I would like to know what are the differences between Positioning and Localization Systems. In most review papers they are used interchangeably. Are they the same? For example: GPS(Global Positioning system): gives coordinates of receiver and SLAM(Simultaneous localization and mapping): constructing or updating a map of an unknown environment

Is difference :

Positioning: only gives information about receiver coordinates.No information about enviorement

Localization: gives information about receiver coordinates and also enviorement. positioning is a subtopic of localization


1 Answer 1


In my opinion, the main difference is :

  • Positioning : gives information about the robot coordinates. It gives raw data that you can use.

  • Localization : it is the process of the robot (or other actor) locating itself (or the robot) on the map. Here a "method is applied" to locate the robot.

Positioning gives you the coordinates. Localization is determining the place of those coordinate on the map.

Most of the time the difference boil down to "do you have the position information directly available" (positioning) or "do you need to determine it on a map using other data you got" (localization).

Bear in mind that it is very often context dependent and that the two terms are nowadays used with very similar meaning. See this link for more info.


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