GIS105 - Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:29:21.059
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:29:31.464

Subject Title
Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

Subject Description
This course begins with an overview of events and technologies that led to the development of GPS. With an emphasis on the space, control and user segments of GPS, you will learn about GPS satellites and the information and signals they transmit, types of receivers and the fundamentals of how they work, and what GPS can be used for. Topics covered include accuracy and positioning, the types of signals employed by both military and civilian users, the nature of errors associated with using GPS, absolute and differential techniques used to reduce error, considerations when collecting data using GPS, and the importance of mission planning. An introduction to other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS's) is provided. GPS modernization, augmented GPS, current applications and future trends are also discussed. The use of a GPS receiver is NOT required for this course.

Credit Status
One credit towards the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Discuss the evolution and uses of GPS.

2. Describe the way in which GPS works.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of GPS and time.

4. Describe various errors, their effects and how to manage them.

5. Discuss the role of satellites.

6. Discuss the role and types of receivers.

7. Demonstrate an understanding of GEOID modeling.

8. Discuss use of software to do mission planning.

9. Discuss the history of Glonass.

10. Explore applications of GPS in surveying, data collection and navigation.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

GIS100 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Experience working with shape files and an understanding of datums projections and vector data modelling would be very helpful. 

Topic Outline
How GPS works

GPS and time

Error budget

Space segment

Tupes of receivers

Geoid modeling

Mission planning


GPS markets, applications and future trends

GPS - introduction

Mode of Instruction
This subject is delivered online. This may involve the use of digital materials and/or a text, group discussions, interaction with your instructor and online activities.
Platform:  Desire2Learn

Prescribed Texts

Reference Material

Required Supplies
Not required to buy any software. Students will have the opportunity to work with data collection and mission planning software available via download at no cost.

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
All the academic policies of the College at which you registered apply. This includes, but is not limited to policies related to grading, supplemental exams, deferred exams and accommodations.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Assignment(s) 50%
 Participation 15%
Quizzes 35%

No student will be eligible to graduate with a Seneca College certificate or diploma if, in more than 30% of the subjects required for graduation, the student has received a "D" grade.

  • Assignments are due on the date given by the instructor.
  • A late penalty of 10% per day is assessed for late assignments, including those not handed in at the beginning of class when due.
  • Material will not be accepted after one week following the due date and/or when the marked material is returned to students, whichever comes first.
  • Assignments are to be prepared by computer.

Absenteeism and Exams
  • Students who are absent for an examination due to an emergency (e.g., motor vehicle accident, hospitalization or death in the family) may provide official documentation within five days of the missed exam and be provided a deferred exam at a later date.  Official documentation includes a death notice or an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time expected absence and the specific reason for the absence.  Examinations missed without official documentation and approval result in a grade of zero.
  • There are no deferred options for missed tests.  

English Proficiency
  • All written work should demonstrate the following characteristics for clarity and conciseness:
-writing is consistent with the rules of English grammar
-spelling and punctuation are correct
-sentences are structured correctly
-main ideas are supported with specific, relevant examples and reasons
-work flows logically through supporting statements/paragraphs
-work is arranged in correct format (e.g., as a report, essay)
-up to 10% of the final grade may be deducted on all work if the above English competencies are not met.



Approved by: Sharon Estok