Global Positioning System or GPS is a new technology being utilized by a lot of end-users these days for their navigation needs. Basically what GPS does is position a receiving device on a pre-determined map to identify its location. It utilizes around 24 to 32 satellites hovering around the earth in providing you with different geographical information.
Over the years, GPS has found its way into consumer electronics that help the normal citizen find his way around. Most notably, GPS has helped drivers navigate through difficult roads and find hidden and alternative detours that help cut travel time. GPS is also available on cell phones and computers via the new service called Google Earth. But to know more on how to utilize this system, read on.
- Know your gear. Are you using a handheld GPS device? Or one that’s suited for a car? It’s important to know which kind you’re using and which options come with it, because some devices can be pretty different from other devices. It is important that you know what your device is capable of doing so that it would be easier for you to use it.
- Input your destination. To get from one point to another, simply input a destination and the GPS will automatically calculate the most efficient route to take. This is the wonder of the GPS when used in driving, because you don’t have to ask for directions anymore. Simply follow the map on your GPS device and you’d be well on your way to your destination.
- Follow the directions, but don’t forget to look at what’s in front of you. Some GPS devices for cars have voice features, which periodically utter which directions you should take. However, GPS is still in its developing stages, and the room for mistakes is still a big one. When your GPS tells you to take a left, make sure that there’s a road that you can turn to—don’t blindly follow the directions of your GPS device.
- Find alternate routes. This is one of the major advantages of having a GPS device—since you get a bird’s eye view of the road you’re taking, it is easy for the system to find an alternate route for you.
- Mark relevant points if needed. Some GPS devices enable you to mark relevant points for future reference. Found a useful gas station on the road? Mark it on the map so that you’d remember to visit it again the next time.
- Find your way home. With GPS, nobody gets lost anymore. Your device automatically logs the route you’ve just taken, virtually leaving a breadcrumb track so that you may easily find your way home, much like the story of Hansel and Gretel.
Having a GPS device handy cannot only give you directions. Some more advanced devices provide other information, such as traffic updates or weather conditions in a particular place. GPS has definitely changed the way we see the world, and its view just keeps getting better.