GPS Gets Less Selective

GPSMay 1, 2000

President Bill Clinton releases a statement announcing that the U.S. government will remove Selective Availability from its Global Positioning System at midnight, improving the accuracy of civilian GPS devices from 100 meters to 20 meters. Originally created to impede hostile forces from taking advantage of the GPS system, pressure mounted from many areas to eliminate Selective Availability and make GPS more accurate for civilian purposes. Initially set to be disabled in sometime 2006, it happened on this day 6 years earlier than planned because the U.S. military had developed a new method of denying GPS to hostile forces in a specific areas without affecting the rest of the world or its own systems. This action paved the way for the proliferation of GPS usage for accurate navigation functions, such as the turn-by-turn apps we use today on our smartphones.