.”

Hmmm…. GPS doesn’t monitor vehicles, so I’m not sure what the article is talking about there. It would be more accurate to say that GPS receivers monitor satellites, not the other way around.

The second question this article raises is one of timing. The article suggests that SPS and Motorola started working together on the project in 2000. Wasn’t GPS developed by the US Department of Defense back in the 70’s? Perhaps this article is talking about something different altogether.

6 Responses

  1. Interesting post. I guess I always thought it had been a product of the government as well. The title to the Miami Herald article seems to be talking about who developed the GPS as a whole but maybe it was technology they were developing that would track vehicles using the GPS technology already in place.

    Brandon - October 3rd, 2006
  2. That is what I too was thinking, Brandon. It must have been some sort of fleet tracking system or spin-off technology that used GPS to provide some sort of location service.

    GPS Review - October 3rd, 2006
  3. There can be only one answer: Al Gore.

    DLF - October 4th, 2006
  4. to the best of my knowledge regarding the above matter i was to believe the american military used this device and they were the inventers for their wars against the world

    aziboy - June 25th, 2008
  5. it was invented by Dr Ivan Getting with the help of Department of Defense and ofcoures a huge amount of your tax money. since then it did evolve in its use so may be that is where the confusion is coming from.

    nahom - August 29th, 2008
    • No – it was developed by my FATHER – Brad Parkinson, while he was in the Air Force. I remember him coming home around 1973 and talking about this interesting idea he was developing. Getting had an initial idea (although many others had as well), but his idea was not viable. My father’s was.

      Leslie Parkinson - July 10th, 2010

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