Types of GPS to Make Tracking Easier, Can Detect Landslides!

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Do you know the types of GPS? Or you are certainly no stranger to the term. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a collection of satellites that provide accurate measurements for determining location, navigation, and time around the world. As one of the first satellite positioning systems, GPS has become an important part of a wide range of global activities, including precision agriculture, autonomous vehicles, sea or air surveys, and defense applications.

In this TransTRACK article, we will explain the concept of GPS, its working principle, the differences between GPS and other satellite systems such as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

What is GPS?

GPS is a navigation system using satellites that provides data regarding location and time without being affected by weather conditions to its users. In addition, GPS is also used in navigation on planes, ships, cars and trucks.

Utilization of this system has an important role for both military and civilian users throughout the world. GPS provides services in the form of positioning, navigation and time synchronization in three dimensions directly and continuously throughout the earth.

GPS is a navigation system that uses satellites as its basis, consisting of a series of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the US Department of Defense. Although originally designed for military use, in the 1980s, the government decided to utilize the system for civilian use as well. GPS operates regardless of weather conditions, all over the world, 24 hours a day. There is no subscription fee or arrangement for utilizing the GPS facility.

Types of GPS Trackers

GPS trackers are becoming more and more common every day. Almost all smart phones are now equipped with GPS capabilities. Many companies rely on various forms of GPS technology to manage the movement of products from one location to another. In fact, GPS has further potential such as monitoring volcanic activity or detecting earthquakes.

The following below are the types of GPS trackers that you should know:

Military GPS

The GPS Block IIF satellite is the latest evolution of the global positioning system (GPS) spacecraft designed by Boeing for the benefit of the United States Air Force.

In 1996, the US Air Force and Missile Systems Center placed an order to develop 33 Block IIF GPS Satellites. However, this contract was later amended and their number reduced to 12.

This satellite was created to replace previous generations, namely the GPS Block I, II, and IIA satellites, which first became operational in 1978. GPS is the largest satellite constellation of the US Department of Defense (DOD) with 31 operational satellites in orbit.

Deliveries of Block IIF satellites began in April 2001 and maintain the continuity of the Global Positioning System constellation, which provides three-dimensional navigation signals day and night non-stop, in all weather, for global use.

GPS IIF presents significant improvements over the previous generation and is able to adapt to the evolving needs of users, including the use of new military or commercial frequencies.

IIF’s 12th GPS satellite was launched via a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in February 2016. It is also the milestone launch of the 50th GPS satellite manufactured by Boeing and placed into orbit for the US Air Force.

GPS Navigation

This GPS function works based on the starting point and destination you specify, then automatically plans a route.

You can set route planning to go through multiple waypoints if you wish. In addition, in route planning, you can set whether you want to avoid roads at high speed and so on.

In order to provide accurate location information, a GPS receiver needs at least 3 to 5 visible satellites. If you are in a valley or surrounded by tall buildings on both sides of the road, or in dense forest, adequate satellite connectivity may be difficult to obtain.

This may result in not being able to find the location or obtaining only two-dimensional coordinates. Likewise, when in a building, opportunities to update locations may also be hampered.

Some GPS receivers have an additional antenna that can be placed on the windshield or an external antenna that can be placed on the roof. These facilities help increase the possibility of better satellite signal reception.

Geographic GPS

The endeavor in geographical studies is to identify the location of an object, understand the reason for its existence, trace its development, and observe the changes that have occurred over a period of time. This prompted geographers to investigate the physical and social characteristics of the earth’s surface.

Therefore, the use of GPS becomes important for geographers when exploring various landscapes. Continue reading to gain a further understanding of the various uses of GPS in the context of geographic studies.

This tool provides very precise data, which can be used to generate precise answers regarding natural disaster events, such as earthquakes, landslides, or tsunamis.

Earthquake Tracker GPS

For a GPS receiver to provide useful data on seismic waves, the ground displacement must reach a significant degree. This means that the use of GPS is most effective in the event of an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 6 on the Richter scale.

If GPS data can be accessed in real time (almost instantly), this information can be utilized in an early warning system for earthquakes and tsunamis. The purpose of this system is to warn individuals before tsunami waves from seismic activity reach their area.


The development of GPS types of technology has had a significant impact on various aspects of our lives, from facilitating our daily activities to increasing safety when carrying out outdoor adventures. Whether we are navigating cities, exploring the layers of space or managing farmland, GPS systems have become indispensable tools, giving us the ability to travel, communicate and thrive in an ever-changing world.

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