Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is a sustaining up market innovation. The technology for finding and executing the fastest route has existed for a very long time and although it is a radical rather than incremental change, the use of GPS is simply an improved version of how consumers route their travels. The original technology began with written maps. With the expanse of internet resources maps became digital which improved the simplicity and clarity in deciphering the best route for a specific journey. This in-turn made way for the use of GPS navigation systems.
The most recent form of mapping prior to the use of GPS was that of online websites such as MapQuest.com, MapBlast.com, MapNation.com and RandMcnally.com. Although the GPS innovation originally did not help to sustain these existing website companies specifically, it did help to sustain the navigation market as a whole. I mention this because companies like Map Quest and Map Blast did not create GPS devices themselves even though they were later involved in providing software services for GPS units.
Online websites like Map Quest give the ability to not only map the fastest routes but also grants the user a number of other options involved in planning a trip. These websites offer the user the ability to save routes, locate amenities like food or lodging along their route and even determine a time frame for how long a given travel route will take. GPS provides the same options but improved this process by making it mobile and allowing for the user’s exact position to be tracked. It provides many of the same abilities as online resources but allows for real-time decision making specific to the user’s location.
As I mentioned earlier the introduction of GPS units was a radical innovation. What made the creation of GPS technology for consumer use radical rather then incremental was that it dramatically affected the industry, as far as changing consumer behavior and opening new opportunities for new integration.