Some 11,000 miles above the earth, 28 satellites beam down data that enables the targeting of locations with once-unthinkable precision. It’s a lethal tool in war — and a killer app for business. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is transforming everything from auto insurance to agriculture, from hauling freight to trading stocks.

The implications of knowing where you are with this kind of accuracy — of knowing where anything is, where everything is, with this kind of relentless precision — are only just becoming clear, and they are staggering. Think back to the early days of microprocessors. People imagined all kinds of uses for the new devices, but was anyone talking about putting chips in car transmissions? Or in birthday cards? Or in implantable, automatic cardiac resuscitators? GPS will be like that — a genuinely transformational technology.
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