What Can a GPS Do For You?

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    Nov 12, 2012
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A GPS or a Global Positioning System is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver. In other words, a GPS system can locate you anywhere in the world, which is very handy when you want to travel or plan a road trip. A GPS is even able to plan your route according to different criteria, for example: the shortest route, the quickest route, and so on.

There are two variants of the GPS on the current market. First of all you have a built-in version and then the portable version. Portable GPS systems are most wanted these days, probably because they provide a certain sense of freedom. You can use a portable GPS in your car, bike or even on your foot. You do not only have an option between different types of GPS systems but also between different GPS maps. It does not matter which type of GPS system you buy, the maps will always be provided by one of the two world players. It is preferable to have a map which shows the latest adoptions.

If you never go abroad is suffices to only have a map of your country or neighbouring countries. If you do buy a map which covers a continent, for example Europe, make sure which roads will be shown on your map. Some broader maps only show the main roads and will not guide you to a certain address. Also be certain that the map covers the whole continent and not just the main parts.  Real globetrotters should consider buying a global map which does not only show a continent but multiple continents. The real die-hards can even consider buying a world map.

After you have decided which type of map suits you, you can start thinking about the type of route you wish to follow. Besides the classic routes (the fastest, shortest, main routes) you can opt for the tourist route of the cheapest route. The latest generation of GPS systems also offers real-time traffic information. This information is provided by FM receivers which are connected with you GPS system. When a traffic jam is noticed the GPS will automatically guide you to an alternative route. However, this solution only works theoretically since too many GPS devices will guide you to that same alternative route which causes this route to block within minutes.

The new GPS-toestellen  or GPS systems also offer extra functions like detecting speed cameras. They might even have an mp3-player or video display incorporated. Some devices are even capable of downloading your Outlook database so you do not have to insert the addresses of your family and friends.  You should decide for yourself whether you need these extra options or not.

It does not matter how advanced or basic your GPS system might be, as long as it allows you perform an update, because maps rapidly become outdated. Each month 100's of new roads are built and traffic will be rearranged. Most manufacturers have an update policy. However, in theory it suffices to perform an update once a year. Remember when you have a good GPS in hand; you will always reach your destination.

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