What is GPS and Why Is It Useful?
Many of you have probably seen the term GPS thrown around, but do you know what it is and why it is useful? According to GPS.gov, GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a global navigation satellite-based system that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services.
GPS devices and technologies are everywhere. You can find them in your car, installed in your smartphone and your smartwatch. GPS helps to navigate and guide you to where you need to go from point A to point B.
How Does GPS Work?
According to GPS.gov, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite system that consists of a group of 24 satellites in six Earth-centered orbital planes, each with four satellites, orbiting at 13,000 miles (20,000 km) above Earth and traveling at a speed of 8,700 mph (14,000 km/h).
While we only need three satellites to produce a location on the earth’s surface, a fourth satellite is often used to validate the information from the other three. The fourth satellite serves as a way to help us calculate the altitude of a device.
Three Elements of GPS
According to GPS.gov, GPS is made up of three different components, called segments, that work in sync to help provide user location.
The three segments of GPS are:
1. Space Segment (Satellites) — These consist of satellites circling the Earth and transmitting geographical position and time of day signals to users.
2. Control Segment(Ground control) — The Control Segment is made up of land-based monitor stations, a master control station, and ground antennas. "Control activities track GPS satellites, monitor their transmissions, perform analyses, and send commands and data to the constellation". There are monitoring stations on almost every continent in the world, including North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
3. User Segment(GPS equipment) — consist of GPS receivers and transmitters including items like watches, smartphones, and GPS tracking devices.
If you want to read more about how GPS technology works, click here to read our article.
Practical Uses of GPS Technology
GPS is a powerful and dependable tool for businesses and organizations in many different industries. Surveyors, workers in any of the trades, small business owners, fleet managers, first responders, and workers in the oil gas and agriculture industries, are just some of the people who use GPS on a daily basis for work. They use GPS information for preparing accurate vehicle tracking reports, tracking position or location, and as a tool to help lower fuel costs. GPS works at all times and in almost all weather conditions and is very reliable.
Here are some uses of GPS technology:
Locating — Determining a person or device's location.
Navigation — Getting from one location to another.
Tracking — Monitoring asset or personal movement.
Click here to read more about a more in-depth view of GPS tracking benefits
A specific example of how Global-View's GPS tracking devices can help with business solutions is in the transportation sector. Logistics and fleet tracking companies implement telematics systems to help them improve driver productivity and safety. One of our GPS trackers placed in a truck can be used to help support route optimization, fuel efficiency, driver safety, and compliance. These features are very useful and beneficial for logistics and fleet tracking managers.
As you can see, GPS technology has many uses and its functionality is not only very important to the success of many industries but also for the demands of consumers. The observation of the future of GPS tracking and its impact on society will be interesting to see