The global ultrasonic system for the self-localization of a mobile robot consists of several ultrasonic transmitters fixed at some reference positions in the global coordinates of robot environment. By activating the ultrasonic transmitters, the mobile robot is able to get the distance to the ultrasonic transmitters and compute its own position in the global coordinate. Due to the limitation on the ultrasonic signal strength and beam width as well as the environmental obstacles however, the ultrasonic signals from some generator may not be transmitted to the robot. Thus, instead of activating the all ultrasonic transmitters, it is necessary to select some ultrasonic generators to activate based on the current robot position. In this paper, we propose a selective activation algorithm for self-localization with the global ultrasonic system. The selective activation algorithm gets the meaningful ultrasonic data at every sampling instants, which results in the faster and more accurate response of the self-localization than the conventional sequential activation. Through the self-localization and path following control, we verify the effectiveness of the proposed selective activation algorithm.