Not long ago, GPS devices were reserved for those in the armed forces,
the aviation field, or search and rescue groups, to name just a few.
But today, handheld GPS units are used by a variety of regular folks,
from cyclists to hikers, from skiers to mountain climbers.
GPS devices are even embedded in some cell phones so that parents
can keep track of their children!
The NAVSTAR global positioning system (GPS), a fairly recent invention,
consists of a network of Earth-orbiting navigation satellites that
people can use to pinpoint their location. The satellites orbit
at 12,500 miles above the earth, and are positioned around the earth in
a giant geodesic dome pattern. These GPS satellites rotate in a
geosynchronous orbit, which means they stay in the same positions in
relation to the earth and each other at all times.
GPS receivers can pick up signals from GPS satellites that are above the
horizon, and they use information from each signal to determine their
distance from each satellite. A GPS receiver requires information
from at least three (3) GPS satellites to calculate its latitude and
longitude position. Basic GPS units show only latitude and longitude
co-ordinates, while more advanced GPS devices may incorporate digital map
displays as well as travel distance and average speed calculations.
When all is said and done, a GPS allows anyone holding the receiver to
determine his or her exact location! While you can see how helpful
this could be to those in the armed forces or in the defense industry,
anyone who has been lost on a hiking trip or family outing can appreciate
the value of a GPS system as well.
A GPS Unit Helps Drivers Navigate City Streets and Find Local Services
While many GPS units are still designed for aviation, automotive, and
marine use, small handheld GPS units are popular with outdoor enthusiasts
who use them for tracking their location in remote, wilderness areas.
These convenient GPS devices are also handy for people who spend lots of
time traveling and going from destination to destination. As GPS
systems become more accessible and more affordable, people are finding
they make great gifts for both outdoor enthusiasts and travelers who could
benefit from a little extra help finding their way.
A Parasailer Ascends with a Parasail and a GPS Unit
The GPS equipment suppliers listed here offer a selection of GPS gear
and accessories. Spend some time browsing these websites, learning
about handheld GPS units and how they can enhance your outdoor recreation
or travel experience.
A horizontal, black GPS unit is photographed on a white background.
The display shows the user's exact location coordinates. Use a GPS unit
to learn the distance and expected travel time to your next destination
or even to provide detailed travel directions to your destination!
Global developer and manufacturer of positioning,
navigation, and guidance equipment features GPS solutions for the
consumer electronics, outdoor, and automotive markets. Magellan
offers a selection of devices ranging from entry-level handheld GPS
products to premium vehicle navigation systems. www.MagellanGPS.com
Leader in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and an
innovator in consumer electronics. Garmin serves both the aviation and
consumer markets, and its products are used in flying, boating, driving,
hiking and other activities. www.Garmin.com
This innovative technology firm helps people find their way
through all-in-one navigation solutions, handheld computers and smart
phones. Order a personal navigation product for your car or turn
your PDA into a wireless personal navigation system. www.TomTom.com