The Global Positioning System or the GPS is a tracking system that was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense made into the reach of the civilians during the 1980s. The technological advancements in the field have resulted in the employment of 24 to 32 medium Earth orbit satellites to map the real-time location. The receiver embedded in the GPS locks up the signals from three or more satellites to plot the location using a technique called trilateration. The time at which the signal was sent from the satellite is compared to the time at which it is acknowledged to identify the position. GPS can be made to provide data about the distance to the destination, hiking and water maps, sunrise and sunset timings and much more on a real-time basis.
Advancements made in the technology has resulted in a number of GPS products that cater to the needs of the people on the road, water, air, hiking, and even those in active sports. Original Equipment Manufacturers who recognized the potential of the GPS has included them in many of the products, whether in transportation or recreational applications.
1 On the road
The popular use of GPS products are in road navigation. GPS helps an individual who is new to a place to steer his way through the unfamiliar intersections more easily. The traffic alerts given by a few GPS products can help you to bypass a problematic area, avoiding delays. Technological advancements have resulted in new features that can guide you through fuel-efficient routes, adding to your advantage. Today the auto insurance companies and logistic business houses make use of the GPS to keep an eye on the movement of their consignment. The automobile industry, on the other hand, has launched cars with GPS to simplify the navigation process.
2 In the air
GPS used in air navigation enhances the quality of safety measures. It maintains information related to the flight instrumentation, navigation, traffic, engine data, terrain and weather, presented on the large LCD displays that are capable of being customized to cater to the requirements of the user.
3 On the water
GPS has also found a place in water navigation. The ability to read the information even under bright daylight increases the usability. The details of the terrain and the presence of obstacle en-route permits safer navigation. As it provides information regarding the location of fish in fresh water and seawater up to depths as much as 1,500 feet, it is widely used by fishing trawlers.
Today GPS gadgets are made to meet the demands of the sports, from cycling to golf. These devices are typically, hand-held, waterproof, and sturdy that can map the routes and even heartbeats. You can find GPS-enabled sports watches meant for the sportsmen and the trainer with varying features. GPS has found a place in the mobile phones, watches, and PCs to cater to the demands of the users. The ease of use, the high penetration level and the presence of the synthesized voice have resulted in a wide-range of applications from normal navigation to more complex jobs like the construction of English Channel.