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Published 15.05.2021by Israel Endalkachew

How does GPS tracking work?

Before exploring how GPS Tracking works, it is first necessary to explore what it actually is. GPS, short for Global Positioning System, is a system of 24 satellites in the earths orbit and several devices on the ground that exchange information to pinpoint the exact location of an individual or object on the earth. GPS tracking refers to the use of this system to track objects and individual’s whereabouts at a point in time. Though originally developed for military use, GPS and the use of it for tracking purposes has been modified for civilian use.

GPS tracking works through triangulation. The satellites orbiting the earth continually broadcast their locations and status to a facility called the GPS master control station. It receives the data from the satellites as well as other tracking and monitoring stations on the ground to further refine location data towards accuracy. A GPS device, which could be it’s own single use device or even phones and other gadgets equipped with location services here on Earth receive these signals and interpret them, mapping the locations of four or more satellites in relation to the tracking device and using the information to triangulate its exact position. The tracking part is when the GPS device sends its location to another device continuously, allowing it to track its location in real time or through pings.

GPS tracking has been used to streamline military operations, law enforcement procedures, supply chain planning and efficiency, transportation systems and more. It’s applications are getting further diversified with the advancement of technology and more is yet to come.