Local Positioning System

What Does Local Positioning System Mean?

A local positioning system (LPS) is a technology used for obtaining the position or location information of objects in relation to a local field or area.


It is similar to a global positioning system (GPS), but works only locally and only gives the position of objects in a given local vicinity. The difference from GPS is that, instead of using satellites, LPS works by using three or more short-range signaling beacons, each with a known exact location for positioning objects through direct line-of-sight signaling technologies.

Techopedia Explains Local Positioning System

Local positioning systems (LPSs) do not provide global coverage and are usually installed for highly specific purposes, such as guiding ships in a busy harbor, a task that needs extreme precision, which cannot be provided by the approximate locations provided by GPS.

LPS is often used to extend the reach of GPS to provide positioning information in areas where GPS signals cannot penetrate or to enhance the accuracy of GPS location servicing. The technology used for LPS varies; cellular base stations and even Wi-Fi access stations can be used as beacons through techniques such as triangulation, trilateration and multilateration.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…