Why having a GPS unit is useful
The possibilities are endless when it comes to global positioning system (GPS) technologies. Offering extreme versatility and used in almost any industry or sector, the best GPS units 2017
have existed around the world in the fields of aviation, mining, agriculture, surveying, military, recreation and marine. GPS systems make work easier, safer and more productive, depending on the integrity and functionality of the units themselves. People use them to find their way on the water and on land, to keep track of people, pets, vehicles and others, for map making, scientific studies, and numerous other commercial purposes. New applications are being found everyday for GPS systems.
Does GPS work everywhere? To answer that question, you just have to find out who uses them. The people who use them include athletes, dispatchers, doctors, soldiers, farmers, pilots, scientists, sailors, delivery drivers, hikers, fishermen and others from virtually all walks of life.For military, emergency and rescue crews, a GPS system proves to be valuable to locate where survivors of crashes or accidents are or people who need assistance. GPS systems are used to map forests. They help farmers ensure timely harvest of their fields. They navigate airplanes in the air and on the ground. GPS technology has even found its way in many sectors you would normally not consider them to be useful.
Major categories of GPS use
Primarily, the GPS is used to determine a position or location. It can also be used for navigation, or to get from one point to another. GPS technology is also used to monitor or track objects or human movement. They are used to create maps of the world, or for cartography or mapping. Lastly, people use them to bring precise timing to the world.
What is behind GPS use?
How do GPS units work? Relying heavily on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) infrastructure, a GPS is the most helpful and important feature that PCs, mobile phones and any electronic device can have. The system works with a GPS receiver that accepts and decodes signals continuously sent by around 24 to 30 satellites orbiting the planet. A GPS system is engineered in a manner that makes the receiver able to get signals from at least 4 of those satellites at any single time. This is vital if you are to know your exact location on the globe.
Will GPS work without cell signal? GPS works fine when offline if you’ve already pre downloaded maps way ahead, allowing you to show your current position and map coordinates.
|Image||Product||Best Price||Ratings||Reviews||Where to Buy|
|GRM0119801 - GARMIN 010-01198-01 nuvi 55LM 5quot; GPS Travel||€99.6||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS Navigator System with Spoken Turn-By-Turn Directions,||Click Here!||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|Magellan RoadMate 5320-LM 5.0" Touchscreen Portable North American Maps GPS System||Click Here!||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|TomTom VIA 1505M 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps||€94.02||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|TomTom VIA 1515M 5-Inch Portable Touchscreen Car GPS Navigation Device||€94.79||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
Today’s smartphones come with a decent GPS app that should be enough for the everyday commuter to reach their destination easily. A phone already carries your settings, contacts, search history and more to enable you to find your way anywhere, whether you’re in your car, on your bike, or in the middle of a new or unfamiliar location.
Finding restos and parks is facilitated with your phone’s GPS app. However, standalone GPS units including the best GPS for a car 2017 fill up the deficiencies that smartphone GPS apps can’t deliver on. These are what GPS units should come with.
Suitability to user’s purpose
Which GPS should I buy? This is the first question that pops up in the mind of any first time GPS buyer. With the many models and brands on the market, that question is not quite easy to answer. However, if you already have a clear idea of what role the GPS unit will play in your life, you should be able to determine much easier which GPS is best for your needs.
You can take a recreational GPS anywhere you go. A handheld GPS unit will easily fit in your pocket, bag, or backpack. If you have an existing car mount on your dashboard, a car GPS unit would make a great investment. Some brands already have their own line of sports GPS in wristwatch design, perfect for bikers and hikers who seek run-around mobility in their GPS devices.
GPS devices for automotive use are engineered to be installed in motorized vehicles. They come with built-in maps or enable you to download the mapping data you need. A lot of automotive GPS units have voice command capability, helping the driver focus on the road. Touch screens are convenient and so are mounting options.
Marine GPS devices are intended for watercraft and marine vessels. They may even be made to float or carry a waterproof design in keeping with their applications. These types of devices are equipped with onshore and offshore maps, along with chart plotting functions and an easy-to-read screen on which you can view information even in direct sunlight. Some models can even locate fish and predict tide movements.
GPS-enabled cellular phones can also give turn-by-turn directions like a lot of other GPS device types, but in a generally smaller package. GPS for cell phones has gained ground quickly, opening up various possibilities such as finding local business reviews and friend finder apps.
