Putting Canada on the GPS map

Putting Canada on the GPS map

March 15, 2007
In the 1980s, the global positioning system (GPS)—a way to track objects on earth with signals from satellites—was limited to a handful of satellites owned by the U.S. military. Today, GPS can be found in cars, on sailboats, even in hand-held devices.

Elizabeth Cannon, Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, has been a big player in the expansion of GPS technology. And since 1997, Cannon has relied on CFI-funded infrastructure to become one of the world’s leading experts in her field.

Cannon and her colleagues’ research has led to the development of numerous GPS-related software systems, which have been licensed to over 4,000 organizations in 18 countries.

Future applications will see GPS become even more accurate and precise in pinpointing earth-bound objects from space. The potential applications are almost endless. Soon parents could pinpoint the precise location of their children. Drivers could avoid collisions using autonomous systems that know precisely where other vehicles are.

“It’s exciting to think about the future. The CFI has changed the face of research in Canada, and allowed researchers to dream bigger dreams,” Cannon says.

Heaven knows how Cannon will change our world in the next 10 years!