Who Invented GPS?


GPS, short for Global Positioning System, has become an integral part of our lives. Whether it’s for navigation, tracking, GPS for geocaching, or locating places of interest, GPS has revolutionized the way we interact with the world around us. But have you ever wondered who invented this remarkable technology? In this article, we will delve into the history of GPS and discover the brilliant minds behind its creation.

The Origins of GPS

The concept of GPS can be traced back to the early 20th century when scientists and engineers began exploring the possibilities of radio-based navigation systems. However, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that significant advancements were made in this field.

The Early Pioneers

One of the key figures in the development of GPS was Dr. Ivan Getting, an American electrical engineer and a visionary in the field of navigation technology. In the early 1960s, Dr. Getting proposed the concept of a satellite-based navigation system to provide accurate positioning information worldwide. His groundbreaking ideas formed the foundation for what would later become the GPS we know today.

The Birth of GPS

While Dr. Ivan Getting played a crucial role in conceptualizing GPS, the actual implementation of the system was a collaborative effort involving various organizations and individuals. The United States Department of Defense took the initiative to develop GPS for military purposes, primarily for navigation and tracking of military assets.

In 1973, the U.S. Department of Defense established the Navstar GPS program, which aimed to create a network of satellites capable of providing accurate positioning and navigation data. The program brought together a team of brilliant scientists, engineers, and researchers who contributed their expertise to turn the concept into a reality.

Key Contributors to GPS

Among the notable contributors to the development of GPS were:

Roger L. Easton

Often referred to as the “Father of GPS,” Easton was an American scientist and inventor. He played a crucial role in designing the original GPS satellite system and developing the technology necessary for accurate positioning calculations.

Bradford Parkinson

Parkinson, an American engineer, was instrumental in leading the development and deployment of the GPS satellite system. His contributions in refining the system’s accuracy and reliability were invaluable.

Ivan A. Getting

As mentioned earlier, Dr. Ivan Getting’s visionary ideas and leadership were foundational in the creation of GPS. His work in the field of navigation and positioning systems set the stage for the successful development and deployment of GPS.

Charlie Trimble

Trimble was an American entrepreneur who founded Trimble Navigation Limited, a company that played a significant role in the commercialization of GPS technology. His contributions in making GPS accessible to the general public were instrumental in its widespread adoption.

The Evolution of GPS

Using GPS

Since its inception, GPS technology has undergone significant advancements and improvements. Initially designed for military use, GPS gradually found its way into civilian applications, transforming industries such as transportation, logistics, surveying, and personal navigation.

The U.S. government made GPS available for civilian use in the 1980s, leading to a surge in consumer GPS devices. These devices became smaller, more affordable, and more accurate over time, revolutionizing navigation for everyday users.


GPS is an incredible technological innovation that has transformed the way we navigate and interact with the world. While Dr. Ivan Getting, along with a team of brilliant individuals, laid the groundwork for GPS, it is important to recognize the collective efforts of countless engineers, scientists, and researchers who contributed to its development.

Leave a Comment