Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tom Tom GPS Navigator Will Get You Where You Want to Go

Tom Tom is a leader in the field of GPS technology and they have brought many useful and innovative products onto the market including portable GPS units, GPS for iPhone, and Bluetooth GPS devices.

Tom Tom GPS navigator is available in several types of car navigation systems. They can be built-in or portable. The higher end units have many handy features like voice command and control, advance lane guidance, map sharing, IQ routes for picking the best route based on conditions and hands free calling using speech to text technology. This GPS device can even tell you where to find the cheapest gas.

All units have map sharing technology which means you or anyone else can update a map and it is instantly updated for everyone else using the map. This helps to ensure that you have the very latest information regarding road closures and route changes.

When you have a GPS navigator you don't have to worry about getting lost or wonder when the next gas station will pop up either. These units provide you with turn by turn directions for where ever you want to go. Not only that, it will keep you updated on changes in traffic flow and issue safety alerts. Tom Tom will let you know where the nearest gas station or restaurant is located and is also integrated with Google's local search.

If you travel by bike or motorcycle instead of car you can still take a GPS device with you. They has developed specialized navigators that mount on two wheeled vehicles. They are just as sophisticated as the car units and have a sensitive touch screen that can be manipulated while wearing biking gloves.

They even offer devices for your smartphone, iPhone, and Bluetooth device. The Bluetooth GPS offers crystal clear spoken directions as well as 3-D maps which will guide you to your destination whether it is by foot, bike, or car. The Bluetooth GPS is super easy to use and install.

All you need to do is insert the card into your device and you are ready to go. The Bluetooth GPS comes with optional accessories such as the wireless GPS receivers, car chargers, home chargers, and carrying cases.

Maps for the Tom Tom GPS navigator are updated daily and you can download the map you need 24 hours a day. The maps are purchased separately and downloaded to your GPS device. You can even download a fun Homer Simpson voice to give you door to door directions on your next trip.

These GPS Navigators are available in over 30 countries and in over 20 languages. The company has offices around the globe and is truly a leader in the GPS industry being on the forefront of this fast growing technology.

You can purchase Tom Tom Navigators of all kinds including the Bluetooth GPS at most retail stores that carry electronic products. You will also find many online stores which sell them.

The company provides a wide variety of personal GPS units for individuals and also provides professional navigation systems for businesses and fleet owners. No matter what your need or mode of transportation, even if by foot, Tom Tom GPS Navigator has you covered.

By Donald Stuart

How Are GPS Systems Useful?

The GPS tracking systems have been very useful for people to find their way on land and on water, in keeping track of people, vehicles, pets etc, in scientific studies, for map making, land surveying and countless other commercial uses. Everyday new applications are being found for the amazing NAVSTAR GPS commonly known as GPS systems.

Bascially you need a GPS receiver to receive and decode the signals that are continuously being sent by the 24 satellites orbiting the earth. The GPS system has been designed in such a way that any point of time your GPS receiver on earth receives signals from at least 4 satellites. This is essential for to determine your exact location on Earth.

GPS Systems Applications:

There are wide variety of GPS receiver models available suitable for a variety of applications. The US troops used this during the Operation Desert Storm. Now, imagine if they could find their way in the featureless, hot, empty deserts of a foreign country what you can do with your GPS system in your own city or country. You can hike and bike to remote locations and not be worried about being lost with a GPS receiver in hand.

Car GPS Systems:

The GPS systems for cars can be loaded with maps of the cities and countries of your choice and you can easily navigate and reach your destination with out having to stop and ask for directions. The car GPS systems are the most popular and widely used application of the available GPS systems. The GPS systems for car come with features like - maps, traffic information, places of interest - like shopping malls, gas stations, a local McDonalds, FM radios, local gas prices, accurate road trip information, entertainment and emergency road side assistance and much more. You can choose a car GPS system that suits your needs.

People GPS Tracking Systems

There are GPS systems for kids and also for elderly people. These tracking devices once strapped on these individuals continuously send you signals about their location. So you can easily trace them where ever they might wandered off to. Be it your old dad or your over-active toddler.

