S. Korea develops way to use advanced GPS in navigation system

Lee Tae-hoon
Written by Lee Tae-hoon


South Korea has developed a technology to allow the use of an advanced global positioning system (GPS) in any ordinary digital multimedia broadcasting device, such as car navigation systems, the government said Tuesday.

The so-called differential GPS (DGPS) will be made available to the public as early as next year, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

The DPGS has only been used by some 6,400 fishing vessels and about 790 organizations, including research institutes, as it required an expensive data receiving device.

The new technology allows any ordinary device with a multimedia broadcasting system to receive and use information from the DGPS with only a change of the GPS chip to a multipurpose chip, according to the ministry.

Conventional GPS has a margin of error of up to 37 meters, the ministry said. The DGPS can reduce the margin of error down to just 1 meter.

Such a system can assist in determining the exact location of a person or a ship in distress, or in providing real-time locations of convicted sex criminals through a smartphone application.

“The start of the DGPS service for the public will significantly improve the accuracy of conventional location services that use the global navigation satellite system, such as personal navigation systems, which will also become a new growth engine for the related industry,” Lim Hyeon-cheol, a ministry official, told reporters.

South Korea is also developing what it calls a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS), which literally is an augmentation to the global navigation system that will cut the navigation system’s margin of error to 1 meter while also enhancing the system’s reliability and availability.

The ongoing program seeks to develop the SBAS by 2018 for the start of its commercial use in 2020.

About the author

Lee Tae-hoon

Lee Tae-hoon

Lee Tae-hoon is publisher at The Korea Observer. He previously worked for the Korea Times and Arirang TV. You can reach him at

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