Advantages of GPS | Disadvantages of GPS

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of GPS (Global Positioning System). It mentions GPS advantages and GPS disadvantages.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is developed and managed by US Defence. It is only fully operational Global Navigation Satellite System in the globe. The system has about 24 to 32 earth orbit satellites which transmit radio signals. These signals help GPS receivers to determine location, time and velocity. The devices are embedded with GPS receiver chip to have this functionality.

 GPS system

GPS satellites are usually located at the height of 20,000 Km above the earth and orbits with speed of 14000 Km/Hr. Signals are transmitted at the speed of light by these GPS satellites.
Refer GPS tutorial➤ for more information.

Advantages of GPS

Following are the advantages of GPS:
➨The GPS signal is available anywhere on the globe. Hence user will not deprive of GPS facility anywhere.
➨There is no charge to utilize the GPS service as US Defence bears cost of GPS system. It is maintained and upgraded by US Department of Defence. It is cheaper compare to other navigational systems.
➨The GPS system gets calibrated by its own and hence it is easy to be used by anyone.
➨It provides user with location based information. This will be helpful in various applications such as mapping (used in cars), location (geocaching), performance analysis (used in sports), GIS etc. Example: Google Earth Application.
➨GPS helps find retail outlets in new visitor location.

Disadvantages of GPS

Following are the disadvantages of GPS:
➨GPS chip is power hungry which drains battery in 8 to 12 hours. This requires either battery replacement or recharge.
➨GPS signal does not pierce through the solid walls or structures. Moreover it is affected by large buildings or structures. Due to this, user will not be able to utilize GPS service in indoors or under water or in dense tree regions or in underground stores or places etc.
➨GPS accuracy depends on sufficient received signal quality. GPS signal gets affected due to multipath, atmosphere (i.e. ionosphere), electromagnetic interference etc. This leads to error of about 5 to 10 meters in GPS signal.
➨Though currently system is managed by US DoD and users are utilizing the system free of cost, it is in the hand of US to allow or deny the GPS service at anytime.
➨It is better not to rely completely on GPS system. Backup travel maps with directions will help in the event of GPS system failure.


GPS Frame structure
GPS Receiver Chip
What is GPS
GPS Antenna
GPS Receiver Module
GPS Satellite
GPS Tracking System

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