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January 1999
ArachnoFiles"
Each month in this column we highlight an in-house Web page of interest. Send your suggestions to bhenson@ucar.edu.

A friendly introduction to GPS geodesy

UNAVCO's new brochure is a great place to get an overview of applications of the Global Positioning System (GPS) to solid-earth sciences and how GPS has revolutionized geophysical research. While written in plain English, the brochure is full of recent scientific findings and information-packed graphics from the more than 90 universities that make up the University NAVSTAR Consortium. (UNAVCO's Boulder facility is administered in UOP as part of the GPS Science and Technology Program [GST].) UNAVCO Web administrator Jim Riley has just put the brochure onto a single Web page. Loading the large file may take a few moments, but it's worth the wait.

The brochure was written primarily by UNAVCO's new scientific director, Seth Stein of Northwestern University. For many of the topics discussed, Stein includes footnotes linking to the relevant scientific literature, an unusual step for an introductory brochure. Also included is a table comparing the precision, method, and relative costs of various GPS-based applications. By clicking on any of the document's detailed illustrations, you can export very high resolution versions (some as large as 25 megabytes) to your desktop using WinZip, ZipIt, or similar decompression software.

"The main reason we put it on the Web was for educators. Since the brochure's early stages, we had repeated requests for copies of the figures and graphics to be used for presentations and class discussions," says Jim. He worked closely with Stein to organize the print version of the brochure. The content is appropriate for high-school through postgraduate students, Jim says. "The general public can get something out of it, but there's really a lot in there for scientists and educators." With the brochure's blend of hard-core content and accessible format, "we think we've created something unique." •BH

On the Web:
UNAVCO Brochure Online

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu

Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall