GPS, the acronym for global positioning systems, is a navigation technology that based on sending and receiving signals to a satellite is able to track down your coordinates regardless of where you are or the weather outside. The only condition for a GPS system to a work consists of the device being placed in an unobstructed line of sight to four or more satellites. But given the fact that there are currently 31 healthy satellites out there, your GPS device not being able to receive or send signal is not even a question.
GPS systems are nowadays becoming a standard in the motor industry as the majority of cars now come with a built-in GPS system. As for smartphones and tablets, all models released within the past couple of years come packed with GPS chipsets and Maps to be loaded.
Benefits of GPS devices
Having a GPS device either on your smartphone or in your car is priceless. It is easy to use, handy and it saves you a lot of precious time that you could surely be spending in a more pleasant manner than asking for directions or trying to read paper maps.
Firstly, a GPS system can provide you with the exact coordinates of the location. Therefore, if you get lost, not only will you find out the name of the street you are on but you can also obtain the latitude and longitude coordinates of your location.
The maps loaded on the GPS systems are making it all easier for you as they give you step-by-step directions to your chosen destination. However, the best thing about GPS maps is the fact that if you miss a turn or if you remember you need to stop somewhere on the way, the GPS system will automatically re-calculate the route, update its maps and direct you accordingly so you cannot get lost anymore.
But GPS systems are not just useful for giving directions, they also look after you and provide you with safety as you can focus on driving whilst listening to or glancing at the directions. Also, if you are involved in an accident or you end up stranded somewhere, the GPS system will provide the emergency service with all the information they need in order to locate you and come to your rescue.
The latter models of GPS systems come packed with useful, interesting apps that can help you find certain destinations on your journey such as motorway services, gas stations, tolls or rest stops. And if that’s not enough, GPS devices have now got built-in traffic monitors that will keep you away from traffic jams and congestions and redirect you onto a better route.
Which GPS system is right for you?
We have established how useful and life-saving GPS systems can be but the variety of GPS models, how can you choose the right one? Here are some tips to help you choose the right product.
Firstly, you should know that there are several categories of GPS devices as it follows: auto, mobile, portable and marine. They’ve all got their special features and apps and they all come with advantages and disadvantages.
The Auto and the Mobile GPS systems are probably the most common devices as it has just become the most common way of getting around. They both come with street maps, turn-by-turn vocal directions and visual maps.
he downfall with Auto GPS devices is that they can be quite pricey as they come packed with extra features such as Bluetooth, hands-free to a smartphone/cell phone. As for Mobile GPS systems, the major pitfall concerns cell phones as they may have bad reception outside the cell provider service area. This is because many GPS chipsets do not rely on satellites but cell phone towers which aren’t anywhere near as reliable.
Portable Handheld GPS devices are designed to help you with directions whether you’re out driving or by foot. These GPS systems are incredibly popular amongst trail runners, bikers or hikers, especially the ones integrated in watches. The great thing about them is the fact that if you need to drive, they can also be mounted on a dashboard and act as a regular GPS device.
If you are the proud owner of a boat than a Marine GPS system is what you are looking for. It is, as expected, waterproof and its shoreline maps also include features like fish-finders or tide tables. But most boat owners would agree that Marine GPS devices make excellent guides when entering or leaving crowded harbors or when venturing into unfamiliar areas.
Prior to purchasing the GPS system, you need to consider what your needs are, what your typical driving conditions are and choose accordingly. Ask yourself whether is it often that you find yourself travelling to unfamiliar places and what sort of features do you need the most. To put it simply, if you’re not much of a traveller and mainly use your car to commute to work, an inexpensive GPS system will do the work just fine. However, if you often find yourself stuck in traffic jams on your to or back from work, you may need to invest into a GPS unit that has got real-time information so you can avoid traffic congestions caused by roadworks or accidents and be redirected around it.
So now that you are aware of all the different GPS system types and the things you need to consider beforehand, all you need to do is remember to check and compare features such as maps, data storage, antennas and Bluetooth connection so you can choose what fits your requirements and bill and you’re good to go, you can only end up with the best product.