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Magazine goes global.

Byline: Tim Christie The Register-Guard

When Glen Gibbons founded GPS World magazine in Eugene in late 1989, just 11 global navigation satellites were orbiting Earth and GPS technology was in its infancy.

Today, 28 satellites are beaming navigation signals from space, GPS is embedded in everyday life, and Gibbons has launched a new trade magazine focusing on the burgeoning industry.

It's called Inside GNSS, which stands for the Global Navigation Satellite System, and it covers not only the U.S.-based Global Positioning System, but also the European Galileo and the Russian GLONASS systems. Gibbons, the editor, shares the publisher title with his wife and partner, Eliza Schmidkunz, who also serves as marketing director.

The layperson may think of GPS in terms of those hand-held units sold at REI and various big-box stores, but Gibbons said satellite navigation is enmeshed in all kinds of technology.

"It touches most people," he said.

If you have a newer cell phone, it probably has a GPS receiver. If you've got OnStar or a vehicle navigation system in your car, it's powered by GPS. Atomic clocks on GPS satellites link to GPS receivers on the ground, which are used to make sure technologies including the Web and financial transactions are accurate.

Satellite navigation technology has become "a vast popular utility as profound as the Internet or mobile phones, giving us connections among people, places and things that were nearly unimaginable 25 years ago," Gibbons said.

Gibbons introduced his premier issue last month at the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit in Germany, and mailed the second issue March 2. He plans six more this year.

He calls Inside GNSS a "business-to-business" publication, aimed at engineers and other technical types who are developing satellite applications in cell phones, vehicle navigation systems, aviation systems and military products.

The cover story of the premiere issue, for example, is headlined, "Head Tracking for 3D Audio Using a GPS-Aided MEMS IMU." Written by an Air Force test pilot, the article is about technology that helps pilots orient their aircraft at night or in stormy weather.

Subscriptions will be provided free to qualified readers, and advertising will pay the bills.

Gibbons has become an expert on satellite navigation over the past 16 years, calling himself "the oldest surviving GPS journalist."

A former newspaperman who earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, he founded GPS World, published by Aster Publishing, in 1990. Aster was sold in 1992 to Boston-based Advanstar.

When Advanstar closed its Eugene office in 2003 and laid off most of the staff, Gibbons was one of 11 employees who were kept on and asked to work from their homes. Last June, Gibbons decided to start all over again and "rebrand my IP" - that is, his intellectual property - and start a new satellite navigation magazine. The magazine is family-owned, with more than $100,000 invested in it so far, he said.

Starting out, Gibbons is working out of a home office. His contract staff includes a technical editor in Southern California and a sales director in New Jersey. Closer to home, his production artist and art designer are based in Eugene and his circulation director is in Junction City.


Publishers and owners: Glen Gibbons and Eliza Schmidkunz of Eugene

Circulation: 40,000 free subscriptions

Target audience: Engineers and scientists involved in advancing global navigation technology

Employees: Eight contract employees

Revenues: First-year revenues projected at $700,000 to $800,000


The trade publication focuses on the Global Navigation Satellite System. Paul Carter / The Register-Guard Glen Gibbons' new magazine explores navigational satellites for 40,000 readers.
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Title Annotation:Business; Journalist turns publisher to explore a technology that touches most of us
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Mar 30, 2006
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