In this work, the effect of the observing geometry on the tomographic reconstruction quality of both a regularized least squares (LSQ) approach and a compressive sensing (CS) approach for water vapor tomography is compared based on synthetic Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) slant wet delay (SWD) estimates. In this context, the term “observing geometry” mainly refers to the number of GNSS sites situated within a specific study area subdivided into a certain number of volumetric pixels (voxels) and to the number of signal directions available at each GNSS site. The novelties of this research are (1) the comparison of the observing geometry's effects on the tomographic reconstruction accuracy when using LSQ or CS for the solution of the tomographic system and (2) the investigation of the effect of the signal directions' variability on the tomographic reconstruction. The tomographic reconstruction is performed based on synthetic SWD data sets generated, for many samples of various observing geometry settings, based on wet refractivity information from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The validation of the achieved results focuses on a comparison of the refractivity estimates with the input WRF refractivities. ... mehrThe results show that the recommendation of Champollion et al. (2004) to discretize the analyzed study area into voxels with horizontal sizes comparable to the mean GNSS intersite distance represents a good rule of thumb for both LSQ- and CS-based tomography solutions. In addition, this research shows that CS needs a variety of at least 15 signal directions per site in order to estimate the refractivity field more accurately and more precisely than LSQ. Therefore, the use of CS is particularly recommended for water vapor tomography applications for which a high number of multi-GNSS SWD estimates are available.