With so many GPS-equipped devices on the market today, it is important to know what GPS is and how it is used in day-to-day personal and business operations. In learning about GPS, two questions must be answered: “how does GPS tracking work?” and “what are its benefits?”

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the name for a network that orbits the Earth, comprised of approximately 30 satellites. These satellites, originally launched for military use, now provide services for military and civilian use. Any location on Earth can be mapped using this network because any location on Earth has around four satellites hovering over it at any time.

The system works based on trilateration, the process of determining a location based on a series of points on a map. Multiple satellites will collect data from triangle-shaped sections on a map and use this data to pinpoint exact locations based on where the triangles overlap. This information is then relayed to software via servers, which is then utilized by military and civilians.

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GPS is used by for driving navigation while or participating in a physical activity like biking or running. It is also used in several industries, such as surveying or fleet tracking for asset protection.

How Does GPS Tracking Work?

GPS trackers come pre-installed in personal devices or surveying equipment, or can be installed in the OBD port of cars in the case of fleet tracking.

The GPS tracker is an instrument that satellites “read” to determine exact locations. When paired with the atomic clocks built into these satellites, GPS tracking provides a clear and accurate picture of the location of land, people, and company property such as vehicles, equipment, and other mobile assets.

What Are the Benefits of GPS Tracking?

When installed in personal devices, GPS tracking helps log distances covered during a workout, while providing the total time each work out lasted. When installed in surveying equipment, GPS tracking helps provide more precise measurements and locations on plots or sections of land or highways. When used in fleet tracking, GPS provides benefits that reduce the operation costs for any company while safeguarding company assets.

Because of trilateration and atomic time, company owners gain a history of locations per vehicle and have real-time updates and data concerning the route of any vehicle or equipment at any time. Mileage, speed, and locations are all logged for a complete history, accessible by authorized company representatives at any time to keep company owners in control of their assets.

GPS tracking reduces wasted payroll, wasted mileage, and abuse of company assets while providing clear, real-time information that companies utilize for higher profits and to provide better service for their clients.