What is GPS?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System and offers a convenient solution to the confusing maps and directions in today's busy world. A GPS device uses a built-in receiver to acquire information from one of 30 GPS network satellites orbiting the Earth at spans of 12 hours. Once a GPS receives this data, it is able to pinpoint your location and calculate speed, direction and elevation.
Your GPS system then cross-references your information with map files stored within the unit. The device is then ready to guide you to your destination marked on the same map. All of this is typically communicated to you through the combination of voice guidance and video data via an LCD screen. Think of your GPS as your own personal tour guide as you navigate your way through a hectic lifestyle!
Why Do I Need A GPS?
A GPS unit gets you to where you need to go. It really is that simple. However, many people simply can't justify parting with their hard-earned money for an in-car navigation system. Here are some important reasons why you might want to reconsider:
Your Job Depends on It: A GPS system is great for people whose jobs depend on them getting to the right place at the right time. Need to get to a meeting across town but you don't have time to stop and ask for directions? Not a problem. Simply input the address of your destination. Most GPSs will calculate how to get there, how much time is left before you do, and what time you will arrive. Furthermore, a GPS device is a great way to reduce excess paper scribbled with directions and unnecessary maps.
You Love To Travel: Getting out on the open road for a vacation or weekend getaway is a perfect time to use your GPS. It's filled with highways and byways that will quickly get you to your destination. Come across a road block? Don't stress! Many GPSs come with a handy "detour" feature that gives you the options to get around them at a moment's notice.
You Always Get Lost: With so many highways, street names and construction ongoing, it's not hard to get lost in this day and age. This is where the GPS comes in handy. Ever had to stop at a gas station and ask for directions? Even worse, have you shouted at the sky when those directions turned out to be wrong? The GPS is your cure for that, filled with all the knowledge, short cuts and easy routes that you'll never have to remember again!
I Was Thinking about Installing a GPS... Is a Portable GPS the Better Option?
Installing a GPS system into your car can be time-consuming and costly. With a portable GPS, however, not only can you set it up right out-of-the-box, you can take it anywhere with you! It will work in whatever car you happen to be using.
Key Features to Consider:
Accessories: What exactly is included in the box? Make sure you have everything you need. Does it come with a mount to attach to your vehicle? Does it come with a car adapter (charging device)? If these items aren't included but you still have your heart set on that particular system, these types of accessories can be easily found and purchased.
Design: Take a good look at the shape of a GPS before you make your purchase. Is this something that is going to fit in your vehicle? Furthermore, is its design accessible enough for you to make easy adjustments while driving?
Display: Make sure you're purchasing a system whose display screen offers a good deal of color and adequate lighting. This becomes particularly important when driving at night, as you don't want to squint when monitoring your screen. The best way to check this online is by studying the screen type, its resolution and its viewing angle capabilities.
Maps: Imagine loading up your brand new GPS and finding out that it doesn't have the map you need? Most GPS devices are relative to the country you purchased it in. Check the specifications before you buy and make sure that the device has a map of the country in which you live.
Most GPSs accomplish the same goal, which is to give you the directions you need to get to your destination. Price varies because of the features that are offered. The following are a few key features you should investigate before purchasing your new GPS: