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The Relevance of GPS in the Internet of Things

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

In the field of navigation, GPS, (Global Positioning Systems), has become a critical element. The United States Department of Defense established the global positioning system in 1973. Since then, it has grown to include a variety of satellite-based navigation systems. They're now used for anything from animal tracking to traffic reports in real time.

What is GPS and how does it work?

GPS, or Global Positioning Systems, is a satellite navigation system. The GPS constellation has 32 satellites. 24 active satellites and the rest serve as backups.

The ground receiver determines its position using location information from at least three satellites. Satellites inform the device of your location and direction of movement through trilateration. Trilateration is a measurement method that uses the geometry of spheres, circles, and triangles to identify the location of a point. From three satellites we get three circles (spheres in 3D); the intersection of all three circles will disclose your true location.

GPS and the digital revolution

GPS is a vital part of the digital revolution! Many industries rely on GPS. GPS revolutionized everything from the military to advertising. Using GPS devices, people can enter an address to find a location. Thanks to this technology, we don't need paper maps or directions anymore.

GPS, why is it relevant in the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The internet of things (IoT), collects and exchanges data between a network of computing devices, and sensors. IoT works with many devices including automobiles, home appliances, and other items which are embedded with electronics, software, and sensors. IoT relies heavily on GPS. Let’s see some examples of how GPS with IoT is relevant in our lives today.

GPS with the Internet of Things: A Perfect Combination

GPS and IoT work together to create more useful applications. Although GPS does not require internet connectivity to function, IoT connectivity increases its use for both enterprises and consumers. GPS is also essential for an IoT device because it can provide information such as location, altitude, speed, time, and direction. In an emergency, an IoMT device can not only warn first responders about body temperature, heart rate, mobility, and other medical data but also communicate important location data using the associated GPS.

In an emergency situation, GPS tracking will help rescuers locate a crisis quickly. IoT could detect when a driver has been in an accident. At the same time, GPS provides the ambulance with location data.

In fleet systems, panic buttons can be triggered in the event of an accident or a breakdown, sending maintenance crews to the scene or calling the police if necessary. In the medical field, panic buttons are integrated with clinical wearables that detect vital signs and alert healthcare providers if a serious event has occurred. Wearable IoT devices fitted with GPS systems can call in a first responder and instantly notify a patient’s location in case of emergencies such as cardiac emergencies and paralysis.

How can we use IoT with GPS to make our lives better?

Smart technologies have made our lives easier, but they also capture a lot of information about how we live. This information can be used to develop forecasts about future trends. For example, using GPS data from people with similar demographics or interests, it would be possible for a business owner to estimate the level of response for a new product in a specific region. Thus, the businesses can market the product according to regional demand and save money.

GPS data is also important for public safety. The more data we collect on specific places, such as high-crime areas or accident-prone areas, the faster we can respond to reduce crime rates and save lives. In public transportation, GPS data can be used to design a more effective route for buses and trains, increasing occupancy and encouraging more people to use public transit instead of driving their cars every day. GPS also helps navigational aids, location and tracking devices such as a dog collar or a school bag, wearables to monitor activities, geo-fencing as a security measure, time-stamping transactions, and many other IoT devices.


Although GPS technology has been around for decades, it has only recently become an integral part of our daily lives. With the rise of the internet of things, knowing the location of things has never been more important. This is where GPS comes into play. You can use it to track your dog's every move or you can map and record the locations of your shipments or vehicles. And while driving or walking, GPS is an excellent technique to avoid getting lost. GPS technology is helping in the development of smart cities, in which everything is linked together via sensors and data. For instance, you may use GPS to receive traffic alerts or locate the nearest grocery store.

What was once merely a navigational aid has evolved into much more. This is why GPS is relevant in the internet of things!



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