GPS Tracking Cell Phones

Want to locate your wife lost in a new city during Christmas shopping?- use your cell phone GPS tracking device. You could use the GPS feature on the cell phone to track her down! Many mobile phones come equipped with GPS devices.

Recently, a transplant patient who was in a concert and could not be reached by the hospital (the family's mobile phones were switched off) was eventually located as his mother's phone had a GPS device embedded in it. Emergency services tracked them down and got them to the operating table within a short time. Time is of essence in transplant cases and organs that match a particular patient are rare to come by. GPS saved the day in this case and life of the patient literally. This potentially life saving feature will in the near future be part of all mobiles phones. A recent law will soon require all mobile phones to have this device, so you can be tracked anywhere and located in case of an emergency.

By Vanessa Jones

What Is and How Does a GPS Work?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of about 18-24 satellites placed into orbit. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the late 1970s, the government made a system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24/7. There are no cost for the use.

How it works

GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in the same orbit and transmit signal information to down to mother earth. GPS take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location. The GPS receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away from the satellite it is. Now, with this distance measurements from a few more satellites, the receiver can determine the user's position and display it on the unit's electronic map.

A GPS receiver must be locked on to the signal of at least three satellites to calculate a 2d position (latitude and longitude) and track movement. With four or more satellites in view, the receiver can determine the user's 3D position (latitude, longitude and also altitude). Once the user's position has been determined, the GPS unit can calculate other information, such as speed, track, trip distance, distance to destination, sunrise and sunset time and a lot more.

How accurate is GPS?

Today's GPS receivers are extremely accurate, thanks to parallel multi-channel design. Garmin's 12 parallel channel receivers are quick to lock onto satellites when first turned on and they maintain strong locks, even in dense foliage or urban settings with tall houses. Certain atmospheric factors and other sources of error can affect the accuracy of GPS receivers. Garmin® GPS receivers are accurate to 15 meters on average.
Newer Garmin GPS receivers with WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) capability can improve the accuracy to less than three meters on average. No additional equipment or fees are required to take advantage of WAAS. Users can also get even better accuracy with Differential GPS (DGPS), which corrects GPS signals to within an average of three to five meters. The U.S. Coast Guard operates the most common DGPS correction service. This system consists of a network of towers that receive GPS signals and transmit a corrected signal by beacon transmitters. In order to get the corrected signal, users must have a differential beacon receiver and beacon antenna in addition to their GPS.

The GPS satellite system

The 18-24 satellites that make up the GPS space segment are orbiting the earth about 12,000 miles above us. They are constantly moving, making two complete orbits in less than 24 hours. These satellites are travelling at speeds of roughly 7,500 miles an hour.

GPS satellites are powered by solar energy only. They have backup batteries onboard to keep them running in the event of a solar eclipse, when there's no solar power. Small rocket boosters on each satellite keep them flying in the correct path.
Here are some other interesting facts about the GPS satellites (also called NAVSTAR, the official U.S. Department of Defense name for GPS):

• The first GPS satellite was launched in early 1978.

• A full constellation of 24 satellites was achieved in late 1994.

• Each satellite is built to last about 10-15 years. Replacements are constantly being built and launched into orbit.

• A GPS satellite weighs approximately 1,500 pounds and is about 16 feet across with the solar panels extended.

• Transmitter power is only 50 watts or less.

What's the signal?

GPS satellites transmit two low power radio signals, designated L1 and L2. Civilian GPS uses the L1 frequency of 1575.42 MHz in the UHF band. The signals travel by line of sight, meaning they will pass through clouds, glass and plastic but will not go through most solid objects such as buildings and mountains.

A GPS signal contains three different bits of information — a pseudorandom code, ephemeris data and almanac data. The pseudorandom code is simply an I.D. code that identifies which satellite is transmitting information. You can view this number on your Garmin GPS unit's satellite page, as it identifies which satellites it's receiving.

Almanac data, which is constantly transmitted by each satellite, contains important information about the status of the satellite (healthy or unhealthy), current date and time. This part of the signal is essential for a good position view.

Sources of GPS signal errors

Factors that can degrade the GPS signal and thus affect accuracy include the following:

• Ionosphere and troposphere delays — The satellite signal slows as it passes through the atmosphere. The GPS system uses a built-in model that calculates an average amount of delay to partially correct for this type of error.