Reliable and accurate data/ information
Top quality GPS units work well and are able to forego information that is disorienting and confusing to people. You want a device that can search quickly and generate routes as needed. The route preference options should offer a match for what you want to get. Some devices boast the integration of millions of preloaded reliably sourced destinations to supplement their own database for points-of-interest. Most units are also preloaded with US and Canadian maps, with a select few even including maps of Mexico.
The maps can typically be updated with the unit purchase and the updates can even go for the lifetime of the device itself. Product registration allows the user to receive emails about the availability of map updates. The updates can be carried out simply by connecting the device using a USB cable to a personal computer running a specific device app. Some models come with a built-in receiver to which lifetime traffic avoidance updates are transmitted.
Traffic alerts are issued when the map comes on the screen, and can be accompanied by spoken warnings. Some devices tell you whether you’re on the fastest route to your destination or not and also give you an estimated length of delay. They warn you of clogged traffic along your route so you can opt to avoid them. The traffic info is not sourced from smartphone users on the road though, unlike that issued by widely-used app Waze or TomTom’s line of navigators. It is available through local traffic tracking services, other users of Garmin devices on the road, and few times, from other smartphones so the information is very much like what you can expect from radio and TV traffic services.
Many devices come with Web connectivity and quick search capability so you won’t be getting outdated entries on points of interest. These types of devices do command a higher price than their traditional counterparts, and can even come with regular subscription fees.
Versatility and ease of use
The GPS unit should well well for navigation. Those that get the highest ratings are designed for easy entry of destinations, even spoken ones, while being able to give the most helpful directions. Those are the models you would want to get a hold of. Low-rated models are slow, awkward to use of even both. The top rated models offer more intuitive interfaces compared to others.
Some models just require a tap on the search bar and let you start typing, whether it’s the street address or the destination name you need to put in. Their keyboards have both letters and numbers on the same screen so you won’t need to do a lot of pressing to get what you need. Their databases respond to various input strategies so you can type either the popular code for an airport or the full name of the airport for instance, and the device begins its search. This proves to be fantastic when you’re not sure of the exact spelling. Below the search bar, you can find autofill options. You can even program your home address or save destinations for quick retrieval in the future.
Other versatile enhancing features include Bluetooth hands-free telephone capability, an FM transmitter, a trip computer, MP3 player, lane change assistance/ guidance, local gas prices, weather and others. Check out if the apps come with a subscription fee or not.
Top 5 products
Garmin nuvi 65LMT
In spite of the fact that it is one of the most affordable alternatives available for sale these days, the Garmin nuvi 65LMT has garnered the widespread appreciation of many US buyers.
Its functionalities are excellent, and the fact that it comes with a large display is a reassuring detail as you’ll be able to glance at the info from the corner of your eye. Some people go as far as saying that this product is the best GPS in 2017 because some of its features come in handy when you’re driving for a long time.
Packed with Lane Assist with Junction View and Garmin Real Voice, this navigating system can give you a hand when it comes to reaching your destination both comfortably and in a timely fashion.
What’s more, the Garmin nuvi 65LMT is equipped with zone warnings and a series of points of interest that you can utilize to have lunch or take a break from driving.Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!
Garmin Nuvi 57LM
Albeit a rather basic option when compared to the plethora of cutting-edge options that can be found on the market today, the Garmin Nuvi 57LM is usually thought of as the best GPS for the money.
For one, it typically costs less than one hundred and fifty dollars, which is why you won’t have to ruin your entire budget to purchase it. Available both in 5-in and 6-in sizes, this product can be of assistance when transiting through states that you’re less accustomed to.
Prospective buyers can choose the base model, one that comes with lifetime maps or another that includes both lifetime maps and traffic.
As is the case with the previously showcased model, this one comes with Garmin Real Directions, which means that you won’t be forced to have a look at the unit every time you’re trying to find your way around the area.
It’s important to note that the Nuvi 57LM is also compatible with a backup camera that can be purchased separately.Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!
Garmin nuvi 2497LMT
If you have no trouble utilizing navigational systems of which the display is on the smaller side, you’re more than free to give a chance to this model.
In spite of the fact that its screen measures just 4.3 inches, it’s perfectly capable of doing what it is supposed to, which in this case means that it will help you travel safely and efficiently through the United States, Canada, Mexico, as well as Puerto Rico.
