Can GPS be entirely trusted for your safety?

Can GPS be entirely trusted for your safety?
When a man is blind, he is aware of his shortfalls and seeks confidence in his cane, a companion, and the never-ending ability to continually engage people for help in directions. It might be considered slow, but in the end, it guarantees safety and direction to the destination. 

For many years before the advancement of technology, people were accustomed to the use of physical maps when embarking on trips, especially those that were never before plied. Well, good morning world. It's 2022, and people are not just more independent, they also rely on digital platforms for almost anything and everything, including navigation. 

In this yet another interesting read powered by The Watchtower Dubai, an award-winning phenomenal in digital marketing and web solutions, I will be doing a dip into GPS technology and its adoption by mankind. More importantly, at the end of this article, we will answer if GPS can be entirely trusted for your safety on your next trip. 

What is GPS? 

GPS means Global Positioning System, and according to Wikipedia, GPS was originally known by the name Navstar GPS. It is a satellite-based radio navigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Space Force.  

It is one of the global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites.  

The GPS does not require the user to transmit any data and operates independently of any telephonic or Internet reception, though these technologies can enhance the usefulness of the GPS positioning information.  

It provides critical positioning capabilities to military, civil, and commercial users around the world. 

How does GPS work on mobile devices? 

GPS makes use of radio waves between the satellite and the receiver inside your device to provide an exact location depending on the request of the user. 

With the active use of over 30 navigation satellites circling the earth, the GPS receiver on your device listens to this signal and transmits it after confirming your location and the set destination. 

Does the GPS have its flaws? 

There is a reason why upgrades are usually done on all digital devices running software. This is simply because there are newer and better ways of doing things. 

On the one hand, there have been many instances that attest to the good use of GPS and its fidelity. On the other hand, there are instances where people have encountered the GPS technology going south. 

In recent news stumbled upon two days back, a man was said to have died when it was discovered that he allegedly used a GPS that had wrongly directed him into a river. While the river was sighted in the navigation system, it was said that a bridge was seen on the map. However, this bridge had collapsed but was not updated on the map. 

What can cause the flaws observed in the use of GPS? 

Several factors can cause hitches observed in the use of GPS. After extensive review, it is seen that in most instances, the direction is clear from the satellite. However, in some instances, factors could impede the clarity, of course. Some of them are listed below. 

1. Failure to update software. 
Remember this GPS is a software application and if there are available updates that you fail to download, if you are navigating through a route that has experienced an update, you will miss out on the precise navigation. 

2. Poor internet connection. 
In demographics like Nigeria, where there is no access to free internet or Wi-Fi, chances are high that you require a smart device with excellent internet strength to help navigate.  

You don’t want to experience a delay on a road where you are unfamiliar and the map suddenly freezes due to poor connection. However, this is a cause of most people's missing their road network. 

3. Impedance is another concern. 
GPS signals could be inaccurate when there are obstacles to the signals, like buildings, trees, and sometimes extreme atmospheric conditions like geomagnetic storms. A GPS receiver requires a clear line of sight to ensure clarity in navigation. Anything that impedes this signal could create problems in its use. 

4. Poor map reading. 
This act is simply parallax or human error that could be due to distraction, battery out, or inability to read the map. 

In conclusion, with a certain degree of accuracy, GPS satellites transmit signals into space, but how well you receive them relies on several other parameters, including satellite geometry, signal blockage, atmospheric conditions, and receiver features and quality. 
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