GPS, And More Of It …

My partner on the sales side of PrecisionAg, Dan Bellanger, is a true technology enthusiast. Virtually every time we travel together, he has a new toy to show. Several years ago when iPods were still a glint in Steve Jobs brilliant mind, Dan had a music storage device that would utilize an unused bandwidth on the car radio to “broadcast” a song from the unit to the radio. You’d have to put up with the occasional interference from an emergency or traffic broadcast (not to mention Dan’s eclectic music tastes that recently included some really bad early Bee Gees songs) but it was pretty impressive for the time.

Now, it’s GPS … specifically, a Garmin he recently purchased. He got hooked on it during a trip we took together to Biglerville, PA to see the rig manufacturer GVM’s facility. When it was over, we needed to get to Baltimore in a hurry, and he had gotten the Garmin on a whim as a rental car option for the day.

If you’ve never been to southeast PA, many towns are nestled in hilly terrain with curvy, seemingly indiscriminate two lane roads winding everywhere. No fear, Dan loaded the airport code and we made it unscathed and on time.

“You know, we’d still be driving today if I hadn’t had the Garmin,” he likes to say. It’s his main defense for having purchased his own, which we used last week on a trip to Memphis.

And apparently, many of you are discovering, and/or expanding your use of, global positioning systems. In our reader poll earlier this month, almost 40% of you said that you will be expanding your use of GPS for both personal and field work use. About a third of you will be using GPS more for field work, while just over 10% of you will use it more for personal reasons. Only 17% said they have no plans to use GPS more in 2008.

As prices come down, functionality increases, and the benefits become more apparent, GPS use will continue to expand, bringing in new users and expanding the horizons of current users. Unfortunately, Dan and I won’t be able to tell folks that we’re late for a meeting because we “got lost.”

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