Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Top Ten GPS Systems For 2009

There are so many variables in GPS Systems, it is a little overwhelming to sort out the best. Below you will find our choices for the top 10 GPS systems. Our selection was by no means scientific, but it is based on reviews from Amazon customers, best sellers listed by Amazon and Pricegrabber, and editors' picks from

In this group, only vehicle GPS receivers are listed, since, as a group, they are by far the largest segment of GPS systems sold. But don't worry, if you are an outdoors enthusiast, we do have listings for cycling, motorcyles, marine and wilderness units as well. You will find these listed in another article.

The manufacturer with the greatest number of models listed in the top ten is Garmin. Their volume of sales in the U.S. outranks all other manufacturers, therefore it is no surprise to see them listed so often. Keep in mind that models differ in both price and features, so do your homework and research a little further rather than just

pick form the top ten list when making your choice.

Let's get right into it. Here are our Top Ten GPS Picks for 2009:

1. Garmin Nuvi 765T-Best Overall GPS

With the ease typical of Garmin Nuvis' touchscreen, this product also includes Bluetooth, traffic alerts, text-to-speech, route planning, lane assist and ultra-quick map refresh rate. With all these features, there is good reason to rate this GPS receiver number one.

2. Garmin Nuvi 265T

The 265T, along with other "five" series Garmin Nuvis, comes with free real-time traffic updates. It also features "predictive" technology that allows for faster satellite lock. Included are maps for North America, and text-to-speech capability, announcing the required directions with street names. As with other Nuvi models that have the "T" designation, this unit comes with an integrated traffic receiver featuring traffic updates.

3. Garmin Nuvi 285WT

This GPS receiver comes with real time traffic updates through MSN Direct, has all the features of the Nuvi 265T, and also allows you to use hands-free telephone calls with Bluetooth technology.

4. Tom Tom XL 340-S

A budget GPS with some upscale features, this unit has "advanced lane guidance" which users say works well. Text-to-speech, 3-D junction view and IQ Routes make this system a winner at a budget price.

5. Magellan Maestro 4700

One of Magellans most recently developed GPS units, this receiver has some great features. You can manually exclude any roads you want to avoid, a rather unique feature,in addition to which you can customize the menu to display only the things you want to see. As with most upper end units, it has Bluetooth and traffic alerts and you get a list of upcoming turns well in advance.

6. Garmin Nuvi 855-Best Voice Command GPS Unit

In addition to having complete contol over this GPS system with voice commands, it is the only Garmin Nuvi that allows you to exclude specific routes. The 855T gives you traffic updates through MSN Direct. The preloaded map feature has over 6 million points of interest, with City Navigator NT street maps for U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

7. Garmin Nuvi 1350T

A recent release from Garmin, the Nuvi 1350T has all the navigation features of lower-priced models, plus Advanced Lane function and Text to Speech functions. Additionally, it has the option to load City Explorer maps for pedestrian and transit features in some cities.

8. Garmin 255W/255WT

The slim design on this inexpensive unit makes it easy to carry if you choose to. It features predictive technology, for faster satellite acquisition as well as complete maps for North America and spoken directions of the street names.

9. Tom Tom One 140-S-Best Pick under $100 (tied with Garmin Nuvi 205W)

Advanced Lane Guidance and IQ Routes technology which shows you the fastest route to your destination make this budget-priced unit a great choice for a GPS.

10. Garmin Nuvi 205W (tied with Tom Tom 140-S)

With an average consumer rating over 4 stars, and priced under $100, this Garmin GPS is popular and easy to use. It has preloaded maps for North America, along with millions of points of interests, and "HotFix" technology to quickly lock on to satellites.

A note about Garmin Nuvi 260, 360, 760 and other units. Although still available for sale, and reaping high marks previously, these units are being replaced by new series (ending in 5). The Nuvi Models 260, 360, 760 and others are listed on Garmin's website as "discontinued". As with any electronic gadget, the technology is ever-evolving. Our suggestion is to buy the latest models that are available, particularly when the manufacturer lists previous models as being discontinued.

By Robert Freer

GPS - The Beginning

GPS is a complex technology, but understanding it can be easy if you understand the steps gradually. This GPS tutorial tries to give explanation about GPS, ranging from a basic understanding of GPS principles and also developed into the advanced GPS applications. Hopefully this tutorial will be useful.

How did GPS appear?

This idea originally came from from the idea on how our current existence, where we are, and invitation to go to a place we've never been before.. Sometimes, knowing the address of a place does not necessarily mean that we can find it easily. There are similarities or possible addresses. This is certainly the one that underlies the emergence of GPS.

Navigation and positioning systems are essential in a variety of activities and processes and it still considered a complicated thing to this day. Over the years people trying to simplify the technological development of a sequence of technological applications, but sometimes this simplication can be harmful.

Finally, the United States Department of Defense decided that they must have some form of very precise technology about the exact position of a location anywhere on this earth. Fortunatelly, at that time they had 12 million dollars fund as a good foundation to build such technology.

Why the U.S. Defense Department developed a GPS?
At that time there was a kind of arms race of the ICBM, so that it was an interesting thing in terms of determining the exact location of the location of missile fired by the enemy. Of course, by knowing the precise location, we could destroy the enemy before they strike.

It was not too difficult at that time to find the weapon launch sites since most of them were fired from Soviet mainland. However, most types of nuclear weapons were fired from the ocean. Of course, to maintain American power, they must find a way to find the right position, even though it was in the middle of a vast ocean, in a matter of hours. And they found the GPS. GPS or global positioning system, is a system that changes the navigation system to date.

Differential GPS is a form of cooperation of the two GPS receivers, a GPS receiver is in still position and other GPS receivers move down the area to be mapped. So one GPS receiver is a base station (reference GPS) and other GPS receiver is the GPS Rover. Keep in mind, for Differential GPS, not only limited to using only 2 GPS receiver, you can use 3, 4 or whatever the GPS receiver. What is important is one of them must be the base station.

By Cahyo Wijaa