If you’ve never used a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, you may be wondering exactly how these cool gadgets track where you are, orient you and space, and help you figure out where to go. While the technology is relatively new, it’s not that difficult to understand, which is part of what makes it such a useful tool for people to use either in cars or when they are out in nature. Let’s look at how GPS works and what it can do for you.
The Basics of GPS Gadgets
If you’re thinking of getting a cool novelty gadget that claims to help you get from one place to another without getting lost, there’s no reason to be skeptical. GPS does work. In fact, it’s been in use by major military organizations for several decades, and it has been available to civilians in various applications since as far back as the 1980s.
These cool gadgets work thanks to a network of satellites that are constantly revolving around the Earth sending and receiving signals. Your GPS device uses a process called trilateration, which essentially involves collaborating with three or more of these satellites to determine the current coordinates of the device. Basically, it sends a signal out to each of these satellites, and these satellites bounce a signal back. When the receiver gets its return signals, it uses this information to triangulate your exact position.
Today, this process has become better than ever, and many GPS gadgets are now capable of accurately mapping your coordinates within 50 feet.
GPS Gadget Uses
Depending upon the type of GPS gadget you use, you can employ this triangulated signal in several different ways. For example, if you use one of those cool gadgets that either come with your car or may be affixed to your dashboard later on, the GPS signal will be filtered through the device’s mapping system, and it will display an image depicting where you are on the map.
But GPS devices are useful for more than just driving from one place to another. You can also use GPS devices that contain topographical maps, marine maps, or maps of trails in a wilderness area. These cool novelty gadgets can display exactly where you are in relation to physical features such as mountains, streams, coral reefs, or any other noteworthy landmark.
In some countries there has been a recent trend among wilderness lovers of bringing GPS devices out on their adventures so that emergency services can find them in case something goes wrong. While these are undoubtedly cool gadgets, emergency agencies view them as a mixed blessing. They make it easier to find people in trouble, but they also may encourage people to take greater risks and not worry about getting lost.
In the end, you can still get around by using an old-fashioned, non-electronic compass. No one’s stopping you from doing this. But if you have a love of cool gadgets, a GPS device is one of the best tools to help you find your way in the world.
Source by Rodney Ian