How Does Gps Tracking Work

How Does Gps Tracking Work.How the GPS signal works on smartphones and how is the location from satellites to detect where we are.GPS was born as a guidance system of the military services that over the years has evolved into an advanced navigation and localization system. Used to trace people, vehicles and stolen vehicles and to follow the routes in shipments, today the GPS tracker is used in all kinds of tasks.In this article we will really show you how GPS works and how it connects to satellites to detect precise position in real time.

How Does Gps Tracking Work

Most of us have surely heard of the Global Positioning System (GPS) before, at least superficially. The GPS tracking is available on our mobile phones and car navigation systems for a long time. But how do GPS trackers actually work and how did this technology spread ?

How Does Gps Tracking Work

How Does Gps Tracking Work

  • A GPS tracking system uses the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network. This network incorporates a series of satellites that use microwave signals that are transmitted to GPS devices to give information about the location, vehicle speed, time and direction. Therefore, a GPS tracking system can potentially give both real-time and historical navigation data on any type of trip.


  • GPS provides special satellite signals, which are processed by a receiver. These GPS receivers not only keep track of your exact location, but can also calculate speed and time. Positions can even be computed in three-dimensional views with the help of four GPS satellite signals. The space segment of the Global Positioning System consists of 27 GPS satellites orbiting the Earth. There are 24 operational and 3 additional (in case one fails) satellites that move around the Earth every 12 hours and send radio signals from space that are received by the GPS receiver.


  • The control of the positioning system consists of different tracking stations that are located all over the world. These monitoring stations help in tracking signals from GPS satellites that orbit the earth continuously. Spacecraft transmit microwave carrier signals. Users of global positioning systems have GPS receivers that convert these satellite signals so that current position, speed and time can be calculated.


  • The operation of the system is based on a simple mathematical principle called trilateration. Trilateration is divided into two categories: 2-D Trilateration and 3-D Trilateration. In order to do the simple mathematical calculation the GPS receiver must know two things. First you must know the location of the place is to be traced by at least three satellites over the place. Second, the distance between the location and each of the space vehicles must be known. Units that have multiple receivers that pick up the signals from multiple GPS satellites at the same time. These radio waves are electromagnetic energy that travels at the speed of light.


  • A GPS tracking system can work in several ways. From a business point of view, GPS devices are generally used to record the position of vehicles as they make their trips. Some systems store the data within the GPS tracking system itself (known as passive tracking) and some send the information to a database or centralized system via a modem within the GPS system unit on a regular basis. (known as active tracking) or 2-way GPS.

GPS locators: common uses/How Does Gps Tracking Work

How Does Gps Tracking Work

Nowadays, GPS tracking is built into a wide variety of mobile devices such as smartwatches, smartphones, wearables, tablets, computers, and car trackers.

In vehicles, GPS devices are commonly used in navigation systems to guide drivers along routes and help them get to their desired destination.

GPS tracking devices have also become extremely popular in commercial transport: thanks to telematics , they are today an essential tool for fleet management.

How to activate GPS on Android and iPhone

How Does Gps Tracking Work

To improve reception from GPS satellites it is possible, on Android smartphones, to enable A-GPS, which is a detection system based on the internet connection that downloads data from satellites even in closed places. To take advantage of it, simply open the Settings app , go to the Location or Geolocation menu and activate the items Access to the position and High precision or similar.

On the iPhone, on the other hand, we can take advantage of the high-precision GPS by opening the Settings app , pressing on Privacy and then on Location Services , from which it will be enough to activate the switch next to the item Location Services .

Below we will also find the settings for the use of GPS for each app on the device, so you can immediately see which app can directly use the location and who needs to ask for permission.

How to improve GPS reception on Android/How Does Gps Tracking Work

If we have problems connecting to GPS with Android, we can download the GPS Fix app .

We talked about this app in depth in our article on GPS Fix to improve GPS reception on Android for the exact location .


GPS is probably one of the functions we use the most without realizing it: it allows us to reach any destination by paying only the connection costs or by consuming a small part of the GB available in our smartphone offer, also thanks to the spread of excellent apps for navigation for Android and iPhone.

If we are looking for the best apps to navigate with GPS on smartphones, we invite you to read our guides to GPS Navigators with free offline maps for Android, alternatives to Google Maps and Best GPS navigator apps for iPhone alternative to Apple Maps .


by Abdullah Sam
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