Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Utilizing GPS Technology

Automotive GPS Systems
Originally conceived and developed by the United States Department of Defense for use in military applications, GPS tracking technology has in recent years been opened up to commercial development and use by the general public. As a result of this, GPS tracking has seen a huge rise in popularity as more and more ways to utilize the technology has emerged in the marketplace. GPS capability can now be found in newer cars or as an aftermarket accessory for older cars as a replacement for having to deal with paper maps, as a handheld personal device for campers, hunters and other outdoor users, in some newer cell phones as a tracking device, and there are even GPS treasurehunting groups who hide objects and then post clues on the internet, for users to try and find using GPS systems. GPS systems are also finding great use by companies for tracking movement of vehicles and personnel as a way of monitoring business costs. And they are also being used by individuals as a way of monitoring personal vehicles of all kinds against theft and to monitor younger drivers whereabouts and driving habits.
A GPS system is basically an electronic transmitter/receiver that is in communication with a series of 24 satellites which orbit above the earth, and through communication with the satellites can pinpoint where on earth that receiver is. In the case of automobile navigation units, the user programs in a destination to the receiver and the satellites determine where the receiver actually is and then the receiver, using map data programmed into it can map the most direct route to get to the destination entered into it and display that information on a view screen. The information is constantly updated through communication between the receiver and the orbiting satellite system. Probably the most productive uses of GPS receivers would be as tracking and monitoring devices to monitor movement of vehicles for theft protection of vehicles and for commercial fleet management as well as keeping track of where young drivers go and what their driving habits are.
As with most electronic items, mass production is bringing the price down to the point where it is affordable to most everyone who is interested in GPS tracking. Basic units can be found for as little as a couple of hundred dollars, while more complex systems can run as much as a thousand dollars depending on what features and capabilities an individual has need of. Some GPS tracking systems may require an additional monthly monitoring fee similar to monthly cell phone charges.

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