GIS vs. GPS: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between GIS and GPS is that GIS is a mapping tool that can be used for data analysis and visualization whereas GPS is a navigation tool that is used to determine location and navigate from one point to another.

Before we move to more differences, let’s first understand GIS and GPS:

  • GIS: GIS refers to the system for capturing, storing, analyzing, and managing geographic information.
  • GPS: GPS is a navigation system that uses signals from satellites to determine the location of a device.

Now, let’s get to GIS vs GPS:

Major differences between GIS and GPS

GIS can be used to create maps and analyze spatial patterns. GPS is used mainly for navigation and location tracking.
GIS can manipulate, analyze, and manage data such as elevation, population density, and land use. GPS only provides location information.
GIS deals with data in a broader context by overlaying information from different sources. GPS provides real-time location information.
GIS requires spatial data to exist within a coordinate system. GPS provides, but GPS does not require a coordinate system to run.
GIS can be used in a variety of fields such as urban planning, public health, and environmental science. GPS is commonly used in transportation, logistics, and outdoor recreational activities.

So, these are the main differences between the entities.

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