Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Navigation and horizontal datums

Navigating safely

Modern technology has substantially improved navigation safety.

Modern Technology

Satellite-based navigation systems such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) now provide accurate positioning, navigation and timing information all around the world.

However, the incorrect use of this technology, in particular horizontal datums or poor quality charting information, can be misleading and dangerous.

The fact sheet GNSS Navigation and horizontal datums assists mariners when transferring positions from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), in particular the GPS, to a paper chart or an electronic equivalent such as Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS).

Global Navigation Satellite System

GNSS refers collectively to the worldwide positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) determination capabilities available from one or more satellite constellations.

Currently the United States’ GPS and the Russian Federation’s Globalnaya Navigatsionsnay Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS) can be described as GNSS.

In the future, the European Union’s Galileo, China’s COMPASS (BeiDou) and other systems capable of being used to provide PNT services globally may be considered as GNSS.

Further information

Read more about Aids to Navigation.

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