What does gps do on a fitness tracker

Overview of GPS

GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based navigation system that is used to locate your position and track movement. GPS tracking plays an important role in fitness trackers, allowing you to track your distance, speed, and location when exercising. It also can store this data for analysis so you can review your workouts and make goals for future workouts.

Let’s take a closer look at how GPS works on a fitness tracker:

Definition of GPS

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that determines the exact geographical location of a person, vehicle, or other object. GPS technology uses multiple satellites that transmit an infra-red signal. This signal is used by receivers located on the Earth to determine the exact location of an object or individual. By combining triangulation from several different satellites, GPS receivers can pinpoint an exact location with pinpoint accuracy using longitude and latitude coordinates.

GPS technology has revolutionized many aspects of our lives, from helping us locate destinations to tracking our physical activity and fitness levels. Many fitness trackers are equipped with built-in GPS capability, allowing users to accurately track their daily workouts and measure changes in performance over time. The use of GPS also allows users to safely navigate in unfamiliar environments without having to rely on printed maps or personal memory of locations.

By utilizing real-time data provided by the GPS receiver and coordinating it with up-to-date maps or detailed aerial images, users are able to:

  • Visualize their current location in relation to their destination
  • Identify obstacles that may lie along their route.

Types of GPS

GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based navigation system used to locate and track people, vehicles, objects and animals. It has become an essential device for both personal and commercial uses. GPS can provide information on location, speed, distance traveled and more.

When looking to buy a fitness tracker or other device that uses GPS technology, it’s important to understand the different types of GPS available. Here is an overview of the various types of GPS used in tracking technology:

  • Standalone GPS: A standalone GPS receiver operates by itself and does not require cellular signals or any external communications networks. It may be powered by solar panels or other external power sources. This type of receiver provides extremely accurate mapping data but needs to be upgraded regularly with new data as roads and landmarks change over time.
  • Assisted-GPS (A-GPS): A newer version of global positioning system technology that works with mobile phone networks and satellites to acquire faster location updates. This type requires some form of external connection (cellular network) in order for the device to get accurate data about its location quickly.
  • Real Time Kinematic (RTK): The most complex type of GPS available uses multiple reference stations to help it accurately pinpoint its location within centimeters instead of just meters away from where it actually is located using differential correction techniques employed by RTK systems . This type offers extremely accurate tracking but can only work with higher-end devices as they are usually quite expensive compared to other options available on the market today.
  • Multi Frequency Networked AGP Systems: This type consists of multiple ground based receivers that are distributed around large areas and track satellite transmissions at different frequencies in order to yield more accurate results than regular A-GPS receivers alone are able to provide by themselves due its ability obtain ground coordinates as well as elevation readings simultaneously when calculating locations.

How GPS works

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that uses signals from multiple satellites to provide accurate location information of a user. When it is used in a fitness tracker, GPS helps to accurately track the location of the wearer and can be used for applications like running, jogging, and other outdoor activities.

In this article, we’ll discuss how GPS works and how it is used in fitness trackers:

The Global Positioning System

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that can provide positioning, navigation, and timing services to users around the world. It is owned and operated by the United States government and is used by many other countries. GPS signals are sent from a network of satellites orbiting the Earth. A GPS receiver reads these signals and calculates its position in three dimensions.

GPS technology is used in many applications including navigation, surveying, mapping, tracking of people or objects, scheduling of events and integrated marketing campaigns. Fitness trackers incorporate GPS technology to record distance traveled as well as speed during exercises like running or biking. In addition to tracking athletes’ routes and times, GPS data helps athletes identify areas where they can improve their performance such as pacing or overall strategy when tackling a particular course or race. GPS positioning also serves as an accurate guide for runners to follow when pacing themselves appropriately along their desired route while running outdoors.

How GPS works on fitness trackers

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is used by fitness trackers to locate and track the wearer’s movements. A fitness device featuring GPS will typically use a combination of signals from satellites and ground-based receivers, as well as other data analysis techniques, to work out where you are.

When using this technology on wearable devices, sensors monitor both physical activities such as walking and running, as well as environmental factors such as temperature, pressure and altitude. These measurements are then processed by the GPS system in order to determine the location of the user.