The dual-orientation display of this option can mean the world for a driver who has no idea which lane he or she should choose. Besides, this unit includes a myriad of useful features such as Active Lane Guidance and Real Directions with Real Voice.
Some buyers point out that activating Exit Services is a piece of cake and this way you’ll be able to select the type you require, whether it’s a restaurant or a gas station. This navigator has gathered some of the best GPS reviews in 2017, with many buyers praising its capabilities.Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!
Magellan RoadMate 5320-LM
If you have been trying to discover a financially accessible alternative that’s worth its weight in gold, perhaps it’s just the right time to consider the Magellan RoadMate 5320-LM. Based on the info that we have come across, this model can be bought for less than seventy dollars, which is an incredible price point for the functions it comes with.
One of the core advantages offered by the 5320-LM consists of the fact that it is equipped with free lifetime map updates, which automatically eliminates the cost of having to purchase additional ones.
With close to seven million points of interest, you’ll be able to utilize the parking spots, gas stations, and many coffee shops included in the memory of the device.
What’s more, the Junction View feature can actively guide you so that you’re perfectly capable of selecting the correct lane. This Magellan model is backed by a 90-day warranty as it is a refurbished product.Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!
TomTom VIA 1505M
The TomTom VIA 1505M is yet another budget-friendly option that speaks to the needs of people who don’t have the finances to make any lavish expenses.
While some argue that the way the data is displayed on the screen of this navigator is less realistic, we’ve noticed that most of the individuals who utilize this product on a regular basis seem to have nothing but good things to say about it.
With the help of the TomTom VIA 1505M, you’ll be able to drive your way through the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Additionally, it should be noted that what you pay is what you get with this GPS as you won’t be forced to purchase additional map updates. This device includes free lifetime ones.
A car charger, adhesive disk, and integrated mount are all part of the deal with this model. A USB cable can also be found in the box, and you can safely use it to download updates from the manufacturer’s website.Buy from Amazon.com for: See the Price!
The best GPS brands
With 11,400 associates scattered in 50 offices around the globe, Garmin has tirelessly upheld a solid business concept by creating groundbreaking superior products heavily used in marine, aviation, automotive, sports and outdoors industries. Thus, the company has become deeply entrenched in its customers’ lives. Pursuing global leadership in every market it serves, Garmin and its products, which include the best GPS navigation 2017, are geared towards superior quality, compelling design and unbeatable value for money.
Building a robust foundation of integrity, honesty and respect for customers, business partners and associates, the company has dedicated all its efforts to serving the needs of fellow associates and customers by delivering on promises and ensuring consistently excellent performance.
A globally recognized provider of navigation products, the firm is committed to the manufacture of tested and proven products for the fitness, outdoor, marine, aviation and automotive industries using a vertical integration business model. To maintain control over timelines, the company executes in-house design, manufacturing, marketing and warehouse processes.
Widely recognized as the manufacturer of the best GPS device 2017 for vehicles, sports and outdoors, Magellan is a GPS navigation consumer electronics company that has maintained its leadership in the manufacture of portable handheld GPS devices. Founded in 1986, the firm now holds 200 key patents in GPS technology to its name. An acknowledged industry leader and innovator, Magellan created top rating products including the eXplorist® outdoor and the Magellan Triton® navigation devices, which have been the bases for the creation of many other competing products on the market.
Magellan also came out with revolutionary mobile GPS solutions such as the RoadMate App for iPhone and Premium Car Kit accessory. Otherwise known as the MiTAC Digital Corporation, Magellan promotes and markets products and services as a wholly-owned subsidiary of MiTAC International Corporation. The company maintains its headquarters in Santa Clara, CA.
Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Taiwan, MiTAC International Corporation (MIC) is a global technology innovator and manufacturer with more than 10,000 employees throughout the world located in the US, UK, Belgium, China and Japan.
At TomTom, it’s all about helping people move about using nothing less than the best GPS 2017. Empowering people to make smarter decisions, TomTom designs and creates state-of-the-art products that enable people to move about easily and pursue their everyday goals in the process. A global leader in mapping and navigation products, TomTom manufactures cutting edge fleet management solutions, GPS sports watches and class-leading location-geared products.
The company is powered by four customer-oriented business units. The Consumer arm is into the creation of groundbreaking products that enable easy access to vital information for decision making. The unit is responsible for the manufacture of portable navigation devices (PND) that help drivers reach their destinations safely, quickly and easily. The sports watch category is an offshoot of this business unit.
