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Celebrating 50 years of GPS: An evening with the father of GPS

December 12, 2023  - By
PhotDana Goward, President of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, introducing Brad Parkinson and Matteo Luccio, GPS World EIC. (Image: GPS World staff)

Dana Goward, President of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, introducing Brad Parkinson and Matteo Luccio, GPS World EIC. (Image: RNTF)

On December 5, in Houston, Texas, at a gala event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of GPS hosted by the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, Matteo Luccio, Editor-in-Chief of GPS World, interviewed Brad Parkinson.

Here are two excerpts from the interview:

How does GPS today differ from the design that came out of the Lonely Halls meeting 50 years ago this past September?

Well, I’m very proud of what happened because, to my knowledge, there is no fundamental difference. Basically, that fundamental design has held up. … As a matter of fact, I still have one of the old Trimble handhelds, it’s called an EnsignGPS. It was one of those little devices that got shipped to the Iraq War. The other day, I pulled it out, batteries were kind of crummy, I got those squared away and went out, sure enough and navigated. I probably hadn’t pulled it out in at least 20 years. The point of the story is that evidently it still works.

What do you consider the most significant impact of GPS on society?

Well, the most significant impact is also probably the most perilous: kids today just take it for granted. They know where they are.

Watch the full interview below. 

About the Author: Matteo Luccio

Matteo Luccio, GPS World’s Editor-in-Chief, possesses more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for GNSS and geospatial technology magazines. He began his career in the industry in 2000, serving as managing editor of GPS World and Galileo’s World, then as editor of Earth Observation Magazine and GIS Monitor. His technical articles have been published in more than 20 professional magazines, including Professional Surveyor Magazine, Apogeo Spatial and xyHt. Luccio holds a master’s degree in political science from MIT. He can be reached at mluccio@northcoastmedia.net or 541-543-0525.