A GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System. It is a navigation system that makes use of the satellites in space and can hence operate in any kind of area. The GPS is a very accurate device that can however be less receptive with some atmospheric factors.
Though the GPS's main function is to guide you to the right place, no matter where you can be around the world, there are different kinds of GPS categories with different ways of use associated to them. As each model differ, along will alter the features, the quality of the device, as well as its peripherals.
Though many people prefer to have a GPS in their car, this is not the only way you can use one. GPS as also available for hikers or simple individuals who want to find their way into the big city.
Basic Handheld GPS receivers
A handheld GPS is a small GPS device that you can choose to bring with you to find your way in anywhere and everywhere, or choose to add in your car. The facilities that are provided with them are:
1. They are rather cheap (around $100)
2. Provide you with your current location
3. Are built with a compass
4. Read the elevation about sea level
5. Provide you with the actual time
6. Have a good satellite signal strength
7. Can calculate the distance that has been travelled
8. Will read road navigations
9. Can retrace the path that has previously been taken
10. Will display pre-loaded maps
Handheld Mapping GPS receivers
This kind of GPS will display detailed and precise maps that the user himself will decide to upload from his computer. The advantage of a handheld mapping GPS is that the better resolution that your computer will provide to it will also reflect on the display of the maps of uploaded on the GPS. Also, the user is free to name, rename, create routes and add as many preferences as he wishes to, to the maps or routes before uploading them on the GPS. The only thing that you should bear in mind is the memory capacity of the GPS. Also, note that the better the resolution of the maps is, the more memory space will be taken on the GPS. The advantage to this is that you can choose to replace the memory card in order to get more memory space.
Automotive GPS are bigger, more expensive but fully effective devices. They provide fully detailed preloaded maps, with detailed routes, nice graphic effects and as much facilities for the user during driving conditions. Furthermore, some automotive devices are even built with a voice instruction feature for better safety on the road. This type of GPS can however cost at least $500; but I really don't think that it is not worth a single dollar.
Often, people can choose to add this feature to their PDA. The major advantage of doing so is the ease that the reading of the instructions will provide with the type of screen provided by PDAs. Also, instructions can be given by the user to the GPS itself that will hence display the desired maps or routes that are needed.
What to choose?
If you still do not know which one will suite you best, you should consider the following factors:
1. What will you use the GPS for? (Hiking, hunting, cycling, driving....)
2. What type of resolution do you need?
3. How much can you invest in the GPS?
4. Do you really need voice instructions or advanced features of this type?
5. Where will you put that GPS? (will it be on your pocket, flying around in your car or be in your backpack)
6. What particular information do you need to insert to the maps?
7. How often can you update the information that has been pre-loaded?
8. Who will use the GPS and how easy should it be to allow anyone to use it?
9. What is the maximum signal strength of the device?
10. Do you really prefer to buy a GPS or will a paper map fit your needs?
Modern mobile phones or PDA are equipped with the GPS functionality. These small equipments packs up a lot of new technologies and features, for an affordable price.
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