Tracking Our Lives with GPS

For constant travelers, Global Positioning System better known as GPS is a standard necessity. Lost travelers most importantly are found easier compared to years ago when GPS was only used by the United States military. In the present time, GPS has proved valuable to civilians in many ways.

Making the GPS device available for non-military purposes have changed the way people perceive accurate tracking. This sophisticated tracking device holds a huge niche almost every where. Widespread use of GPS is visible in the automobile, fishing, airlines, land survey, tourism, travel, and health industries just to name a few.

Even law enforcement agencies use GPS to track down criminal activities and lost children. Another big user of GPS is the weather network. Better weather tracking has given new meaning to the phrase, “unpredictable as the weather.” Precise weather forecasting is based on the accuracy of a GPS device.

Determining the position and location of a lost traveler is also one of the advantages of owning a GPS. A traveler has a greater chance of finding his location if he is lost or searching for a specific place if he is connected or hooked up with a dispatch centre using a GPS device.

Scientists are able to identify a meteorite possibly landing on or passing by earth by the precise location a GPS device tracks. Pathways of these supernovas are also precisely determined. Navigators do not anymore rely on just the compass but depend heavily on their GPS devices.

1. Features of a GPS receiver

A standard GPS will not only place you on a map at any particular location but will trace your path across a map as you move. The receiver will tell you how far you have traveled, how long you have traveled, your current as well as your average speed, the estimated time of your arrival to your destination, and a trail showing exactly where you have traveled, on the map.

A good GPS device normally should have the following:

  • Effective navigation
  • Integrated FM transmitter or modulator to make it easy to listen to digital audio and voice commands
  • If there are no wires to connect, it is ideal for vacation navigation in a rental car
  • Multimedia playback combined with effective navigation system
  • Great battery life about 15 hours/charge
  • Touch screen controls
  • Audio and image can be stored internally
  • It should have text-to-speech
  • Traffic alert
  • Turn by turn voice guide
  • Route plotting should be fast and accurate
  • Gauge mode to show distance traveled, speed , and estimated time of arrival

2. Purchasing a GPS receiver

Global Positioning System (GPS) ranges in price from $200 - $1,000 for a very sophisticated one. If you are a travel bug and you rent your mode of transport all most of the time, you can use the wireless GPS receiver. If you need something more other than using it for travel, you might to consider A GPS receiver that has a lot of enhanced features.

A typical GPS device package includes a power adapter/charger, suction-cup window mount, a USB cable and a carrying case. Four important things to watch out for when comparing GPS devices from all manufacturers are:

  • Value – as in all types of technology, prices values range depending on the manufacturers
  • Performance – how well the device works
  • Ease of use – if it can easily be operated
  • Features – what the package includes

For whatever purpose your GPS is for, make sure that you get the right one that fits your style and personal preferences, and what you are comfortable paying for.

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