About Global Positioning System (GPS)

The Global Positioning System (GPS) enables users in the air, on land, or at sea to determine their precise location by receiving signals from distant satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) more than 30 years ago.

The DoD continues to maintain this constellation of 24 satellites that orbit the Earth in a very predictable way, continuously transmitting signals back to Earth. GPS receivers then process the signals using trilateration and compute precise position, velocity, and timing data that helps guide a wide range of activities. These include... | Read More

GPS Uses Include:

  • Agriculture

    High-precision GPS is critically important to United States agriculture, which plays a vital role in the U.S. economy. High-precision GPS receivers are widely used in agriculture — enabling farmers to manage land, water, seed, fertilizer, pesticides and labor. | Read More
  • Aviation

    GPS has revolutionized aviation safety and continues to do so as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implements the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as "NextGen." | Read More
  • Construction

    GPS technology plays an essential and ever increasing role in the $537 billon United States construction sector. The technology has become critical to improving the productivity, efficiency and safety of construction job sites | Read More
  • Consumer

    GPS technology has become an integral part of how we live, both in work and in play. There are more than 500 million GPS receivers in the U.S. alone, and more than one billion receivers worldwide. | Read More
  • Defense

    GPS is an invaluable tool to the U.S. military, and there are more than 1 million GPS receivers in use by the Department of Defense (DoD) and our nation's armed forces. | Read More
  • Public Safety

    There are virtually endless uses of GPS in assisting public safety and disaster response teams as they respond to emergencies and prepare for the unexpected. | Read More
  • U.S. Government Science Monitoring

    GPS technology is inextricably tied to essential U.S. government scientific endeavors that help protect Americans in the air, on land, at sea and in space. | Read More
  • Surveying and Mapping

    GPS, particularly high-precision GPS, is integral to today's land surveying and mapping sectors, which were early adopters of GPS because it dramatically increased both productivity and accuracy. | Read More
  • Transportation

    Smart infrastructure in highway, rail and aviation depend on GPS to improve safety, efficiency and environmental impact. Most of us rely on this infrastructure in some way every day, and it is a sector that is constantly being expanded and improved. | Read More