The Right GPS: You Can Find It Without Getting Lost | The Communication Blog

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Right GPS: You Can Find It Without Getting Lost

By Tom Snow

When the earliest Global Positioning System units, or GPS, first emerged, they were so pricey that many considered them luxury items. Only a handful of consumers had them, while the remainder of us continued to make do with the same paper map "technology" that had served us just fine for the past number of centuries.

Today, the use of technology is common place and far less costly. We use satellites daily for everyday undertakings like making calls, listening to the radio, watching videos and, naturally, finding our way around. A GPS is a typical household item that may be acquired cheaply at any neighborhood electronics store. Even base-model automobiles are being built with GPS units already installed and GPS manufacturers are starting to produce customised niche models for particular purposes.

The current proliferation of GPS models implies you, the customer, face a disheartening job when seeking the perfect gizmo. Much like the use of satellites orbiting the earth to triangulate your position, you have to triangulate the best balance of functionality, sturdiness, portability, performance and cost that your device must provide.

The best approach for selecting a GPS model is to ask a few questions about how you plan to use it. Are you an emergency employee who wants a fast unit that will link up with satellites the moment it is turned on? Will you employ the unit in out-of-the-way areas a long way from electricity, where you could go for days without a chance to charge its batteries? Do you intend to travel worldwide with the unit, requiring larger reserves of memory that will hold map info for several alternative countries?

The way in which you mean to use the technology will resolve how complex the GPS unit must be. It'll be the difference between buying a bare bones unit for getting to and from the kids' basketball games and buying a high-priced, up-to-the-minute model that may be trusted to suffer the elements and connect to satellites in thick forest with no clear view of the sky.

After you know what you desire your GPS to do, you can begin comparing different models. A unit with hard disk memory is more than adequate for daily utilization on the road, but its moving parts will be more capable of damage if the unit is dropped or exposed to the weather. Meanwhile, a GPS with flash drive memory has no fallible moving parts and will connect to a satellite more quickly, while taking a correspondingly heavy toll on your wallet.

If you are a treasure hunter who relies on the GPS to remain oriented in the outdoors, consider a model with increased battery life and a display that won't wash out in the sunshine. And if you have a cell phone, remember that a GPS makes use of technology that you already carry around in your pocket. The majority of today's smart phones contain a GPS receiver that, with the right applications, could provide you with all of the functionality you need without your having to get another device.

About the Author:

The Communication Blog
Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment


The Communication Blog Copyright © 2009