An Introduction to GPS

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    Nov 22, 2012
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GPS or the Global Positioning System is simply a navigation system that is based on satellites. The system has twenty four orbiting satellites. Each satellite makes 2 circuits around the globe every 24 hours. All 24 satellites transmits three bits of data– the satellite's position in space, its number and the time that that the information is sent. By picking up these signals, a GPS receiver uses this data to determine the distance between the GPS satellites and itself.
These satellites transmit the information in the form of signals and the GPS receivers take this information and calculate a user's exact location. In order to calculate a 2D positioning, the GPS receiver must be locked on to signals of a minimum of 3 satellites. For 3D positioning, four or more satellites are required.

The GPS receiver, using signals from 3 or more satellites, triangulates its position on the ground; the latitude and the longitude, from the satellites' position. With a GPS receiver anyone can get access to the system. 

The receiver has many applications including surveying, mapping and GIS data collection as it provides real-time, navigation, three-dimensional positioning and timing at any time and from any location on the globe. Additionally, a GPS receiver can inform you of the direction and speed while traveling

When it was first developed, GPS was meant for US military application alone. In the 1980s, however, the government realized that the public could also benefit from it and made the system available for use by the civilians. Today, after over a decade of its advent, GPS works all over the world, under almost any weather condition and at all times.

GPS receivers have evolved over the years and the ones used today are extremely accurate. A standard GPS device or receiver will today not only tell you where you are on a map but also trace your path across a map. As such, it’s possible to use it to find an address or location of a place. With a GPS receiver by your side, you can rest assured that you will never be lost, no matter where you go.

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Rick Samson loves working out and playing sports. He currently writes articles on Interesting Articles.

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