The Automotive business arm develops maps, traffic and software designed for car manufacturing. The Licensing business optimizes TomTom’s world-class traffic, map and navigation and content services for developer-intended cloud-based products. TomTom Telematics is the business arm focused on fleet management, connected car services and vehicle telematics.
When you look at the products featured in GPS reviews 2017, a Rand McNally unit is sure to be included. Rand McNally focuses on navigation, maps, road travel and trip planning. Since its founding in 1856, it has been able to design and develop products and services geared towards consumer use, trucking and commercial transportation applications, and education purposes.
The company’s roster of product and service offerings include printed maps and atlases such as America’s #1 Road Atlas, a revolutionary geography-based online subscription service for schools, and the IntelliRoute® truck routing software and GPS devices.
Rand McNally collaborated with USA Today to launch Best of the Road® in 2011, which is focused on finding the Best Small Towns in America. The first navigation device engineered specifically for RVers was the Rand McNally TripMaker® RVND™. For RV type customized use, routing, side turn preferences and on-the-fly references to the Rand McNally Road Atlas, the firm introduced the RVND 5510 and 7710.
Frequent questions about GPS units
How do GPS units work?
A GPS unit relies on a network of about 30 satellites orbiting the planet at an altitude of 20,000 kilometers. No matter what point you are on the earth, there are at least four ‘visible’ satellites at a time. Each one of those four satellites sends signals at regular intervals on its position along with the current time.
Travelling at the speed of light, the signals are transmitted to your GPS receiver, which is geared to calculate the distance of each satellite based on the length of time it takes for the signal to be transmitted to the receiver. The GPS receiver is able to pinpoint your location via trilateration based on the information received on the distance of at least three satellites from your location.
When did GPS units come out?
Originally developed by the US government for military navigation, the global positioning system all began with the small Russian satellite called Sputnik. The satellite was an image of the major defeat of the US during the Cold war, but it ended up being the catalyst for one of the most essential technologies to be veloped in the 20th century or maybe even the 21st century.
On October 4, 1957, the MIT scientists noticed how the transmission of radio signals by the Sputnik increased in frequency as it approached the earth, and decreased accordingly as it drew farther away. Because satellites could be tracked from the ground through the measurement of the frequency of their emitted radio signals, it logically signified that the location of the receivers on the ground could also be tracked based on their distance from the satellites.
The US military launched the first satellite of a projected GPS system composed of 24 satellites in all called the NAVSTAR. a total of 31 GPS satellites now orbit the earth twice a day.
Does GPS work everywhere?
In theoretical terms, GPS receivers can work anywhere on the planet. However, only in the countries that have map data available on GPS devices can the units be truly functional. This enables the GPS devices to give you an exact location of where you are on the planet instead of just giving you virtually unusable raw data with just longitude and latitude coordinates.
Frequent international travelers who also rent cars in the places they take trips to should consider using a GPS to help them move around in unfamiliar cities since GPS works anywhere. Map data is not that easy to get, though. A GPS is especially helpful when you have to drive on the other side of the road and will not easily be able to navigate and juggle a map at the same time.
Will GPS work without cell signal?
You will not need a cell signal if your device already has maps preloaded on it. Some cellular phones come with proprietary navigation software with preloaded maps, eliminating the need for an active data connection. The use of Google Maps will require data connection. Phones that use Android GPS enable apps to obtain location and to navigate.
A handheld outdoor GPS can be replaced with the right apps. A lot of smartphones are Android units that use Assisted GPS (aGPS), which enables them to calculate satellite positions using the network so a location can be obtained quickly. However, Android phones have an actual GPS chip on them, which can obtain location from GPS satellites. This enables you to get a fix on your location but only at a slower pace, taking anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes instead of only ten seconds.
How does GPS navigation work?
Satellite navigation systems such as GPS generally work in the same way. There are three segments that contribute to how they work: the network of satellites, a control station on an unspecified location on the planet, and the receiver you have with you. Each of the satellites constantly sends out a radio wave signal toward the earth. The receiver is attuned to those signals and once it picks up signals from 3 or 4 different satellite sources, it can calculate your exact location or even the altitude you are at.
The satellites are at fixed points in space while the signals, which are radio waves, travel at the speed of light. Every signal contains information on the satellite source from which it came along with a timestamp indicating when the signal was beamed from the satellite. Your receiver computes how long it takes for each signal to reach it and the distance travelled by the signal or the distance between it and the satellite source. The receiver can then figure out its exact location based on three or four signals.