The GPS system also uses mapping software to accurately estimate distances traveled or estimate routes that may have been taken. The data collected from a single trip or extended hikes can then be translated into graphs so that progress can be easily visualized over time. Additionally, some GPS tracking apps integrate with social media platforms for easier sharing of data or for additional analysis and tracking options.

The accuracy of a GPS system depends mostly on the quality of signals received from satellites which can vary depending on weather conditions, obstructions in the line of sight such as high towers or buildings, and even geographical issues like mountainous terrain and areas with many tall trees. Some navigational systems have features which allow automatic compensation for any weak signal interference in order to maintain accuracy while still acquiring positioning information wherever available.

In addition to all these features, some fitness trackers come with extra functions such as an altimeter which measures altitude changes during running training sessions or an application download option which enables users to access third party fitness tracking applications so they can create detailed maps based on their exercise performances over multiple sessions with various parameters set according to personal preferences for more accurate results.

Benefits of GPS

GPS is one of the most useful features of a fitness tracker. It allows you to track your location and distance travelled during a workout. GPS also lets you accurately track and record your route, whether you are running or walking. GPS can also help you to stay on track and follow the best way to reach your destination.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using a fitness tracker with GPS:

Accurate location tracking

GPS technology is essential for providing accurate location tracking on fitness trackers. GPS stands for Global Positioning System and it is a system of satellites, computers, and receivers that can accurately pinpoint a user’s location anywhere on the globe. By relying on GPS technology, fitness trackers can show you exactly where you are and where you have traveled along your route.

GPS can also be used to track speed and elevation changes as you exercise. This data can be used to help train more efficiently by analyzing:

  • Pace
  • Distance covered
  • Inclines climbed
  • And more as workouts progress over time

With accurate location tracking enabled by GPS, users know that their data stored in the device’s memory will be reliable when viewing trends in their workout performance.

In addition to these performance benefits, GPS allows users to follow courses or trails mapped out for them during activities such as biking or running. The device will show a headed display of the routes so users do not have to keep stopping to look at a map or worry about getting lost when exploring new trails.

Improved route tracking

GPS technology can be an invaluable tool for tracking the most efficient route from point A to point B. It can help reduce costs across the board, from fuel to hours spent in transit, by giving drivers the most effective routes for getting from one location to another.

Improvements in GPS technology have enabled drivers to know and trust that their navigation system will have them arrive on time and as quickly as possible, even with variables like traffic, closed roads or locations that may be difficult for someone who’s never been there before.

GPS has proven itself to be a valuable business tool in a variety of industries such as:

  • Delivery services
  • Trucking companies
  • Businesses with multiple locations

Anyone involved in transportation of goods or people!

Increased safety

GPS can keep you safe both outdoors and in. When out in unpredictable terrain, GPS-enabled devices also allow you to share your real time position with friends and family. This gives them peace of mind knowing they can track your movements so help always arrives on time.

GPS units also provide important environmental and navigational information such as elevation, location and the weather. This helps ensure that you’re well informed of the surrounding conditions before beginning activities, leading to increased safety on outdoor adventure trips and long runs alike. Additionally, GPS-enabled fitness trackers may provide warnings in case of overheating or dangerous storms, keeping users safe regardless of the weather.

Modern fitness tracking apps also now come with optional safety features such as emergency alerts that can be sent to contacts when needed, further providing peace of mind for users engaging in outdoor activities. All these features help keep you safe no matter where your adventures take you!

Drawbacks of GPS

GPS tracking on fitness trackers can be a great tool to help you stay on track with your goals. However, it does have some drawbacks. One of the most common drawbacks of GPS tracking is the fact that it can drain your battery faster than other types of tracking.

In addition, GPS tracking can be unreliable in certain environments such as deep in forests or underground, leading to inconsistencies and errors in data tracking. Let’s explore the details of these drawbacks a bit more:

  • GPS tracking can drain your battery faster than other types of tracking.
  • It can be unreliable in certain environments such as deep in forests or underground.
  • This can lead to inconsistencies and errors in data tracking.

Battery drain

One of the major drawbacks of using a global positioning system (GPS) in your fitness tracker is its impact on your battery life. Even with the latest advancements in technology, GPS is still an extremely battery-intensive process. Tracking your device needs to be done at regular intervals, which requires an enormous amount of power. Consequently, the use of GPS drains your device’s battery faster than it otherwise would.

