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Commonly Used Portable GPS Terms

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 6/1/2010

Here's a follow-up to our GPS Simplied feature. This time we give you some of the most commonly used acronyms used in portable GPS as well as a brief explanation of what each term means.

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    Terms for Portable GPS

    A-GPS (Assisted Global Positioning System) - a technology which utilizes an assistance server to reduce the time in determining a location using GPS.

    CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Stations) - a network of sites that provides Global Navigation Satellite System coordinated by the U.S. National Geodetic Survey.

    EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) - Europe's first satellite navigation venture that extends the US GPS and Russian GLONASS military satellite navigation systems, making them suitable various critical applications.

    GIS (Geographic Information System) - a system that interprets and visualizes data that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends through maps, globes, charts, and reports.

    GPS (Global Positioning System) - a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense.

    GPRS - General Pocket Radio Service - a packet-based wireless communication service which can provide up to 114kbps Internet connection for mobile phones and computers.

    GBAS (Ground Based Augmentation System) - a safety-critical system that extends the GPS Standard Positioning Service by enhancing its service levels.

    MSAS (Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System) - a Japanese satellite navigation system that supports Differential GPS to augment the GPS system by reporting the reliability and accuracy of its signals.

    NDGPS (Nationwide Differential GPS) - a system that provides differential correction based on a known location of a GPS reference station antenna.

    PNA/PND (Personnel Navigation Assistant/Device) - any portable electronic product which combines GPS and navigation functions.

    POI (Points of Interest) - any specific location point that is useful or interesting to an individual.

    RDS-TMC (Radio Data System-Traffic Message Channel) - a system that provides traffic and travel delay data to a driver through Radio Data Systems broadcasted through FM radio waves.

    RINEX (Receiver Independent Exchange Format) - a data interchange format used in satellite navigation system data that allows post-processing to produce a more accurate solution.

    SBAS (Space-Based Augmentation System) - systems that support wide-area or regional augmentation using satellite-broadcast messages comprised o multiple ground stations.

    TTFF (Time to First Fix) - specifies the time required for a GPS receiver in acquiring satellite signals and navigation data.

    WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) - an air navigation aid that augments GPS to improve accuracy, availability and integrity.