GPIB is an abbreviation for 'General Purpose Industrial Bus', and it is very often used to control measurement equipment.
The official name for GPIB is IEEE-488.
You can use GPIB cables to link equipment in either a linear, star or combined configuration.
The IEEE-488 standard however specifies that the maximum total cable length is 20 meters with no more than 20 devices connected to the bus and at least two-thirds of the devices powered on. A maximum separation of 4 meters between devices and an average separation of 2 meters over the full bus should be followed. Bus extenders and expanders can be used to overcome these system limits.