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How the GPS navigation works on your cellphones

July 16, 2008

IIn recent years, mobile phones have become the Swiss knives of digital devices getting better and better at doing more and more things: whether it's taking pictures or playing your music collection. In 2008, the big feature which is being rolled out on many high-end phones is GPS which allows your phone to track your exact location on a map.

What is GPS?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System and is basically a group of satellites which send signals which can be picked up by a GPS receiver. The receiver can use those signals to calculate your location on a map down to around 5-10 metres. What's more, as you move around, the receiver will be able to track your changing position.

GPS is available for free to anyone who has a GPS receiver though certain value-added services like navigation can cost more. GPS receivers come mainly in two forms: standalone units and mobile phones with GPS. Since the latter are more easily available in India we will focus on them.

Text: NS Sawaikar
Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh

Also see: Is the Apple iPhone 3G for you?

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