GNSS vs. GPS: The Key Differences Explained

When it comes to navigation systems, you’ll often hear about GNSS and GPS. These are two revolutionary systems that have changed navigation technology.

GNSS and GPS have often been used interchangeably, but there are a plethora of differences between the two.

So what are the unique differences between GNSS vs GPS?

The Differences Between GNSS vs GPS

While they are both stellar navigation systems, consumers should know the key differences between the two. This will help you decide which to purchase for your needs.

What Is GNSS?

GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System. It is an all-encompassing term, which means that GPS (Global Position System) is an offshoot of GNSS.

GNSS navigation systems are used by different countries to pinpoint location and map routes. This feature makes it more advanced than GPS. 

If you wish to consider a GNSS receiver, we recommend reading this blog article.

What About GPS?

As this is a technology currently only used by the United States, its features and scope are limited. It is dependent on the satellite technology owned by the United States.

It can also prove to be faulty if there is bad weather within the continental United States.

However, if your travel is limited to the United States, a GPS system will work for you.

Advantages of GNSS

Clearly, we can see that there are greater advantages of GNSS technology. 

As GNSS is a more sophisticated technology and can gather signals from satellites all over the world, it can provide more accurate navigation. It is more dependable and can quickly pick up new signals from a satellite if another one fails.

If you travel the world or need the technology for more advanced uses, then a GNSS device is best suited for you.

What GNSS and GPS Has Been Used For

Both GNSS and GPS have been used for military use — with GNSS being especially useful for overseas missions.

Realizing the stellar technology of GNSS (and GPS to a lesser extent) this was now extended to be used for commercial and personal use. They are used for locating a passenger – usually a vehicle – and helping them plan a route.

These technologies are able to create maps of areas and are able to update traffic information in real-time. 

GNSS has been used outside of personal use and made its mark in different industries. This has been especially present in the mining and agricultural industries.

Construction equipment can be controlled without the need of an individual on-site, through GNSS technology. GNSS helps agricultural vehicles such as tractors steer, navigate, and arrange crops.

GNSS is also good for simpler vehicles such as bicycles! If a cyclist needs help with navigation, especially if lost, a GNSS-based device offers more reliability. This also works with pedestrians, runners, and hikers to navigate their route. If they are stranded, they can record and share their location with emergency services.

GNSS is currently being studied for its use to record the speed, motion time, and other skills of professional athletes.

Choose Your Device

Now that you know the differences between GNSS vs GPS, you can choose the device that best suits your needs.

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