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What is GPS and its function?

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Jan 11, 2024
  • RFID
What is GPS and its function?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has become an essential component of modern life, revolutionizing navigation, location-based services, and a wide range of sectors. GPS, as a network of 24 satellites orbiting the Earth, offers precise location and timing information to users all over the world. 

In this detailed blog, we delve into the workings of GPS, its essential components, and the wide range of functions it plays in our interconnected world.

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally called Navstar GPS is a satellite-based navigation system that consists of a constellation of 24 satellites orbiting the Earth. GPS, which was developed by the United States Department of Defence, has evolved into a worldwide utility used by people, corporations, and governments around the world.

The most common use of GPS in the recent world, affecting our day-to-day lives is, GPS-based navigation built into our smartphones.

GPS Working

GPS satellites orbit the Earth, constantly delivering signals that GPS receivers, say smartphones and GPS trackers, on the ground receive. To calculate its specific location, the receiver triangulates signals from numerous satellites, considering account elements such as distance, time, and the speed of light and that is how GPS offers the precise location of the receiver concerning the geo-positioning system. 

Since GPS works on satellites and these signals face difficulty in penetrating walls, GPS is effectively dysfunctional in indoor navigation and tracking and only suitable for outdoor navigation purposes. For indoor navigation, technologies like BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), and UWB (Ultra Wideband), etc. are used, providing RTLS (Real-time Location Services).

GPS Components

Satellites: The GPS's backbone, a constellation of at least 24 satellites orbiting the Earth, supplies the signals required for navigation.

Grounds operate Stations: These stations monitor and operate the satellites to ensure proper operation.

User Receivers: GPS receivers, which can be found in devices such as smartphones or dedicated navigation systems, process satellite signals to determine the user's location.

Functions of GPS

GPS or the global positioning system offers several functionalities as followings:

GPS is used for Navigation

GPS is most usually connected with navigation, as it provides precise real-time positional data. It has changed the way people travel on roads, seas, and planes, improving safety and efficiency. The technology not only improves road navigation for daily commuters, but it also becomes helpful for emergency services, logistics, and sectors that rely on exact position information.

GPS offers LBS (Location-Based Services)

Many applications use GPS to provide location-based services, such as discovering nearby restaurants and landmarks tracking the location of friends, or delivery packages. Social networking sites use LBS to facilitate check-ins and location sharing among users, boosting community involvement. Businesses can also utilize LBS to target consumers with location-specific advertisements and promotions, resulting in a more personalized and context-aware user experience.

What is GPS and its function?

GPS for Mapping and Surveying

In surveying and cartography, GPS is essential for mapping and providing accurate geographic data. It's used for land surveying, urban planning, and environmental monitoring. Traditional approaches based on manual measurements and landmarks have given way to GPS-based devices that provide precise real-time positioning data. GPS technology allows for the construction of highly detailed and precise geographic information systems (GIS) in mapping. Surveyors using GPS receivers can precisely calculate the coordinates of locations on the Earth's surface, making detailed topographic maps and land surveys possible.

GPS Facilitates Services for Emergencies

In an emergency, GPS technology is critical for providing immediate and accurate location information, easing rapid response, and boosting overall emergency services. One of the most important applications is in search and rescue efforts, where GPS can help identify people in danger, whether they are lost in the wilderness or trapped in cities. Emergency responders outfitted with GPS devices can swiftly get to the specific location of a crisis, shortening response times and boosting the chance of a good conclusion.

GPS for Military Purposes

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is a vital and indispensable instrument in military applications, offering exact position data, navigation capabilities, and accurate timing information. The military-grade GPS, known as the Precise Positioning Service (PPS), provides greater precision than civilian users. Military forces use GPS for a variety of applications, including precise navigation for ground soldiers, vehicles, and aircraft.

GPS in Precision Agriculture

In this advanced agricultural approach, GPS enables farmers to optimize various aspects of their operations with unprecedented precision. By equipping tractors, planters, and other farming equipment with GPS receivers, farmers can precisely navigate fields, ensuring accurate and efficient planting, harvesting, and irrigation. This technology facilitates the creation of detailed field maps, allowing farmers to analyze variations in soil composition, moisture levels, and crop health.

GPS in Outdoor and Fitness Activities

GPS-enabled devices, such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, and smartphones, have become indispensable companions for people who want to get the most out of their outdoor activities. Runners and cyclists use GPS to trace their trips, measure pace, and analyze performance indicators, offering vital insights for training and improvements. GPS navigation benefits hikers and backpackers by assuring accurate path direction and preventing disorientation.

In conclusion, GPS has evolved from its original military function to become a vital tool in everyday life. Its capabilities go well beyond simple navigation, affecting industry, emergency services, agriculture, and other areas. Looking ahead, GPS will surely play a key role in developing emerging technologies and further connecting our globalized world.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.


  • Created on Jan 11, 2024
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