Your source for GPS info in everyday terms

    
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GPS devices are wonderfully capable but also complicated for the new user. GPS Primer provides GPS info explained in simple, everyday terms to get you started on the right foot in your travels.

GPS Glossary

GPS
The Global Positioning System, consisting of a 24 GPS satellites, portable GPS receivers, and various ground-based support facilities.

GPS receiver
The unit you hold in your hand or have on your dashboard. Abbreviated "GPS" in common use.

Waypoint
A record of coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude (and altitude, too.) You can get them two ways: you can get them from someone else, enter them in your GPS, and have it guide you there. Or, you can use your GPS to record your present location for later use with, for example, mapping software or to give to a friend to find with his GPS.

Geocache
A box hidden in the wilderness that you find using your GPS unit and waypoints recorded by the person who placed the cache.

Geocaching
The sport of finding geocaches.

Tracking
Automatically recording waypoints at set intervals as you travel. These can be transferred to a map (manually or by computer download) to show where you walked.

WAAS
Wide Area Augmentation System. The system through which GPS satellites reference ground stations to improve their accuracy. It helps satellites correct for atmospheric interference and the wobbles of satellites in their orbits. WAAS-enabled GPS receivers are able to use this data to improve their accuracy as well.Learn more in the How GPS Works FAQ.