Global Positioning System Locator Chart

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The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS.

GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location. Essentially, the GPS receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is. Now, with measurements from a few more satellites, the receiver can determine the user's position and display it on the unit's electronic map. Today's GPS receivers are extremely accurate,  and they maintain strong locks, even in dense foliage or urban settings with tall buildings. Certain atmospheric factors and other sources of error can affect the accuracy of GPS receivers. GARMIN GPS receivers are accurate to within 15 meters on average.

I began using a GPS in 1990 as an Amateur (HAM) Radio Operator. I quickly found many other uses for it. You can mark and return to your favorite hunting and/or fishing spots. On the road, it is a veritable travel computer. It can tell you how far away your destination is, at what bearing and how long it will take you to get there at your current rate of speed, as well as how far you've already gone and how long it has taken to get thus far. To use the GPS Location Chart below, simply punch the coordinates into your GPS and follow the arrow.

The use of a GPS receiver was driven home recently when I was on a trip to Pennsylvania. I was following excellent directions given me by a cousin. When I came to the road I was supposed to turn down, the road was not there and another was in it's place. To make a long story short, the City had decided to change the name of the road, and thus I was lost!. This in not uncommon. City boundaries change frequently and so do road names. How, I remember thinking, are my directions to that old cemetery going to last through the generations?  How do we as genealogists pass this information on to the next?

Of course, with a GPS ! Latitude and Longitude NEVER change. (for all practical purposes.) You can purchase a bottom line GPS these days for under $100.oo and many auto manufacturers are already installing GPS Units in cars. So if you want  to go visit these old cemeteries, place a GPS on your dashboard, hop in the car, punch in the coordinates and be on your way.

GPS Location Chart
Adelaide, Pa
40 02.427'
079 37.650'
Cheneyville Cem, Pa
39 49.319'
078 29.261'
Flatwoods Cem, Pa.
40 01.703'
079 13.475'
Hill Grove Cem, Pa
40 01.273'
079 34.588'
Peter O'Neal Cem, Pa.
39 54.492'
078 25.238'
Union Cem, Pa.
39 50.111'
078 39.111'
Old Frame Church Cem, Pa
39 58.886'
079 32.555'
Rugby Cem, Oh
41 22.537'
082 19.620
Fletcher Cemetery
39 51 668'
079 25 079'
Green Ridge, Pa
40 03 994'
079 25 959'
Holy Trinity, Pa.
40 76 143'
079 35 051'
Last Updated on 8/7/01
By John W. Oneal, II

               More about The GPS satellite system

The 24 satellites that make up the GPS space segment are orbiting the earth about 12,000 miles above us. They are constantly moving, making two complete orbits in less than 24 hours. These satellites are travelling at speeds of roughly 7,000 miles an hour. GPS satellites are powered by solar energy. They have backup batteries onboard to keep them running in the event of a solar eclipse, when there's no solar power. Small rocket boosters on each satellite keep them flying in the correct path.

Here are some other interesting facts about the GPS satellites (also called NAVSTAR, the official U.S. Department of Defense name for GPS):