Which GPS should I buy?
The competition from GPS-equipped smartphones has contributed to the consistently decreasing cost of GPS device acquisition. It has also paved the way for the development of standalone GPS models that can do a lot more than help you navigate your way around while being priced a lot lower than it was the year before.
The primary considerations include the most basic aspects namely, screen size, preloaded maps and points of interest. A decent screen size is 5 inches, and some models come not just with built-in maps for the US but also Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Every GPS device is equipped with an integrated points-of-interest (POI) database, but the size can vary across devices.
Which GPS is best for car journeys?
Car owners and international travelers who rent cars need the best car GPS to help them get around easily, especially in unfamiliar territory. They want their GPS unit to boast an intuitive and easy-to-use driving interface. The information presented on the maps and on periphery data that includes street names, points of interest, trip data and more, should be highly reliable and useful. The automatic zoom should work precisely and smoothly.
A GPS unit should also be budget friendly without compromising on performance. It should have a capacitive display, preferably multitouch. There should be lifetime access to map updates and traffic data. High-end models even include non-basic features like a backup camera, Bluetooth speakerphone or dash cam.
When did GPS become available to the public?
It was the US Department of National Defense that first developed satellite-based GPS technology for military use. The first satellite-based system was launched as early as 1960, and by the early 1980s, there were more precise and refined versions using multiple satellites for general military purposes.
That being said, precision GPS navigation wasn’t accessible to the public until 2000. There had been GPS devices made available for consumer use since the early 1980s but the military made sure that their own version was the only one that could be used with 100 percent precision by introducing interference to signals received by devices for public use.
In 2000, President Clinton signed a bill after four years of deliberations. The bill mandated the military to cease making satellite signal interference to GPS devices for civilian use, opening a larger, consumer electronics-based industry on GPS navigation.
Can GPS be used indoors?
It is not possible to get 100% accurate and useful data on an exact location even with today’s more sensitive GPS chips that are able to get a fix indoors or inside a building. Roofs, walls and other objects make it hard to obtain smooth, unmitigated signals. In addition, the range of error can be more expansive than the indoor space itself.
Moving at a frequency that is unable to move easily through solid objects, GPS signals are transmitted via radio wave. The GPS device receives signal transmission from satellites that are not able to penetrate all types of barriers that easily. Thus, when used indoors, the GPS unit encounters different potential interference sources and physical barriers that can make accurate location finding quite difficult.
There has to be a clear line of sight to the sky, little to no interference from other UHF signals, and no thick, solid materials to block GPS signals (glass is okay, so you may need to stand near windows).
Which GPS is best for hiking?
GPS-enabled watches and smartphones have easily eaten up on what used to be the lion’s share on the market enjoyed by handheld GPS units. Having said that, we still believe handheld GPS devices offer more benefits than their smartphone and GPS watches counterparts in terms of durability, battery life, and resilience against water and shock.
Recreational hikers need nothing else than their smartphones to find their way but avid adventure hikers who love taking long hiking trips on difficult terrain need the confidence of having a hiking-oriented GPS device that can show a usable map onscreen, which no GPS-enabled watch can hope to match. You want the GPS unit to boast a solid, waterproof construction, an extended battery life of at least 10 hours, a decent size display, and as little weight as possible.
How to set up a car GPS for the first time
To be able to optimize your GPS device and travel more safely, you will have to familiarize yourself with the unit as much as you can. Make sure you know how to mount and dismount the device from its bracket. You can install the GPS antenna inside or outside the car, but make sure the antenna is set up in an area without any metal frame or structure over it, such as insulate tinting that can weaken signal intensity.
The supplied power cord plugs into the car’s power port. There may be a USB cable for PC connectivity. Models with integrated traffic tracking and avoidance features may even ship with a separate traffic receiver. Plenty of units ship with an instructional CD and software for GPS and PC and online updates and services. On first powering up your GPS, you will likely need to set the device to your local time zone, along with being prompted to avail of password protection or not.
Thoroughly familiarize yourself with the menu system of your device before attempting to drive with it. Always have the quick start guide with you as you learn the device features. Make sure the home button works so you can always get directed to your home anywhere you are. Know how to input destinations, switch from day to night modes, and lower and raise speaker volume. When walking or taking public transport, take the unit with you.