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GPS technology utilizes an array of 24 satellites in stationary orbit 11,000 miles in space to define precise locations on the surface of the Earth, based on standards of latitude and longitude. In addition to supplying geographic location, elevation and time information, GPS provides tracking and navigation data that can be analyzed with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. Developed by the US Department of Defense to provide all-weather around-the clock navigation capabilities for the military, GPS became commercially available in 1997 when President Bill Clinton's administration decided to cease degrading the GPS signals it made available to the public.
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