by Claire Coughlin


Where are you right now? How would you navigate yourself or a friend? Would you find a map to figure out your location? Or would you use a compass like Christopher Columbus did in 1492? Most of us would use the internet to find out where we were. But what allows us to position ourselves?


small Clipart math button

 Source: C. C. Long Home Geography for Primary Grades (New York: American Book Company, 1894)16

As an activity try the following:

  1. Go onto

  2. Click "Get Directions"

  3. For position "A", type in CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario.

  4. For position "B" type in Japan.

  5. Scroll down to step 56.

How is Google able to give us directions? In the 1970s, a system used to locate a moving object was developed with the help of satellites [1]. Today this system is composed of 24 satellites and is known as the Global Positioning System (GPS).

In this WebQuest you will learn about the Global Positioning System and how it applies to our daily lives.Click on the tabs on the left and maybe you will figure out where you are.