Thumbnail of the How GPS Works poster

Teachers, order a free copy of the "How GPS Works" poster for your classroom today! Or download an electronic version.

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Why the tractor?

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System is a U.S.-owned utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing services.

Who Uses GPS?

GPS is an essential element of the global information infrastructure. The technology is in everything from cell phones and wristwatches to bulldozers, shipping containers, and ATM's.

Montage of GPS applications


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GPS Tutorials

The following links lead to GPS education pages at other government websites.

Resources for Teachers

The following links lead to GPS-related lesson plans prepared for high school teachers by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Smithsonian Exhibit Highlights the History of GPS

Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There If your class is planning a trip to Washington, D.C., be sure to visit the National Air & Space Museum and its new exhibit on Time and Navigation. Also check out the exhibit's website, which is full of animations, learning resources, and more. Among other things, the exhibit describes how GPS was invented. Learn more

4-H Youth Summit Focuses on Geospatial Technologies

On September 25-29, 2013, a hundred high school students gathered in the nation's capital to learn about GPS, GIS, and remote sensing. A representative of the Air Force GPS program gave a video presentation, fielded questions, and distributed copies of the "How GPS Works" poster. Learn more at 4-H.org