What is GPS?

GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, is the only system today able to show you your exact position on the Earth anytime, in any weather, anywhere. Ground stations, located worldwide, continuously monitor them. The satellites transmit signals that can be detected by anyone with a GPS receiver. Using the receiver, you can determine your location with great precision. GPS is one of history’s most exciting and revolutionary developments, and new uses for it are constantly being discovered.


Understanding The GPS System

Being equipped with a GPS system allows you to be located anywhere in the world. It can be an external device, a connected watch or an application on your smartphone. The GPS works thanks to the 30 satellites in orbit around the Earth which send signals received by the GPS chip. This constellation of satellites covers the entire globe. From the received signals, your device is then able to calculate your precise position.
It should be noted that GPS is an American system, open to the public, but which remains nevertheless a State property. To overcome this dependence, other systems have been developed. This is particularly the case for GLONASS, deployed in Russia. The European GALILEO project, for its part, should be implemented in 2019.

GPS Uses in Everyday Life

The GPS system was developed to meet military needs of the Department of Defense, but new ways to use its capabilities are continually being found. The system has been used in aircraft and ships, but there are many other ways to benefit from GPS. Vehicle tracking is one of the fastest-growing GPS applications. GPS-equipped fleet vehicles, public transportation systems, delivery trucks, and courier services use receivers to monitor their locations at all times.
GPS is also helping to save lives. Many police, fire, and emergency medical service units are using GPS receivers to determine the police car, fire truck, or ambulance nearest to an emergency, enabling the quickest possible response in life-or-death situations.
Automobile manufacturers are offering moving-map displays guided by GPS receivers as an option on new vehicles. Several car companies are demonstrating GPS-equipped vehicles that give directions to drivers on display screens and through synthesized voice instructions.


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