Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are the two most essential tools in today’s world, where location-based services have become an indispensable part of various industries as well as everyday life. GIS is a computer-based system used for capturing, storing, analyzing, and visualizing geospatial data, whereas GPS is a satellite-based navigation system that uses satellites that orbit the Earth to send information to GPS receivers that are on the ground. GPS information helps determine the location of objects or people. GPS is used to collect data, which is later processed by GIS software. GIS tools can analyze and process GPS-derived data, identifying patterns and trends that would be challenging to distinguish from raw GPS coordinates alone.
GPS technology was created by the US Department of Defense, as a space-based global navigation satellite system. As mentioned above, GPS comprises a network of satellites orbiting the Earth that transmit precise timing and location information to GPS receivers on the ground. These receivers process signals from multiple satellites to calculate their exact position in latitude, longitude, and elevation. A GPS receiver calculates its position by timing the signals sent by GPS satellites high above the Earth.
GIS digitizes ortho-rectified images acquired from satellites, aircraft, aerial vehicles, and other such sources. This involves extracting geographic data directly from these images, to create spatial data. This data is added in the form of layers, which refer to individual datasets or information that are well-organized and set on top of each other to create a map or spatial representation.
The efficient mapping and visualization ability of GIS facilitates decision-making processes in industries like Urban Development, Telecom, Utility, Mining, Land Information Management, and many other fields for planning, data management, classification, and other operational purposes.
GPS is widely used in navigation, mapping, and location-based services. It is commonly found in smartphones, car navigation systems, fitness trackers, and countless other devices that provide location-based services.