Global Positioning System

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a burgeoning technology, which provides unequalled accuracy and flexibility of positioning for navigation, surveying and GIS data capture. The GPS NAVSTAR (Navigation Satellite timing and Ranging Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based navigation, timing and positioning system. The GPS provides continuous three-dimensional positioning 24 hrs a day throughout the world. The technology seems to be beneficiary to the GPS user community in terms of obtaining accurate data upto about100 meters for navigation, metre-level for mapping, and down to millimetre level for geodetic positioning. The GPS technology has tremendous amount of applications in GIS data collection, surveying, and mapping.

Geopositioning — Basic Concepts
By positioning we understand the determination of stationary or moving objects. These can be determined as follows:

  1. In relation to a well-defined coordinate system, usually by three coordinate values and
  2. In relation to other point, taking one point as the origin of a local coordinate system.

The first mode of positioning is known as point positioning, the second as relative positioning. If the object to be positioned is stationary, we term it as static positioning. When the object is moving, we call it kinematic positioning. Usually, the static positioning is used in surveying and the kinematic position in navigation.

Some Interesting Links :

  1. An Introduction to Global Positioning Systems
    An Introduction to Global Positioning Systems Jason Dykes, VFC, University of Leicester, UK
  2. GPS Basics
    An Introduction to GPS by GPS Scales Waypoint Enterprises
  3. Introduction to GPS
    An article submitted by Mark Bohrer
  4. GPS
    An introduction by Obsidian Hydration Analysis Service
  5. Understanding GPS
    This document provides a verbal explanation of the Global Positoning System by Diana Cooksey
  6. Global Positioning Systems
    An Overview by The Geographer’s Craft

GPS – Components and Basic Facts
The GPS uses satellites and computers to compute positions anywhere on earth. The GPS is based on satellite ranging. That means the position on the earth is determined by measuring the distance from a group of satellites in space. The basic principle behind GPS are really simple, even though the system employs some of the most high-tech equipment ever developed. In order to understand GPS basics, the system can be categorised into

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