Nicholas Myers, Sunday Gleaner Intern
Next month, Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) plans to introduce a new mapping database, JAMNAV-VCS (Vehicle Concierge Service).
The technology incorporates Global Positioning System (GPS) with a vehicle-tracking platform which is expected to boost the efficiency of the local security sector operations.
"We should be launching in August 2011," said Paul Greene, assistant projects manager at University of the West Indies-based MGI.
MGI is the local provider of geographic information systems.
Greene indicated the technology would be a perfect fit for the local security sector, but could be easily incorporated in other sectors as well.
"This newly developed database JAMNAV-VCS can be useful to persons working in the security sector, as response teams can better react to situations. It will be ideal for fleet management, delivery and courier services too."
The GPS system is a satellite-based navigation system that was developed by the United States Department of Defence and was initially designed for use in the military. Today, it is available for commercial, personal and scientific purposes. This system enables motorists to determine their location, enter that information into the computerised system in the vehicle and get an automated response with specific directions to the specified address.
According to the assistant product manager, companies that employ the technology will be to able to access features similar to the well-advertised 'On Star' road-assistance programme.
JAMNAV-VCS offers voice-assisted navigation, while the GPS tracking programme facilitates real-time moving maps, wireless vehicle tracking, alert and reporting.
"The GPS navigation system is updated every month and feedback from the user is highly recommended," Greene continued.
Practical for local use
Greene was unable to say how much the new device would cost the consumer, but was quick to point out that the new database would be more practical for local use than the international Google Maps.
Jamaica's biggest auto club, Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) - distributors of the local database for GPS systems - said the new equipment was a worthwhile investment.
"Navigating system is for the technologically enthused, tourists and for the average Jamaican," said Duane Ellis, general manager at JAA.
He, however, pointed out that most purchases are made are by men.
"So far, sales have been modest. But the future market for these devices is very bright as the excitement for the GPS device continues to grow."