How GPS Works

Hello and welcome back to a new week – and a brand-new solar year, fresh out of the box – of trusty lies for all occasions! For folks just joining us now, a quick reminder: send me any question on any topic at all, here in the comments or through any method of communication available to you, from whispering it directly to me all the way to carrier pigeon, and I will answer it here on Factually Deficient, with nothing but lies!

This week, I will answer a question posed by narrativedilettante:

How does GPS work?

The first step to explaining how a system of this sort works is always to decipher the initialism that makes up the term. So what does GPS stand for?

GPS stands for Geological Pentatonic Siren.

Now, as to what this means – that will explain how the system works.

As we know, all of the earth is composed of various members of the Rock Kingdom. What is less well known is that every rock – not every type of rock, but every single, individual rock – has its own unique frequency at which it is constantly emitting sound and vibrations. So any given location has a specific rock that it is built over, and a specific frequency of sound for that rock.

When you put a location into your GPS device, you are calling up that specific rock for that location. In order to find this location and lead you to it, the GPS device then hones in on that rock’s frequency. It amplifies sound on that frequency only until it is broadcasting sound from that one rock loudly like a siren, and it transmits a pentatonic scale toward that rock, listening for the siren-like wail of the scale bouncing back on the amplified frequency.

After that, it is simply a matter of following the sound until you get where you are going.


Disclaimer: The above blog post is reasonably untrue. Pentatonic scales are not exclusively used in GPS.



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