GPS Car Tracking: How Does It Work?

You may have questions about how GPS car tracking works. Is it really getting satellite data? Then why does it connect to a cellular network? What can you do with a tracker? Is it complicated to operate? It is easier to understand than you may think!

Basically, a vehicle tracker such as the GoTrackEZ receives information from the government’s global positioning satellite (GPS) network. It uses this data to figure out exactly where it is and how its position is changing from second to second. It then uses the cellular network to share this data with computers. The computers can combine it with additional information, such as maps. This new combination of data is then shared with authorized users via the Internet or phone apps.

Satellites And GPS Car Tracking

How GPS Car Tracking Works

The US Department of Defense has positioned about two dozen of satellites around the globe. They constantly broadcast information via microwave. Every point on Earth receives signals from four or five of these satellites. A GPS receiver decodes this data to determine which of the satellites sent it. Then the receiver calculates where it is relative to these satellites. Changes in the received information indicate changes in the receiver’s position. This data is freely available to all users world wide. An encrypted broadcast for select users (like the military) is also sent with more detailed information. The free GPS information is still enough data to instantly and accurately determine position. It also includes clocking data used by the public to synchronize electronic equipment and computer networks.

GPS car tracking and navigation systems combine the positional data from the satellites with electronic mapping technology. Navigation systems use this to display real time position and formulate directions. Trackers forward the information to computers for use on a web page or phone app. In other words, GPS navigators give drivers information while GPS car tracking devices send information to be used outside of the car. For example, businesses use GPS trackers to quickly see which work trucks are closest to service calls. Many families provide extra security for elderly and new drivers with GPS car tracking. For more on the differences between GPS navigation and tracking, click here.

If you would like to learn more about the GPS system, visit the US Government’s official website for the program. Learn more about GPS car tracking in our next article How Do Car Tracking Apps Work?

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