If you’re here to get the answer to “What is GPS?”, you’ve come to the right place. GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a satellite navigation system used to determine the ground position of an object. GPS can be used on land, at sea, and in the air, and is often used by civilians as a navigation system.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a US-owned satellite navigation system. It was developed for military use, but in the past years has been made more accessible to civilians.
GPS works by using at least three satellites in orbit around Earth, that send radio signals to any GPS receiver on the ground. The signal travels at the speed of light, so it takes just under one second (770 ms) for the signal to reach your GPS device.
These satellites are moving quickly, so they need to send these signals out continuously – and they do.
On the ground, any GPS receiver contains a computer that “triangulates” its own position by getting bearings from at least three satellites. The result is provided in the form of a geographic position – longitude and latitude – to, for most receivers, within an accuracy of 10 to 100 meters. Software applications can then use those coordinates to provide driving or walking instructions.
Perhaps, in the end, the best definition of GPS is the simplest one: a global positioning system, composed of multiple satellites and a network of receivers, that allows for the pinpointing of geographic coordinates. And that means you can find your way wherever you are on Earth, no matter what.