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GPS Vehicle Tracking - A Guide To The Tools Available

By: Steve Armstrong
– Now, it is mainly used for navigation, both terrestrial and marine. Initially it was used by the U.S. military for locating and identifying friends as well as foes. The system uses military and commercial satellites for tracking anything that moves and has an emitter with or on it. Error margins, for GPS, are nowadays within 100 meters, and this can be narrowed down by using differential base stations (DBS). However, they are hard to use since their range is quite limited.

A new substitute for the American satellites will be the Galileo Satellite System, developed and realized in Europe. The first satellite, called Glove, was launched in late 2005 from Baikonur, Russian Federation.

GPS – What can I do with it?

Here are just a few of this wonderful piece of equipment. For instance, if you get lost, your GPS unit can pinpoint you your current position, or, it can make a breeze from an awful task such as planning a trip. However, its main uses are in vehicle tracking. Most trucking companies have GPS units on all of their trucks. This way it is very easy to finding out where a trucker has been to, or where he currently is. Since the first GPS units were installed on trucks and cars, specialized companies and sites appeared.

Lets look at a two GPS units and their characteristics.

  • This is one of the latest products available on the market. Its producer presents it as being a “great utility, even when drivers know exactly where they are." Some of its features include access to the XM NavTraffic (a data-traffic information service, based on low orbit satellites, covering all of the USA), allowing it to suggest faster routes, before traffic-jam. The navigation map on StreetPilot 2730, graphically represents any incident affecting the road, including man-made, like road-construction, or accidents. Weather forecasts are also shown on the GPS unit, for as many as 162 cities. The StreetPilot 2730, also reads MP3s, and the music can be sent to the car’s stereo through its stereo jack or through a FM transmitter. The unit is equipped with an antenna, Garmin GXM 30, which can be placed on the roof of the car, or on the dashboard. It is waterproof and has a magnetic end, for easier placement.
  • Initial GD-70X
    This “little" gizmo has a 7" color LCD, the obvious GPS navigational system, as well as a DVD player, thus making it ideal for family vacations. It can pinpoint your location on the map, as well as playback your favorite movie or tracks. It has a set of maps which includes both Canada ant the US. Its map database includes over two million points of interest and it has a 250MB internal memory, large enough for downloading maps and POIs. An interesting feature are the voice directions, which will help you focus on the road, an still know where you are, and what kind of conditions you are facing out there. Also, it includes a day/night mode, making it easier to read according to the time of use. The incorporated CD/DVD player can keep the passengers entertained as well, and if you don’t have a car stereo (who doesn’t), you can always listen to its built-in stereo speakers.

These are just two of the many products on the market that can help you with GPS vehicle tracking.

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