Things You Need To Know About Wrist-Based Mapping In GPS Watches

Apple Watch GPS Maps

New and innovative wearables like the Apple Watch are dramatically increasing on the market due to the rise of advancements in technology, mainly GPS watches. GPS in watches is common in sports, specifically running, because of its features that allow you to record your performances as a basis for improvement.

GPS in running watches helpful for recording your performances. But, they also allow you the comfort of not having to bring your phone whenever you go for a run. Further, the turn-by-turn navigation of the wrist-based mapping in GPS watches can also prevent you from getting lost in unfamiliar places.

The advancements in new technology allow every user to move about in places due to the availability of satellites that can provide extremely accuracy. Apart from the wrist-based mapping in GPS watches, other features incorporated in these watches make them the top performers in the entire category of smart wristwatches.

Thus, here are the things you need to know about wrist-based mapping in GPS watches.

How Does the Wrist-Based Mapping in GPS Watches Work?

The wrist-based mapping in GPS watches uses the global positioning system or GPS commonly found in smartphones. GPS in running watches have receivers that help to pinpoint your exact location using Triangulation.

Trilateration is a technique of the global positioning system that receives and sends GPS signals to your watch after measuring your distance. There are also three factors in wrist-based mapping that you have to take note of, such as the watch, control segment, and satellite constellation.

GPS Satellite Constellation

The GPS satellite constellation or the GPS space system comprises 24 main operation satellites orbiting 20187-kilometers over the Earth. Further, there are four operation satellites placed in six orbital planes centered on the earth.

Given that the satellite constellation can cater to up to 30 satellites, there’s always a spare satellite slot for each of the six orbital planes. Each of the satellites in the constellation also takes half a day to complete an orbit, carrying an accurate clock that sends broadcast signals to the control segment.

Control Segment

The GPS control segment comprises of ground networks responsible for monitoring each GPS satellite to make sure they’re functioning correctly. The primary purpose of the control segment is to make sure that the GPS system is working while sending the Navigation message to the satellite to determine their position.

User Equipment: GPS Watches

The GPS watches serve as GPS receivers that receive the L-band signals transmitted by the satellite. After the user equipment has captured the L-band signals, the user equipment will display your position, time, and velocity using trilateration.

The wrist-based mapping in GPS watches involves the sending and receiving of GPS signals back and forth from the satellites to control the segment, and to the user equipment. However, it will also depend on the quality of the GPS receiver for each device that affects the precision of the computation of your position, time, and velocity.

Elevation Won’t Affect Your Location Measurement

GPS watches that have altimeters and barometers can measure the changes in altitude levels whenever you’re running in high or low altitude places. The data from the changes in altitude levels is elevation.

Further, elevation information can also come from GPS, however, the altimeter and barometer’s purpose is to provide your GPS watch with accurate elevation readings. It is said that altimeters and barometers in running watches can benefit you with your workouts due to measurements of the changes in pressure.

However, having a GPS watch without altimeters and barometers don’t really have a significant impact on the accuracy of your distance measurements. Since elevation readings use 3D measurement, the 2D measurement used by the GPS system of your watch only loses 10-percent of the accuracy in distance calculations.


GPS watches are part of the innovation of technology in the watch industry, particularly fitness watches. Since fitness watches require GPS to record your data when you workout or go for a run, it’s vital that you have a GPS watch that has the best GPS features. Different GPS watches vary in terms of handling the GPS signal.

You can also visit so that you can find the best GPS watch with accurate filtering, logging, and receiving transmitted GPS signals. You also have to keep in mind that the battery-saving features of watches can affect the accuracy of your GPS measurement since it optimizes every feature to save battery.


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