• Signal multipath — This occurs when the GPS signal is reflected off objects such as tall buildings or large rock surfaces before it reaches the receiver. This increases the travel time of the signal, thereby causing errors.

• Receiver clock errors — A receiver's built-in clock is not as accurate as the atomic clocks onboard the GPS satellites. Therefore, it may have very slight timing errors.

• Orbital errors — Also known as ephemeris errors, these are inaccuracies of the satellite's reported location.

• Number of satellites visible — The more satellites a GPS receiver can "see," the better the accuracy. Buildings, terrain, electronic interference, or sometimes even dense foliage can block signal reception, causing position errors or possibly no position reading at all.

• Satellite geometry/shading — This refers to the relative position of the satellites at any given time. Ideal satellite geometry exists when the satellites are located at wide angles relative to each other. Poor geometry results when the satellites are located in a line or in a tight grouping.

• Degradation of the satellite signal — Selective Availability (SA) is an intentional degradation of the signal once imposed by the U.S. Department of Defense. SA was intended to prevent military adversaries from using the highly accurate GPS signals. The government turned off SA in May 2000, which significantly improved the accuracy of civilian GPS receivers.

By Dagfinn Rognerud

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Never Lose Track of Your Vehicle With GPS Vehicle Tracking

Vehicles are an important asset to all individuals and businesses. A stolen or lost vehicle can be a cause of great concern to the owner. And if you are in a business that needs to have fleet of vehicles on the road then it gets all the more important to keep a tab on each one of them to increase productivity and profitability.

A GPS vehicle tracking system is the best way to track your vehicles, whether private or corporate. The device uses satellite signals or cell phone network to track vehicles. It is placed inside the vehicle which either provides real-time or passive information of the vehicle's whereabouts.

A GPS vehicle tracking system installed in the car emits a signal that is captured by the satellite and transferred to the monitoring system or the central server. You can either subscribe for real time monitoring display or you can opt for passive monitoring where you can retrieve the tracking information only after the vehicle reaches the company base.

Once there, the owner can retrieve the memory card from the system and view it on their personal computer. But if it's a real-time tracking system, which is much more convenient and useful, you can view the details of your vehicle such as speed, direction and location on the website of the GPS carrier. You can view this information on a gridded map or text format but maps are much easier to follow.

There are many benefits of a GPS vehicle tracking system and it may vary depending on personal or business use. The reasons for having a vehicle tracker installed in a private car can defer from that of corporate vehicles.

But one of the most important and common reasons to have a vehicle tracker is to locate your vehicle during car theft. Owners are always concerned about theft so with the help of these tracking systems you can easily locate the stolen car and inform authorities.

You can also display a sticker on your vehicle saying that your car is equipped with a GPS tracking system. This will be enough for most criminals to stay away from your car. Also one of the advantages of having these system installed is that most insurance companies offer discounted car insurance rates for vehicles having GPS tracking systems.

The newer GPS vehicle tracking systems can be used as navigation tools. With these systems your vehicle will always be on the right track and never be lost. These systems not only provide direction but also suggest alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion. You can also get information on available parking spaces and the nearest transport line.

By Landon Canista

GPS Tracking Systems - A Simple Guide to GPS's

There is an increasing number of GPS tracking systems on the market. Not all offer the same range of services though. These vary quite a lot depending on your needs.

Here is a simple review of various GPS tracking systems available on the market.

1. Car GPS - these are probably the best-known type of devices. The biggest names on the market are currently Garmin, Tomtom, Magellan and Mio, which together hold more than 80% of the market share of car GPS devices. Car GPS's normally come with preloaded maps for a specific country or area. Most new models also offer free map updates.

2. Hiking GPS - Designed for hiking, these focus more on geographic features rather than roads (unlike car GPS models).

3. GPS's for bikers are also in great demand. These are typically very resistant models and many come in weather-proof casings.

4. Boating GPS's are specialized models which vary in complexity depending on the needs. They also come with services like weather updates and other sea-specific information.

