Global Positioning System (GPS)

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Definition: Global Positioning System (GPS)

GPS or Global Positioning System is a satellite-based navigation system made up group of 24 satellites placed into earth’s orbit. GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day and transmit signals which can be received via a GPS receiver.


It is extensively used in location based services, tracking and monitoring of objects, geography based analysis etc.


1. Easy to use and interpret

2. Low cost alternative

3. Comes in smartphones and mobile devices

4. Updated regularly by the US government

5. Has close too 100% coverage of Earth

6. Works in water too



1. Requires internet and may not work at all times

2. Certain obstacles may lead to incorrect or ambiguous information

3. Doesn’t work when there are geographical disturbances



There are both civil and military applications of this navigation system. Some of them are:

1. Astronomy

2. Cartography

3. Fleet tracking

4. Geo-tagging

5. Sports

6. Tectonics

7. Telematics

8. Navigation

9. Target Tracking


Sources of error

Some reasons for error in GPS are:

1. Ionosphere and troposphere delays

2. Signal multipath

3. Receiver clock errors

4. Orbital errors


Hence, this concludes the definition of Global Positioning System (GPS) along with its overview.


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