What is GPS Coordinates? Need to Know!

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Most of us did not need to know about GPS coordinates. We can search for any address online. But is a crucial matter for pilots, sailors, and also dedicated travelers.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System; a worldwide system used to pinpoint an exact geographic location anywhere on Earth. It is used for navigation and surveying and to obtain the current time of a specific area. It is usually expressed by alphanumeric characters.

It is done by 24 satellites called GPS satellites. These satellites circle the globe in a precise orbit and transmit coded radio signals. These signals can go through clouds, glass, and plastic but get weak while going through solid objects like buildings and cannot pass through objects containing high metal levels. A GPS unit will not receive satellite signals under thick forests, underground or underwater.

The GPS was mainly developed for military purposes in the 1980s. But nowadays, this technology provides positioning, velocity, and navigation information to a large number of general users.

What is GPS Coordinates

What Are the Latitude and Longitude of GPS Coordinates

GPS coordinates are divided into latitude and longitude, which divides the Earth into latitude and longitude lines. Latitude indicates the distance of the north or south equator from the desired location. And on the other hand, it means distance from the east or west of the prime meridian to the area.

The equator is at 0-degree latitude and goes up to 90 degrees north and south. Also, the prime meridian is a 0-degree longitude that goes up to 90 degrees to the east and west. The location is expressed in alphanumeric characters. 

For example, N40° 44.9064′, W073° 59.0735′ is a GPS coordinates of a location. It also can be expressed by numbers only, like 40.748440, -73.984559. Here, the first number indicates latitude, and the second number indicates longitude. The minus sign indicates west. As it is numbers only, people worldwide use it mainly.

What Are the Usages of Coordinates

Conservation organizations and municipalities can use GPS to record positional data in points, lines, or areas. They can import the data into the GIS (Geographic Information System) software to create maps of the data.

Users can map any location with a large variety of features. Such as they can express mature forests, specimen trees, fire-disturbed areas, or waterways. Also, they can map artificial features like trails, buildings, roads, driveways, etc. With these, you can find any desired location you want.

You can take a picture of a particular location and add it to the GIS database. The photo can help tourists get an idea of the location. Also, they can compare the images of different places and choose the place they want to visit.

You can use GPS to mark your property boundaries. Usually, we use landmarks to draw boundaries, but they can be easily moved or destroyed. As GPS uses exact coordinates, it makes measurements easy. No matter what happens, it cannot be transferred or destroyed.

GPS is of great use in case of scientific requirements. As per the US National Research Council, the most demanding use of GPS is monitoring global sea-level change. It also helps with monitoring changes in the climate all over the globe.

How can I Know My GPS Coordinates

You can know your GPS coordinates with a handheld GPS device like an android or iOS smartphone or tablets. More simply, you can see the GPS coordinates of any location from Google Maps. On Google Maps, right-click on a place and the drop-down box, and you can see the numeric GPS coordinates. Also, you can type the coordinates in the search box to know where it is located.

But in Apple’s Maps app does not provide a way to know the GPS coordinates. However, there is a GPS Hiking app for iOS and iPadOS which will provide you with coordinates.


Lastly, we can say GPS coordinates are of great use to the scientific sector and public benefits. You can pinpoint any place all over the Earth’s surface at ease and also can send our location to anyone you want. In the case of pilots, military, and sailors, the use of GPS coordinates is beyond description.

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