The global positioning system (GPS) was originally designed for use by the United States military. Today, it is available free-of-charge to anyone with a GPS receiver. The Global Positioning System III satellite above, developed and built by Lockheed-Martin, is the newest and most sophisticated GPS satellite. The first GPS III will be launched in 2014.

Illustration courtesy NOAA

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GPS Encyclopedic Entry

Best For
6 - 12 and up


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  • Educators
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Encyclopedic entry. A global positioning system (GPS) is a network of satellites and receiving devices used to determine the location of something on Earth. Some GPS receivers are so accurate they can establish their location within 1 centimeter.