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What is GPS?

What does GPS stand for? It’s short for Global Positioning System, which makes sense given that it positions you or any other object on a global navigation system that calculates factors such as location and velocity.

Who invented GPS? It wasn’t just one person. American scientist and physicist Roger Lee Easton, Sr. is credited with inventing GPS along with Ivan A. Getting and Bradford Parkinson. Despite the technology existing in the 1960s and 70s, President Ronald Reagan made limited GPS services available to the public on September 16, 1983. The version that Reagan “released” meant that the general public was only able to use it to measure the accuracy of up to about 100 meters. It wasn’t until 2000 that President Bill Clinton allowed for the release of a more advanced version used by the military. 

If you have a Garmin GPS, Gaia GPS, or any other popular GPS device, you’re probably wondering, “How does GPS work?” The Global Positioning System is dependent on a collection of over 30 navigation satellites that circle Earth. The satellites send out signals, and a GPS device receives them and then calculates the distance from other satellites to provide you with coordinates of where you are or where you’re headed.

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