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Geographical Position System

Navigating the Confusion: Understanding GPS

Searching for “Geographical Position System”?

Often, when searching for ‘geographical position system‘, people are actually looking for information on the Global Positioning System (GPS). This post aims to clarify this common mix-up and provide insights into the remarkable world of GPS technology.

Global Positioning System or GPS

GPS, a satellite-based navigation system, has become a fundamental tool in our daily lives. Initially developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, it allows for precise geolocation and time information, anywhere on Earth. The system operates through a constellation of at least 24 satellites orbiting the Earth, ensuring global coverage.

Key functions of GPS include:

  • Navigation: From car navigation systems to hiking GPS devices.
  • Timing: GPS provides accurate time synchronization, crucial for various operations like stock trading.
  • Mapping: Assisting in creating detailed maps of the Earth’s surface.
  • Tracking: Used in logistics and personal devices to track movement and location.

GPS Among Other GNSS Systems

An important aspect to understand is that GPS is just one of the many Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in operation. GNSS is a general term for satellite navigation systems that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. This includes not only the United States’ GPS but also Russia’s GLONASS, the European Union’s Galileo, and China’s BeiDou.

Each system has its unique constellation and offers varying degrees of accuracy and coverage. This diversity in GNSS systems ensures more comprehensive global coverage and redundancy, enhancing positioning accuracy for users worldwide.

About the Author
I'm Daniel O'Donohue, the voice and creator behind The MapScaping Podcast ( A podcast for the geospatial community ). With a professional background as a geospatial specialist, I've spent years harnessing the power of spatial to unravel the complexities of our world, one layer at a time.