February EA preview: GPS for field service technicians

Big Brother is watching you and – surprise, surprise – it’s your employer. Well, at least it could be. Increasingly, businesses have been using GPS to track employees and company vehicles while away on the job but is it a violation of privacy. The Fast Forward column, “The GPS Express,” with take this on in the February issue of Electrical Apparatus Magazine. 

GPS, which stands for global positioning system, is a satellite navigation system that provides location and time information anywhere on or near Earth. The system is made up of 24 satellites placed in orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense and positioning can be acquired where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites.

With this vast ability to “see all” it’s not a shock that businesses began to take advantage of GPS. Everyone from utility companies, HVAC, and electrical field services contractors to cable providers, food and beverage distributors, law enforcement, and trucking companies currently use GPS tracking. Utilities use it follow field technicians in large service areas. Construction companies have GPS to make sure their employees are where they’re supposed to be.

-Bill O’Leary

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