All About GPS and How It Works

by : David Stone

GPS or Global Positioning Systems are computer systems that use satellites in orbit around the globe to provide exact longitudinal and latitudinal position of the user. GPS units were originally designed by the Department of Defense for military purposes and are now used on the consumer level for day to day navigation. Some GPS units sell for less than $100.00 and as long as you have one and have a clear sight of the sky you will never be lost again. In fact most GPS receivers can pinpoint your location on the globe within about 50 feet. GPS units vary in price based on their quality and capabilities, so when shopping for one it is important to know what you are planning to use it for.

GPS systems are mostly used by consumers for two purposes, positioning and navigation. GPS units are placed on boats so boaters can have an idea of where they are in comparison to the shoreline. In cars they are more often equipped to provide directions to the driver from two different points. Some of the more expensive models come equipped with voice capabilities so that drivers don't even have to take their eyes off the road. Many handheld models are sold to outdoor enthusiasts for camping, hunting and hiking. These handheld models also range in price based on their capabilities and if the display comes in color or not.

Most GPS units will also provide you with some standard and useful information…..

? An Odometer (Distance you have traveled)
? Time you have been traveling
? A Speedometer (How fast you are currently traveling)
? Average speed for the journey
? A map of you trail so far
? E.T.A (Estimated time of arrival)

GPS units use four satellites orbiting the globe to triangulate your position on earth and can do so with extreme accuracy. If you are constantly lost behind the wheel or spend a lot of time in the outdoors purchasing a GPS unit might be the right move for you.