While this may not seem major for daily activities, those who take longer routes or activities that are farther from home may find their activity tracker or smartphone battery draining unnaturally quickly. This can make it difficult if you need to use your device for other applications while performing an activity as well as tracking it at the same time.

To mitigate this problem during these times, many users choose to turn off their tracker’s GPS mode when they are not using it so that they can preserve battery power and other tasks that require location data will still be accurate since the log will still be stored in memory on the device itself.

Vulnerability to interference

GPS technology is vulnerable to interference from a number of sources. These range from natural causes such as atmospheric noise to man-made sources such as electromagnetic interference, jamming and spoofing.

Atmospheric noise includes phenomena such as solar flares, ionization in the upper atmosphere and other forms of radiation which can cause errors in GPS data. This is particularly problematic for low altitude operations where ionization has a greater effect on GPS accuracy.

Man-made sources of interference are the most common form of vulnerability for GPS systems, with jamming being the most common form of attack. Jamming involves broadcasting signals that overpower the weaker signals from satellites, resulting in either complete loss or improper reception of signals; this process can deny users access to accurate positioning information.

Spoofing involves deceptive manipulation of GPS data using techniques like antenna array broadcast that can imitate the time delays between signals received at multiple receivers and thus deceive a receiver into thinking it is closer to more distant satellite than it actually is by generating false time delay values; spoofers can also emit pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy that accurately replicates real satellite signals but transmits incorrect position information. Spoofers can be used both offensively and defensively, depending on the situation, making their detection and abatement difficult.


GPS tracking can be expensive. Depending on the device you choose, implementing GPS technology on a fitness tracker may mean spending hundreds of dollars for the device. Additionally, since most GPS trackers require an active data plan, you may need to purchase a data plan for the device in order for it to work properly. In some cases, this cost can far exceed the cost of purchasing the device itself.

Furthermore, due to the accuracy of GPS systems and networks, some physical fitness trackers may not be able to rely solely on their own software systems to collect data and thus need additional services from third party organizations which needs additional cost outlays.


GPS on fitness trackers is an invaluable tool in helping you reach your fitness goals. By providing access to accurate real-time tracking and helping you set goals and track progress, GPS helps you stay on track and motivated. Additionally, it allows you to track your outdoor activities, allowing you to make the most out of your time.

In this article we have discussed the key features of GPS on fitness trackers and its many benefits:

  • Provides access to accurate real-time tracking.
  • Helps you set goals and track progress.
  • Keeps you motivated and on track.
  • Allows you to track your outdoor activities.

Summary of GPS

The GPS feature on a fitness tracker allows you to track your outdoor activities, such as running and cycling. Without the GPS, you are only able to monitor your indoor activity. The GPS function helps record your route, speed and distance traveled within a specific time frame. Through a tracking app connected to the device, you can also use the data acquired from the device in order to analyze your performance and endurance, thus providing feedback for improvement.

Some of the other features which go hand in hand with GPS tracking are SOS alerts for safety purposes and automatic-lap / lap alerts that indicate milestones achieved during a session of exercise. A further advantage of combined features is automatic run-resume, which offers an ability to start from exactly where you left off – even if there’s been an interruption in your activity due to external factors such as traffic or weather conditions.

In conclusion, using a fitness tracker allows us to accurately collect and monitor data related our activities outdoors with greater accuracy than ever before – enhancing our ability to manage and enhance our physical fitness levels as well as provide feedback on desired areas that need focus or improvement in terms of exercise plan effectiveness.

Benefits and drawbacks of GPS on fitness trackers

GPS is a great way to track your progress and measure the results of your fitness efforts. Being able to see where you’ve been and precisely how far you’ve gone can be useful in motivating yourself and measuring the success of training regimens, whether that involves running, biking, or walking. GPS fitness trackers can also provide simple notifications to remind you when it is time for a break or set certain goals like time or distance goals.

However, there are some drawbacks to using GPS technology in fitness tracking. Because of their small size and limited battery life, most GPS-based fitness trackers have limited features compared to traditional devices such as heart rate monitors or pedometers. In addition, some models may require periodic access to satellite data which can drain the battery quickly. Finally, accuracy may be an issue as many satellites need clear skies for optimal accuracy which could lead some participants on their workouts having different results from one another in comparison due to weather conditions or cloud coverage on any given day.