Taking Position: Elephants, citadels and UAVs promote social good

December 8, 2015  - By
Image: GPS World

By Tracy Cozzens
Managing Editor

As the holiday season approaches, many of us think about ways we can help others, or promote the social good. This month, our Market Watch section features three different projects designed to do just that.

In our Mapping section, we explore how geospatial information systems can be used to help us help the homeless. Geographic information systems (GIS), community involvement and app builders are helping gather and use data to deliver critical services to the homeless in major metropolitan areas in the United States.

In our UAV section, we discover that unmanned aerial vehicles can be used for more than commercial purposes. One company used its fixed-wing UAV to help the Peruvian government save Machu Picchu, an Incan citadel, from the 15th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In another project, UAVs are being used in an effort to stop the poaching of rare and endangered African wildlife. Silent, stealthy UAV patrols can spot the poaching activity by providing eyes in the sky, even at night using infrared cameras.

These are just three examples of ways we are using location and positioning technology — ways that probably didn’t even come close to the top ideas when the tech was conceived.

As we look toward 2016, it’s exciting to think what new applicatins might be in store. If you have an application story to share, please email me at gpsworld@gpsworld.com. Perhaps your story will appear in a future issue.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.