A House resolution now up for consideration details the way GPS is used and its impact on the economy.
Co-sponsored by Reps. David Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Don Bacon (R-Nebraska) the bill also recognizes “the contributions made by the men and women of the Air Force who are responsible for operating and maintaining the Global Positioning System constellation.”
The lawmakers noted that GPS-enabled precision agriculture has led to improved grain yields and input cost savings of some $8.2 billion. Precision agriculture saves farmers 10 to 15 percent in operating costs, the bill says, and has resulted in an estimated $13.7 billion in overall economic benefits.
GPS precision timing “allows for accurate record management by major financial institutions, including detailed transaction management for large and small businesses” and is an “essential tool in facilitating social and economic activity around the world.”
Overall, GPS provides economic benefits valued at $68.7 billion or 0.4 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States. For example, GPS-enabled surveying is estimated to produce $11.6 billion in economic impact while location-based services enhance the $950 billion app economy and help support some 4.7 million jobs in the United States.
GPS applications also support Smart Cities initiatives, emergency services and safer rail transport.
At this point, H. Res. 219 notes, GPS is so important that the Department of Homeland Security has deemed the system to be essential to 14 of the 16 industries deemed as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure.
As a House resolution the bill would need only pass the House. So far it has five other co-sponsors and is being handled by the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.