GPS is known as the acronym “Global Positioning System” which in abbreviationfinder.org means “global positioning system”. The GPS is a navigation system based on 24 satellites (21 operational and 3 backup), in orbit on the planet earth that sends information about the position of a person or object at any time and weather conditions.

The GPS was created, installed and used in 1973 by the Department of Defense of the United States, at the beginning it was of unique and exclusive use for military operations but from the 80s the United States government allowed society civil enjoy this navigation system. GPS can be used on ships, trucks, airplanes, cars, among others. On the other hand, the GPS was designed with the objective that the user obtains knowledge about his position, information of the direction to which he is going, speed, approximate time of arrival, among other data. Some offer voice guidance, to instruct the driver on the movements he must perform to follow the correct direction, alternative routes, speed limitations, among others.

Now, to determine the position of an object, person or address, the GPS calculates the value of longitude, in reference to the Greenwich Meridian, the value of latitude and, finally, the value of altitude. To locate a point, at least four satellites are essential, and the GPS receiver receives the signals and time of each of them, and through the triangulation calculates the position where it is located. There are currently two types of satellite navigation systems: American GPS and the GLONASS controlled by the Russian Government. Also, the European Union tries to launch a satellite navigation system called Galileo.

A compass is an orientation instrument, which allows the traveler to be spatially located relative to the magnetic north by means of a magnetized needle. It is a fundamental instrument for sailors, hikers, pilots, hunters, explorers, etc. The first compass arose in China. It was used primarily as a navigation instrument that allowed overseas travelers to orient themselves in space and define the path to follow, but it was not infallible. Over time, other compass systems were developed.

Parts of a compass

There are different types of compasses. All of them share basically three fundamental elements: a base with a ruler and a reference arrow; a limbo or graduated disc that rotates on its own axis and a magnetized needle pointing north.

Compass Types

Today there are many varieties of compass available, as the systems have been perfected with the advancement of technology. Within the basic range of compasses, the following can be mentioned:

Magnetic compass

The magnetic compass, the oldest of all, allows orientation through the magnetized needle system that points towards the magnetic north pole of the earth, that is, from the identification of the Earth’s magnetic field.

Gyroscopic compass

The gyroscopic compass or gyro always looks to the geographical north and not to the magnetic one, since it uses a set of rings and a disk aligned according to a rotation axis, the inner and outer axis, which are perpendicular to each other. Other types of compasses can be the limbo compass, lentistic compass, cartographic compass, electronic compass and mobile phone compass. The latter depends on the availability of the network at the site of the scan, so it may be unsafe.

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