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Not too long ago, GPS tracking devices were related only to priceless
military technology. Who would imagine that within a few years
these devices will be found in a rental car or in a personal cell phone.
Today anti-theft auto tracking systems use them, heavy construction
equipment may have them and most boat owners have at least one.
Anytime you want to identify your location, the GPS tracking device
becomes an indispensable tool. Feature rich GPS units are now more
affordable then ever before and the main challenge for the average
person remains how to select the most effective device for his or
hers specific needs.
Before telling you what to look for when buying a new GPS device,
let's make sure you understand the basic terms. GPS (Global
Positioning System) is a system of satellites that sends signals to
a GPS system device which then calculates the current position by
latitude and longitude. Once the GPS device knows its own position,
it can help the user determine direction and distance to other
locations. The GPS tracking devices will tell you exactly where you
are, or how to get to a specific location.
In order to be effective, GPS navigation needs a minimum of three
satellites to provide an accurate two dimensional position fix, and at
least four satellites to provide an accurate three dimensional fix. The
newer GPS navigation units available today come equipped with 12-
channel receivers, where each channel is used to lock on and hold
onto an individual satellite. The best 4 signals are identified and are
used to provide reliable and precise information almost
instantaneously. The GPS receiver's job is to locate four or more
satellites, figure out the distance to each, and use this information
to deduce its own location. This operation is based on a simple
mathematical principle called trilateration.
GPS navigation can be used while walking, driving or... fishing. For
example, if you like fishing and need to locate your victims, a GPS
fish finder, which uses both GPS technology and sonar, will tell you
exactly where to find them. From a totally different angle, GPS
technology is also being used as a way to track your pet with a
GPS accessory such as a GPS enabled pet collar.
Another use for GPS as a tracking device is to locate your children.
Placing a receiver in a child’s cell phone or wristwatch can ensure
their safety at all times. Real time vehicle tracking systems can be
used in a teenager’s vehicle in order to know where they are and
at what speed they are driving. The system reports its position
every 5 minutes to central servers, enabling you to access the
location of your children easily and quickly from your computer or
mobile phone. Moreover, you can send and receive SMS messages
to our child tracking device, which is a great way to communicate
with them. GPS tracking devices could also be used to keep track
of someone who tends to ‘roam’ but is not capable enough to find
there way back such as someone suffering with Alzheimer’s
disease. But let's see some more uses.
SOS panic button - if a person with a tracking device is in trouble,
they can easily and quickly raise the alarm by sending out an SOS
message using a built in panic button. The alarm will be sent to the
operator's servers, which will automatically convert the GPS data
into a meaningful street address wherever possible and send the
SOS and address to up to 3 people.
There is no doubt that as GPS technology improves, its uses will
increase. Today's main manufacturers, like Garman GPS, Magellan,
Pharos, Cobra and TomTom, will make every possible effort to
develop more ideas and come up with more solutions.