GPS: Theory, Practice and Applications

Frederic G. Snider, R.P.G.

Course Description

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has revolutionized the fields of navigation, mapping and surveying. It is now routinely possible to know your location within about 10 meters (30 feet) anywhere in the world with inexpensive, hand-held commercial GPS receivers. It is also possible to use GPS for surveying at sub-centimeter accuracy, for control and monitoring of construction equipment and agricultural machinery, guidance of autonomous robots, and aircraft, vehicle and marine navigation.

This course provides an explanation of how the GPS system works, sources of errors, and methods used for improving the basic accuracy of the system, including Differential GPS. The wide range of GPS applications are reviewed and the main types and features of GPS receivers are discussed. The terminology used in manufacturer’s specification sheets is explained so you can compare various units. Finally, the course summarizes what you, the potential user, needs to understand in order to select the appropriate equipment for the intended use. As such, the principles and concepts presented here are equally useful to all types of engineers, constructors, architects, contractors, building inspectors, surveyors, scientists, and the general public.

The course outline is presented below:

The course is approximately 40 pages long including one Table and 17 Figures. A glossary of the most commonly used terms and acronyms is provided as a reference document. A multiple choice quiz is available online.

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the end of this course, you should understand the operation of the GPS system at a level sufficient to use GPS receivers for navigation and general positioning applications. You will be familiar with the meanings of the words and acronyms most commonly used in GPS literature, sales brochures, and manufacturer’s specification sheets. You will know what questions to ask potential vendors about their GPS equipment and how to decide what features you may need for your intended uses. You will also be familiar with the sources of error affecting GPS accuracy, how to improve the accuracy to the level you need, and the options available for accessing Differential GPS corrections.

Course Content

For your convenience, the course content is provided in three different formats. To study the course, you need to open or download one of the following course content documents.

GPS: Theory, Practice and Applications in HTM Format (88 KB).

GPS: Theory, Practice and Applications in MS Word Format (291 KB).

GPS: Theory, Practice and Applications in PDF Format (514 KB).

Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person.comanization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.