Since the global positioning system (GPS) opened for public use in the ’80s, countless businesses have adopted it to improve their operations. The GPS constellations developed by the United States government, initially for military application, is used for navigation, tracking, timing, and customized applications like farming and augmented reality games.

Are you interested to know how this innovative system has benefited specific industries? Read on.

Civil Aviation

The U.S. Air Force owns the GPS technology, the first Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) in the US. It’s therefore logical that the civil aviation sector was one of the first to use the system. Aviators use GPS to figure out their route, their position in the airspace, and departure and arrival times. Improvements in GPS technology have led to more efficient routes, cutting down on time and fuel expenditure.


Precision agriculture is named such for the pinpoint accuracy it gives farmers. Farmers plan their plotting, apply pesticide and fertilizer, map the fields, and predict their overall yields efficiently with the help of GPS. Through the GPS Waypoints app that allows zoning and mapping, farmers can anticipate yields and prepare for them.

Cropdusters are directed to areas infested or prone to insect activity with guidance from satellite data. This way, farm managers minimize field and crop exposure to chemicals, as well as maximize the efficiency of insect purging.

GPS tracking is also used to keep tabs on the livestock. Free-range animals can be left to roam around with tracking collars on. When the time comes to bring them to the market, the same collars can be used to check their course.


GPS navigation has had a significant impact on the mining industry. The use of GNSS improved on-site safety and productivity in terms of materials extraction and transportation. Since satellites couldn’t reach far below the surface to monitor mining sites, feeder systems pick up signals underground and transmit them to the satellites.

construction workers using GPS system to track the site

GPS positioning has made blasts, mine design, vehicle dispatch, surveying, and personnel monitoring easier. Workers operating heavy machinery rely on GNSS to establish and update their locations, to avoid collisions between workers and machines and other work-related hazards.


Elderly healthcare has vast uses for GPS. Patients who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, for instance, need to be tracked as their neural cognition degenerate and they suddenly find themselves lost.  By equipping the elderly with GPS bracelets, which inform caregivers of their location and point them home, a healthcare facility can keep its patients safe.

Emergency responders are pointed towards the precise location of accidents through GPS. Alert systems can be set up using global positioning technology to improve incident monitoring and response.

Surveying and Mapping

GPS is a boon to surveying and mapping. The tech can replace or add to optical and mechanical means of determining distances and angles between points. Surveyors use data sourced from GPS constellations to get accurate measurements of position—latitude, longitude, and height—to the centimeter. By using GPS systems, the need for costly equipment in all but location-prohibitive situations is eliminated or at least reduced.

As GPS is becoming more prevalent, it’s now imperative to know how to use your GPS-enabled device. Look for tutorials online and experiment with your equipment’s features to experience what the system can do for you.