One of the most widely used technologies in travel worldwide, the Global Positioning System or simply GPS, has become indispensable in our traveling lives. Almost unthinkable a couple of decades ago, the GPS allows a person to be located, no matter which corner of the earth they are in, provided that the person has a GPS-enabled device on them or in the nearby surroundings.
Currently, the most important implementation of the GPS is finding out locations in places that you are visiting for the first time and wish to explore on your own. Many people would prefer to use the old tried-and-tested system of just asking people about routes to the places they want to visit, but for the shy traveler, as well as for those who are in the adventurous mood, tracking places using GPS can be a better choice because of both convenience and the fun experience.
Most major GPS device providers update their databases on a daily basis, and the latest places come up on the GPS as soon as they are opened. As a matter of fact, just buy a new GPS device and fix it in your car, and check it out. You will be surprised to see how many new places have come up in your own city and how many shorter and convenient routes exist to commute to the places that you frequent.
The GPS technology has become so advanced and reliable that most travelers around the globe have started using it. It is not just limited to those who travel. Recent studies indicate that the use of GPS technology is on an equal-level rise even in towns and cities with more and more people using it for tasks as simple as locating the nearest pizza outlet or the fastest, convenient route to it. Uses also include things like finding out which areas have currently got traffic jams, and re-routing , a facility that most GPS devices are capable of. By tracking out your current position, authorities will be in a better position to communicate with you, in the event of emergencies, or when roadside assistance is needed.
The current breed of GPS-enabled devices is largely automated, with the device connecting to the software database of the device provider. After that they can receive up-to-date and late breaking information. The GPS usually receives information that enables them to provide turn-by-turn directions. It couldn't get easier than this. Also, most feature a choice of male or female voice accompanying the directions. The GPS technology comes in handy especially when planning long trips that include new places . This cuts down on the time spent in figuring out the best routes and according to either time or distance, either will be greatly reduced by this. Also, few providers even give an image of the directions being pointed out, thus reducing the possibility of taking the wrong route.
Another interesting and useful feature of most GPS-enabled devices is that they have a HUGE number of built-in points-of-interest, which can vary from being as regional as the local neighborhood church to important national attractions like the Lincoln Memorial or Mount Rushmore. Whatever they may be, they allow for easy searching for just about any place that you need! Not only with searching, either you will practically be guided right to the exact location! In this way the GPS technology is very useful, and helps millions of souls find their way about unfamiliar territory! This comes in handy in cases of emergencies when the rescue teams can locate the stranded or injured easily. There are a million choices to choose from, and one can easily get misguided and confused, looking at the huge variety.
The following things should be kept in mind before buying a GPS device for travel. However, as travel needs of various people differ to some extent, specific needs can be met by personally examining the features of a GPS device. These guidelines are general but should serve the majority of travelers seeking a GPS.
First, the screen size should be considered. A larger screen enables better visibility from a distance, and that is a very important thing for most users. The display should be well lit, with simple menus, to facilitate use by elderly people. The second thing to be considered is the built in memory, as many people prefer to pre-set their preferred routes and the internal memory helps in storing that information. It also stores the points-of-interest data. The third thing to be considered is the battery life. This is perhaps the most important consideration, as you wouldn't want the GPS device to die out just as you entered an unknown place where there is no one to ask help for nearby! That could present major difficulties, especially in a foreign country. Thus a good battery life is a must and optional battery backups should be looked into to cover any kind of lengthy trip. The fourth thing which would come handy for city users, is to check whether the device can receive live updates about traffic jams and other issues, so that alternate routes can be worked out. Whether or not the device can receive information on re-routing should also be considered. These are the basic features to look for, while choosing a GPS device for travel.
Moving on, here are some of the detailed features that buyers should look for in a GPS device. In addition to the four elements outlined above, you should also look into the following. First, you must make sure that the latest technology is being used in your GPS device. Many manufacturers lure people by using fancy terms that can be confusing to people so as to trick them into buying their products. Make sure that the latest, high sensitivity GPS receiver is installed in your GPS device. Second, the maps must be completely up to date. Many companies do not update their maps regularly. This can be troublesome in the long run. One must look into how frequently the updating takes place, the level of detail that are included in the maps, and the accuracy of any charts included. Third,look into is the mounting hardware used for the unit you are considering. As the GPS device is a long-term installation, making sure that it is fixed sturdily is a must. This particular aspect must be looked into carefully, as there is no point in having your GPS device fall off with every bump that you encounter. These things will help narrow down the choice for a new GPS device for travel.
By considering all the points outlined in this article, you should be on the way to getting your new GPS and having many wonderful travels in the future.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.