5. There are many more specialized GPS models designed with the needs of specific professions and activities in mind. For instance, there's been a lot of publicity recently around tracking systems as a way to have a permanent feeds for fleet tracking.

Here are 3 simple questions that anyone shopping for GPS's should ask themselves:

Question 1: What are your needs?

Of course, when it comes to shopping for GPS's, your choice will greatly depend on your needs. If you only need a model to fit in your car, then any commercial model should be okay. And you're spoiled for choice as far as car GPS models are concerned.

If however your needs are more specific, such as boating, hiking etc, then you should make sure to compare the different features available before making your choice.

Is the GPS covering the area you intend visiting, do you have access to features like weather services and map updates?

Question 2: What features do you expect?

Of all features, I feel that the presence of a map update facility is by far the most important. Not all GPS makers offer free map updates. Some require you to subscribe, at a monthly fee, to their service, before letting you download their stuff.

Others, like Tomtom, let you download a free update if it comes available 6 months after your purchase a new Tomtom GPS.

You also get a few GPS map providers that let you download maps free of charge.

Most of the recent models come with a host of features: slide show viewers, MP3 players, traffic update services, camera traps warning, weather update, digital radio. The list is almost endless. There's even a model that comes with digital TV (in case you fancy watching TV while driving).

They say it's called convergence: all your gadgets basically have more or less the same nifty features on them: your mobile phone can take digital pictures and play music, while your digital music player is a GPS tracker and can play slideshows.

But to me this is a classic case of too much of a good thing. If I need to play some music, chance are I will use my iPod. And if I need to take pictures, I'd rather use my digital camera rather than my mobile phone. And I won't be making phone calls with my iPod!

But do you really need all those features on your GPS? Well I guess it all depends on your age and how tech-savvy you are. If you are rather techno-phobic and the sight of buttons is enough to send shivers down your spine, I suggest you go for simple models with just one or two buttons (the Mio C520 is a great try).

Question 3: How much are you ready to spend?

Depending on the complexity of the model, a GPS should cost you from about $50 to a few hundred dollars. If you are after a GPS that does just what it should be doing (i.e. taking you from A to B in the simplest way), then I suggest you go for a simple and easy to use model.

It's important, when it comes to GPS tracking systems, to know your needs and the requirements of the task.

By Amene Katanda

GPS Systems Make Life Easier For All of Us

GPS - Global Positioning System is a satellite navigation system. First conceived as navigation aid by the military now number of GPS satellites broadcasts accurate timing signals by radio to GPS receivers.GPS provides a set of coordinates which represent the location of the GPS unit with respect to its latitude, longitude and elevation on planet Earth thus allowing them to accurately determine their location anywhere on the earth at anytime. It has become an important tool for map making and land surveying and is also used for very precise time reference needed for scientific research like the study of earthquakes. GPS receivers come in various formats, from devices integrated into cars, to phones to watches.

The GPS satellites broadcast accurate clock information in two forms:

Coarse Acquisition code/C/A-This is used mainly for civilian navigation which broadcast at 1,023 MHz repeating every millisecond. Each satellite sends a distinct C/A code, which allows them to be identified.

Precise code/ P-code- The P-code broadcast at 10.23 MHz, but it repeats only once per week. The P code is first encrypted into the Y-code, or P(Y), which can only be decrypted by units with a valid decryption key.

Applications of GPS:

There are number of fields where GPS has been used such as:


It plays an important role in the military by helping to find precise targeting of military weapons such as missiles and precision guided munitions. It also provides good location awareness thus helping in controlling of forces and command.GPS satellites also carry nuclear detonation detectors.


If you are someone who are likely to always get lost while driving then GPS is what you need in your car. It is used as navigation aid in cars, ships and planes. Hikers and trekkers use hand held GPS receivers to find their way. Even visually impaired people use this GPS equipment to guide their way.


Construction workers also use GPS receivers for surveying the land to locate boundaries, structures, and survey markers, and for construction of roads.


GPS receivers are also used in recreational activities like geocaching where a hand held GPS receiver is used. Geocachers use this to travel to specific longitude and latitude walking or hiking to natural locations, searching for particular objects hidden by the other geocachers.
Aircraft passengers

Airline passengers can use GPS units in some airlines inside the aircraft except while landing and taking off as they have very little risk of interference. These airlines integrate aircraft tracking into the seat-back television entertainment system, available to all passengers even during takeoff and landing.

