Global positioning system technology, better known as GPS, has had a significant impact not only on the transportation industry, but also on the way numerous companies do business. The GPS satellite system was originally envisioned as a military project to help with guiding missiles more accurately and pinpointing various locations with absolute certainty. Today, however, this technology is used by countless individuals to help them navigate in the great outdoors or simply in the urban jungle of today’s complex metropolitan areas. GPS technology is present in automobile navigation systems, mobile phones, timekeeping systems including some high-end watches and computing systems including tablet computers and netbooks.
How GPS systems work
In order to accurately calculate the position of the device, mobile phone or vehicle it must be equipped with a GPS receiver. This device receives information from the GPS satellite system in orbit around the earth. GPS satellites transmit information about their own orbits and the orbits of all other satellites in the network as well as exact time information. With this data, the GPS receiver can calculate its own precise coordinates, allowing it to provide this information in a more readable form to the end user. GPS systems can provide up to the minute information on geographical locations for a variety of uses including navigation systems, applications that provide information on local points of interest to include shopping, hotels, restaurants and other useful data, and even tracking systems for mobile phones and vehicles.
GPS vehicle trackers
Many newer vehicles incorporate a technologically advanced GPS tracker as part of the overall electronics package. This tracking device allows the vehicle to transmit its current location to a centralised database system, thus protecting the vehicle against theft and allowing police and emergency vehicles to locate it more quickly in the event of an accident. A modern GPS tracker consists of three basic units that work together to provide this information when it is needed. The first is a traditional GPS receiver, much like those found in nearly all GPS devices. This receiver is combined with a data storage device that records the previous readings for a preset amount of time and a transmitter that uses mobile phone technology to send the information to a database when prompted. This can usually be done either at the vehicle’s current location or by remote activation at the centralised database location.
GPS mobile trackers
Many mobile phones also feature GPS capability and incorporate a GPS tracker to allow the quick location of the phone if it is lost or stolen. It is also possible to locate the individual by locating their phone, making this a useful tool for police officers in searching for a lost or missing individual. Mobile trackers work in the same way as vehicle GPS trackers and are becoming more and more common in the newer phones on the market.
The latest advances in GPS technology
Most recent technological breakthroughs in GPS research have concerned ways to acquire the signal and locate the GPS tracking device more accurately and quickly, but some scientists and engineers are also exploring the possibility of variable-rate updating for personal GPS devices. This would allow the device to send a transmission to the centralised tracking database only when its position had changed significantly and to limit transmissions to once every few hours otherwise, allowing it to conserve energy and transmit longer. In cases where individuals have become lost or vehicles have been involved in an accident, this longer transmission life can make a significant difference in the chance of finding the accident site or lost individual successfully. These new technological developments are expected to make GPS devices even more important for personal and corporate use.
Author Bio:- Pier Pischedda is an online marketing specialist interested in the new technologies (particularly GPS tracker) and how these can boost the performance of businesses and companies.