The Global Positioning System: A multipurpose tool

  • Daniel Dzurisin
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


The Global Positioning System (GPS) is arguably the most versatile navigation, surveying, and geodetic tool ever devised. Some of its diverse applications include: (1) terrestrial, marine, and air navigation; (2) land surveying, cadastral mapping, and GIS support; and (3) geodynamic research into such topics as plate motion, tectonism, and volcanism. Although a relative newcomer to volcanology, GPS has quickly carved a niche for itself among mainstream volcano-monitoring techniques. Unlike most other geodetic techniques, GPS measures not just a single parameter pertaining to the relative positions of two points (e.g., height difference, line-length, or bearing), but rather the full 3-D position of each point in an absolute reference frame.1 For the first time, a single technique can be used to monitor 3-D surface displacements remotely and continuously with millimeter accuracy.


Global Position System Global Navigation Satellite System Global Navigation Satellite System Global Position System Data Global Position System Receiver 
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Copyright information

© Praxis Publishing Ltd, Chichester, UK 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Dzurisin

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