Precise time reference

For accurate time GPS is used. In time code generators GPS is used as a reference clock and also when sensors are deployed they are used to provide accurate time for each recording apparatus. Even atomic clocks are set to GPS time.GPS time is counted in days, hours, minutes, and seconds, in the manner that is conventional for most time standards.

Location-based services

Location based services also use GPS to locate all mobile phones. It provides a location solution is dependent more on mobile phones and less on telecommunications network topology. This also helps to provide specific location information to the mobile phone.

The biggest problem faced in GPS is that the atmospheric conditions can change the speed of the GPS signals while passing through the ionosphere. This effect gets minimized when the satellite is directly overhead and becomes greater toward the horizon.

By Jeffrey Meier

Thursday, June 4, 2009

GPS Tracking Devices Save You Time and Money

You know what they say, "Time is money." So if you can find a way to save both time and money, why not make the investment? A GPS device can do just that.

Whether you manage a fleet of trucks or a household, a GPS system can assist you as you try to get things done. Because everyone has a bottom line and no one wants to see money fly out of the window due to poor planning. GPS tracking can make route planning easier and get you to where you want to go with fewer hassles.

If you live in an area with heavy traffic, you know that shaving a few minutes of driving time here and there means you spend less time on the road and more time doing the things you really want to do. Even if you are not in an area with heavy traffic, your time is valuable and you probably don't want to spend more of it on the road than you have to.

A GPS tracking device can give you the most efficient route to reach your destination. Not only will you save time, but you'll also save on fuel. And that really is a big deal. As you try to combine errands and get the most out of a tank of gas, it only makes sense to make sure you are not taking some route that causes you to spend more time idling at traffic lights than necessary. A GPS device can give you information on routes that you can travel with fewer stops and starts.

By Nancy McCord

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GPS Devices - How Do They Work?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you certainly have heard of the Global Positioning System or GPS. There is a GPS for almost everyone: for hikers, drivers, bikers etc. You also find GPS modules on some advanced mobile telephones like the Nokia 6110 Navigator.

What is it?

In very simple terms, the Global Positioning System (GPS) uses radio signals from 4 satellites to locate the exact position of anything on Earth.

What does it cost?

Apart from the cost of buying one, using a GPS is free of charge. In fact some of the most basic GPS do just what they are about: guiding the driver from A to B via a graphic interface.

The most recent models come with a range of functions (MP3 player, slideshow, video player, blue tooth kit, and even digital TV!).

Some GPS have pre-installed POI (points of interest) such as garages, restaurants, parking etc. GPS makers have also added new value-added services such as live traffic update or a weather services like Tom-tom Weather on the GO 530/730/930).

You will need a subscription to most of those services however. Typically an annual subscription costs around $50, with unlimited updates.

Other options are free for a limited period only (for instance when a new map becomes available within 30 days of buying a new GPS, Tom-tom will let you download the map free).

What to look for?

• Ease of Use. If you are not too comfortable with gadgets, you might prefer going for a simple model. One that simply guides you from A to B without all the extras.
• Traffic Info. Some GPS offer real time info on traffic jams or road works. The GPS then recalculates your route - and offers an alternative one. These services are often charged so you'd better check before buying!
• Speed Cameras. Most GPS's come with a pre-installed list of speed cameras. And again here, you will need some form of subscription to update that list with new cameras.
• Maps. Some GPS only cover a limited geographic area. Others have more extensive maps like the Tom-tom Go 730. This type will be particularly useful for your holidays abroad. New maps can also be purchased as CD ROMs or on pre-loaded memory cards.

You can also download off the website of most GPS makers. After download, you then transfer the maps onto the GPS using either a memory card, a USB cable or a Bluetooth kit (if your GPS has Bluetooth).

• Screen Size. This usually varies between 3.6 and 4.3 inches. As a rule, especially for car GPS, information on the screen should not be too hard to read. But this should not be a problem considering that most new GPS's come with voice navigation.

By Amene Katanda