GPS is probably the best known global positioning system, even if there are other countries besides America who built up their own, like Europe with Galileo, Russia with GLONASS and the newest, BeiDou in China. All are based on the same technique, a triangulation of spheres, whose radius is the signal transfer time, given by an atomic clock on the satellite. In general, the more satellites you use this way, the better the accuracy of the determination of the location and some receivers already combine the varying systems. For the original GPS system, 24 satellites orbit around the earth on 6 ecliptic. Every such plane is rotated about 55° to the equator, which result in a dense net around the world, which allows the view to at least 4 satellites at any time from any point on the earth (except the poles).
GPS.js is actually doing much more. It normalizes the data and keeps a state object, which represents the latest information of the position, the errors, the time and satellite positions. The library comes with quite some examples, like plotting the current position on Google Maps or displaying the current information on a simple dashboard and so on.
If you got a receiver lying around, just fish it out of your electronics box and try it yourself. If you still need a receiver, I can recommend this one as a cheap starting option or if you can work with a soldering iron, I recently published an article about the NEO6Mv2 module.
More information and code snippets can be found on Github!
You might also be interested in the following
- NEO6MV2 GPS Module with Raspberry PI
- NEO6MV2 GPS Module with Arduino
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