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Learning with GPS. Presenter- Dan Carey dcarey90@gmail.com https://careywiki.wikispaces.com / August 11 and 12, 2009. Today’s Goals. Learn what is GPS How to work with a GPS unit Initialize it, collect data, enter data, clear data How it is used in the real world

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Learning with gps

Learning with GPS

Presenter- Dan Carey



August 11 and 12, 2009

Today s goals
Today’s Goals

  • Learn what is GPS

  • How to work with a GPS unit

  • Initialize it, collect data, enter data, clear data

  • How it is used in the real world

  • Why it is important in education

  • Hands on practice

History of gps
History of GPS




Began in the 1970’s for military purposes

Fully operational April 1995.

How a gps works
How a GPS works

  • Three components to Global Positioning Systems

    • Space segment

    • User segment – you holding the GPS unit

    • Control segment

Space segment
Space Segment

  • Consists of 24 to 32 satellites that orbit earth that are sending precise radio signals to the GPS receiver

    Artist Interpretation of GPS satellite, image courtesy of NASA

    Source: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/ftp/gps/ggeninfo/gps-iif.tif

User segment
User Segment

  • Consists of a GPS receiver

    • Can be a handheld unit

    • In your automobile

    • Farm equipment

    • Cell phone

    • A GPS receiver calculates its position by precisely timing the signals sent by the GPS satellites high above the Earth

Control segment
Control Segment

  • The flight paths of the satellites are tracked by US Air Force monitoring stations

  • The tracking information is sent to the Air Force Space Command's master control station in Colorado Springs. Then contacts each GPS satellite regularly with a navigational update.

Putting it all together
Putting it all together

Space Segment

User Segment

Control Segment


Monitor Stations

Master Station

How a gps can be used
How a GPS can be used

  • Military.

  • Search and rescue.

  • Disaster relief.

  • Surveying.

  • Marine, aeronautical and terrestrial navigation.

  • Remote controlled vehicle and robot guidance.

  • Satellite positioning and tracking.

  • Shipping.

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

  • Recreation.

Sources of signal interference
Sources of Signal Interference

Earth’s Atmosphere

Solid Structures


Electro-magnetic Fields


  • A waypoint is based on coordinates entered into a GPS receiver’s memory.

  • It can be either a saved position fix, or user entered coordinates.

  • It can be created for any remote point on earth.

  • It must have a receiver designated code or number, or a user supplied name.

  • Once entered and saved, a waypoint remains unchanged in the receiver’s memory until edited or deleted.

Planning a navigation route
Planning a Navigation Route

= Waypoint