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GPS Accuracy Within a Half-Inch?

How would you like a global positioning device (GPS) that can locate objects less than an half-inch apart? A group of scientists from Stanford University -- the same place where Google was born -- is working on modifying a technology they believe is in its infancy that will do just that.

In fact, the scientists are so committed, they have formed the Stanford Center for Position, Navigation and Time. Their timetable for improving the GPS, in hopes of making it "bulletproof": Two decades.

Why is the half-inch proximity such a big deal? Scientists want GPS to work far better to improve their accuracy in less friendly environments and far more quickly, meaning the applications and benefits for consumers down the road -- for example tracking Alzheimer's patients who may become lost -- could be enormous.

One interesting and cautionary word came from an anti-tracking group who believes the social aspects of GPS improvements could create questions about privacy rights which could spark consumer resistance if such issues aren't addressed.

Seattle Times November 7, 2005

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