If you are an avid user or just starting to use mobile devices and smart gadgets, you would probably be stumbling upon the famous used acronym GPS. So, what does GPS stand for? GPS stands for Global Positioning System. GPS is basically a system that operates globally in which dedicated satellites are used to track the location of any GPS receivers and transmitters anywhere in the world.
A signal is sent from the ground station or any GPS devices to the constellation of 24 satellites circumventing our earth. The smartphones nowadays are all embedded with a GPS receiver in which it can send signal as well as receive signal from the GPS satellite. Therefore, it can pinpoint the exact location of the devices equipped with the GPS wherever you are located in the world.
The accuracy of the position depends on many factors such as the weather and also if the signal are blocked by buildings, mountains and other tall structures.
The technology originated from the Cold War era and at that time, MIT scientists noticed the Doppler Effect from the Sputnik satellite orbiting the earth. The Doppler Effect can be used to determine a location by analysing its signal strength as the signal move or faded away. By using this concept, a location can be accurately determined.
The first ever fully operational GPS however was launched by the US back in 1989. Only in 1999, Benefon, a phone manufacturer first embedded the GPS into their phone. Since then, almost all smartphones now have GPS capability as mandatory in their phone as many applications used the GPS as input and output for their application and functionality. The GPS has enabled your phone to be track anywhere in the world as long as you enabled that feature in your smartphones.
As of the current progress, the US have launched 24 GPS satellites up into the orbit. With the solid GPS infrastructure laid in place, software and applications that have been developed based on this infrastructure and platform have also making great strides. There are now many real-time applications that can help individuals and businesses to make processes much faster and improve as well as assisting people’s daily lives. The GPS has now become a necessity as people becoming more mobile, the need to keep track location of people as well as assets is becoming crucial.
The GPS or Global Positioning System has now laid the foundation for creative programmers and developers to create more innovative applications that utilizes the GPS and enhance the quality of our life.