Whether you’re a concerned parent looking for your loved one or a business interested in improving dispatch efficiency and driver safety, GPS has something to offer everyone.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) consists of satellites, ground stations, and receivers like those in your phone or car. Getting the most out of your GPS means understanding what these elements do for you.
Maps are visual directions that can help you get from point A to point B. They’re used for various reasons, from navigating an unfamiliar city to planning a hiking trip to the top of Mount Everest. Mapmakers, called cartographers, use their knowledge of spatial relationships to create maps that serve specific purposes for a wide range of users.
Some standard features of maps include a scale and symbols. A map’s scale is a ratio that shows how large or small the objects in the picture are relative to each other. Most maps also feature a grid overlay, representing distances on the map.
A GPS tracking system can be used to track the movement of vehicles and equipment. This helps businesses monitor working hours and ensure employees don’t waste time on the job. It can also locate packages in transit and provide delivery diagnostics to customers. Choosing a GPS tracking system that offers a flexible user interface and a bird’s eye view of your fleet is essential for these uses.
Waypoints are geographic coordinates that help GPS users orient themselves. They’re often tied to physical landmarks like a lake or mountain summit. And they’re also associated with specific points in the sky, such as an FAA airway or a floating reporting point depicted on a Severe Weather Avoidance Plan (SWAP) en route chart.
Aviation relies heavily on waypoints. Pilots, for example, use them to identify their intended destination. They might even use the identifiers themselves to communicate with each other—e.g., using a five-letter designation like “CAR,” “CAMP,” or “TRAILHEAD.”
In addition to giving you the exact location of a waypoint, most GPS receivers allow you to navigate to it quickly. To do so, select the waypoint and tap on a navigation option, such as “GOTO” or a similar menu choice. Depending on the device, this can include turn-by-turn directions or guidance that takes you in a straight line directly to the destination. (Check your device’s manual for details.) For best results, pair your smartphone with a Bluetooth external GNSS receiver to attain better accuracy.
GPS devices help people and businesses prepare accurate surveys and maps, track objects or a person’s position, and take precise time measurements. But a lot depends on the weather, especially regarding satellite signals. Check some of those devices and avail discounts like the Garmin promo code.
Space weather (such as ionosphere disruptions and urban environments) can affect the ability of GPS devices to receive the satellite signals needed for positioning. However, GNSS systems are designed to compensate for these effects using algorithms that smooth out the raw calculated positions.
Other factors that can impact the performance of GPS equipment include physical obstructions like buildings, trees, and other landscape features; signal interference from other navigation systems; and even atmospheric phenomena such as water vapor which can delay the time it takes for the GPS signals to reach the receiver in your device.
In addition to being a critical tool for navigation, GPS technology is also used by first responders, surveyors, boat captains, pilots, and other professionals working in agriculture, mining, and construction, as well as by logistics companies that use telematics systems for route optimization, driver safety and more. Read more about GPS technology in emergency response and the eCall regulation in Europe and Russia.
A GPS device can show you what road you are on as you drive and how long it will take to get where you are going. But when there is traffic, that information can be misleading.
For one thing, GPS data often shows driving speeds lower than those derived from traffic sensors. Also, GPS trackers can suffer multipath errors when the signals bounce off buildings or other obstacles. That can cause them to veer off course or even disappear from the map.
Another way to get more out of GPS devices is to look for fleet tracking software that lets you see a range of assets, including trailers and generators. With that information, a company can optimize its routes and reduce fuel use and maintenance costs.
A few navigation device manufacturers have begun to offer traffic info on their GPS models. TomTom, for example, allows drivers to tap on their devices’ screens to report traffic problems, which are then used to update digital maps. These devices can help avoid the frustration of sitting in a traffic jam.
A GPS solution should provide alerts and notifications to help users understand the information provided. Alerts should be easy to access and have a simple, intuitive design. Look for a system that offers a satellite and bird’s-eye view of the fleet on real-time maps and can be easily customized to a business’s unique needs.
GPS tracking devices can optimize routes and limit fuel costs by monitoring traffic patterns and analyzing road conditions. In addition, they can monitor driver behavior to reduce extra mileage and unnecessary idling. The result is more efficient routes and less wear and tear on vehicles.
GPS tracking devices also monitor engine hours for equipment rental companies and can alert drivers when it is time to schedule maintenance. They can also generate daily, weekly, or monthly reports to track fleet data points. For example, they can create reports that include speeding violations, violations of company driving policies, a list of vehicle start and stops, and idling times. In addition, family-friendly GPS trackers such as the Family1st device can notify you when a loved one needs assistance.