Nik ChetrariPeriod 2The Phone and its Global Positioning SystemThe GPS is something that raised the overall happiness in the world by a few percents due to its straightforward idea, the simplicity of use and the everyday demand to move all around. The famous combination of letters, G, P, and S stand for Global Positioning System; which means that the satellite that is situated in the exosphere layer of Earth around 5000 miles in the space permanently tracks the device and detects its current location to the accuracy of an inch and also figures out which way it is facing. That is quite creepy and gives you a weird feeling that somebody you don’t know is always watching your step, but most people, actually all them, don’t care about that, they just want to get to that silly place as simple and fast as possible. GPS has its origins from Sputnik era of 1960’s when the “Doppler Effect” was used by scientists to track the satellite with shifts in its radio signal and pinpoint the location within a matter of minutes. The experiments in 1960’s were mainly conducted by the US Navy to track the US submarines carrying nuclear weapons, but there were only 6 satellites at the time, which lowered the efficiency due to small numbers that lowered productivity. But the situation changed when the Department of Defense wanted to ensure a powerful, stable satellite in early 1970’s. Embracing previous ideas, the Department of Defense decided to use more satellites to support their proposed powerful navigation system. The department launched its first Navigation System with Timing and Ranging (NAVSTAR) satellite in 1978. The 6 satellite system was now improved and transformed into a 24 satellite-based system, officially becoming fully operational. The GPS is not the most versatile element in the world right now, and in fact, it can only be used for a very narrow set of actions. One of them is traveling with precise timings by simply following and listening to what the Google lady tells you. But it was nothing similar to what our ancestors had to go through. Before 1993, when the GPS really evolved and became fully operational not just for the military reasons, but also everyday life, the people had to use their sharp attention and retentive memory to always know their positioning, discover the correct and the fastest tracks, know if they are still going in the right direction, etc. It was very hard and didn’t even fully achieve what the programmed GPS could do in one second of quick calculations. I know that it was a hard routine before – to find everything by yourself because it really happened once to my family on our way to Seattle. It was a wonderful trip and we decided to round it off at one of the most recognized and beautiful parks in the world – Yellowstone National Park.It was on a clear chilly day when we were entering the mighty forests and mountains of the park, being observed as strangers by the annoyed buffalos that were always trying to escape the tourists. Yellowstone National Park is a nearly 3,500-sq. mile wilderness recreation area atop a volcanic hot spot full of colorful peisages and diverse wildlife. The attentive visitors could every minute spot a deer or a bear just lazily walking around, enjoying the fresh mountain-forest air and the curious look of the tourists. We were in a slight hurry because we were a few hours behind schedule due to permanent stops to truly enjoy the alluring panoramas constructed by nature. So far, our trip has been going perfectly well; we were having a lot of fun, but nobody knew that the moment we entered the National Park and the further few hours would be the most terrible hours of our trip. Nobody remembered that there would be no connection in the park – just like there never is one in mountains or big forests. After that incident, truly realized how important a method of navigation like GPS. Our conversation was interrupted by the malevolent robotic voice of the GPS saying: “connection lost”. It was ok at the beginning and nobody showed any sign of panic in the car because the app stayed working without any changes. It was still a joyful atmosphere. Magically, the maps somehow kept working for a few dozen minutes; until they totally shut down and couldn’t spot our car in the dense layers of the surrounding forest. So, we were left in the middle of one of the biggest parks in the world without a single idea of our whereabouts. We were disconnected from the world; and for the first time in my life, I felt like Frodo Baggins when he entered the frightening lands of Mordor – totally lost. The circumstances turned their backs on us as well: the gas tank was just one fourth filled with the 92nd – a tiny portion of gas for such a long way ahead; it was also getting darker – which would result in harder navigation (especially without the Global Positioning System), not mentioning the fact that we were awfully tired as well. It was certainly getting scary and the worst case scenario would be getting eaten by a bear, which would be very sad. Our device, where the Google Maps were open, got totally disconnected from existence by now, and was now showing us some random streets and places, somewhere on a different side of the planet like Madagascar or something, making no impact, except annoying us with its build in sentences like: “Rerouting” or “GPS signal lost, trying to re-establish connection…” So we put the device aside and tried to get out by ourselves. I have never imagined how useless can a gadget like that be due to the missing signal and connection; it became no more than an object of checking time.First and foremost, we made a few circles while trying to guess the right way to go. We indeed lost a few minutes, but that is ok for that kind of situations, because they always happen in the movies, and also – What can be better than getting a few circles in random directions to make things even worse? The sleepiness after a long journey completely left us as the adrenaline levels increased, increasing our rates of blood circulation, heartbeat, breathing and brainwork. Suddenly, something deflected a beam from our headlights. It gave us some hope not to spend our night in the car in the middle of nowhere. It was life changing – the moment when we realized that it was the map of the park, pictured on a huge wooden board with the layout of the surrounding and a big red dot saying “You are here”. Marvelously, we were some few miles away from the exit of the national park. The stress and time it took us to then find the way out on the small fold-out map we got from the waterproof compartment at out previous stop. Tracing the lanky tracks with the fingers that now seemed huge was a nightmare. Soon as the situation had stabilized a little, by watching the never-ending trees and listening to the grumpy engine sound, I slowly fell in a deep sleep until I was awakened by the sound of a crowded gas station. We refilled our gas tank, drank a beverage of our own choice, and then, finished our trip (without any redundant occurrences), guided by our friend – Google lady.”Today, GPS is a multi-use, space-based radionavigation system owned by the US Government and operated by the United States Air Force to meet national defense, homeland security, civil, commercial, and scientific needs.” It is a 24 satellite-based system that orbits the Earth, ensuring that at least three are available at any time for a device’s location request anywhere on the planet. It has shaped the whole culture and is widely used in the US, specifically around two thirds. The GPS exists in many forms: the built-in car GPS, the google maps or any other app on your device or the portable GPS that could be bought separately. It became a very demanded element of our everyday lives and will progress even farther, pushed by the demand of consistent motion and daily hustle and bustle in the world.