Geospatial technology refers to equipment used to measure and analyze Earth's land and features. Systems such as Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) are used in geospatial work. "Geo" is a prefix that comes from a Greek word meaning earth. "Spatial" means relating to space.
GPS was developed by the United States Department of Defense in 1973. The first satellite was launched in 1978. GPS was originally designed to help military service members as they move vehicles, planes, and ships to the correct locations around the world.
Today, GPS and GIS are used for many different things. GPS can be used to help navigate airplanes, boats, and cars. GPS can also be used in outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, and boating. In the scientific community, GPS plays an important role in the earth sciences. Meteorologists use GPS for weather forecasting and global climate studies. Geologists can use GPS to help measure tectonic motions during and in between earthquakes.