Why GPS Was Invented In The First Place !
Forget your military and other applications. There are 2 basic factors behind the invention and development of GPS. Firstly your wife does not have to navigate, so ending the inevitable row that leads to divorce ! Secondly the later generation of navigation units continuously show the estimated time of arrival, which the kids can clearly see from the back of the car, so ending the 'are we nearly there yet ?' question that is the cause of many a family dispute. It can therefore be argued that far from being a tactical military system to aid targetted destruction, GPS is actually a PEACEKEEPING system for the reasons previously given.
Now, I can read an Ordnance Survey map and follow a compass bearing at night over open terrain with the best of 'em. I learnt how to do this thanks to the Scouts, in a time when kids out at 3am using map and compass was still considered OK. Hell yes you got lost, but you also learnt how to work out where you were, the old fashioned way. And you had some fun at the same time !
The old fashioned ways will always be there to fall back on, and we need to maintain these skills. One common factor with old and new methods of navigation is the need for accuate maps, be it for helping you work out where you are, or how to get to where you want.
I like GPS, and hope it's available (or an equivalent system) for many years to come. It is just so useful. My reasons for liking it are many, to list but a few :-
1) end of arguments with wife over navigation. Worth its weight in gold !!!!!!
2) end of 'are we nearly there yet ?' question from the kids. Again worth its weight in gold !!!
3) recording my bike rides. Speed and altitude profiles, so thats why my legs were killing me about 1/3 of the way up that hill ! Good record of training and improvement.
4) recording my dinghy sailing, particularly on the sea. If a sea mist comes in you can't see anything on the shore and the wind can change direction so you can't use that as a reference. I have a tactical compass (for racing) and combine that with local knowledge to continue sailing whilst not having shore landmarks to use for navigation. GPS just peforms the task of backup navigation system for me in these circumstances. It just verifies that my sailing on a given bearing is taking me where I think I'm going. The compass and local knowledge are the primary navigation as these are the natural way anyone sails a dinghy.
5) in-car navigation GPS often takes you down roads you would not normally choose if you were using a map or road atlas. If you end up stuck in a river, it's 'not good :-)', but if you end up seeing some wonderful countryside BONUS !
For reasons 1 and 2 above, I would be quite happy to pay a subscription fee for the use of GPS or a device access fee, and as you see, it gives me other benefits.
Long live GPS, but I *CAN* live without it.