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The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a system of satellites used by the United States allowing for geolocation of receivers on Earth. In cars, boats, aircraft, and even with the phones in our hands, we are able to not only able to know exactly where we are, but we can also access step-by-step instructions on how to get from point A to point B.

The first prototype satellite was launched in the United States in 1978 and the system reached full operational capability by 1995. Other regions, including the European Union, Russia, and China have their own satellite navigation systems.

GPS is a very recent innovation, but people have always needed to know where they are and how to get around. How did they do it? Explore this display to learn about how sailors were able to navigate the open sea and the tools they used in the time before GPS.

Organizations interested in hosting Chart Your Course as a traveling exhibit at their site may contact or call 941-708-6120.

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