What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite navigation system that sends and receives radio signals. It was originally placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense which continues to maintain the system.
GPS is made up of a network of at least 24 satellites that circle the earth twice a day from about 19,000 kilometres above us. Each satellite moves at 11,000 kilometres per hour while continuously transmitting time-based signals to earth that indicate its location.
How do GPS devices, such as navigation systems, use GPS information?
A navigation device uses time based signals from multiple GPS satellites to determine longitude, latitude and altitude, providing your position on Earth. Using these signals in conjunction with accurate digital maps, such as Whereis® maps, your device can pinpoint where you are, and determine the best route to get you to your destination. As these signals are being constantly sent, your device can recognise when you have deviated from the proposed route and can calculate the best path to get you on track.
How does GPS improve navigation?
GPS provides basic information of longitude, latitude and altitude, but once you marry that information up to accurate digital maps, such as Whereis® maps, you open up a world of navigation possibilities. Once a GPS device knows where you are, it can pinpoint that on a digital map as well as provide walking or driving directions to any other position on that map.