With the proliferation of smartphones and other devices, the use of GPS — the global positioning system — has become ubiquitous. From pinpointing one's location to getting directions online, satellite-based navigation is driving the interactive use of online maps.

Many may not be aware, however, that the GPS is operated by the U.S. government and that Japan does not have its own satellite-based navigation system.

But Japan is looking to develop its own GPS system in the near future that will make use of something called the quasi-zenith satellite system, which will be more precise.