Among the most common GPS systems currently on the market are the Sat-Nav systems, mobile phone GPS systems and Sport GPS units. These GPS systems can give you directions to a particular point of interest like a beach or a trail, or can be used by hikers to determine their current location.
Street Navigation Systems
The Street Navigation System or Sat-Nav System is found in automobiles and is used to tell drivers where they are and guide you to desired locations. Some of these systems give turn-by-turn directions, telling the driver what street to turn down and when. They are capable of telling you mileage, estimated time of arrival and even pointing you to the nearest gas station or convenience store to top up or grab some food and water after a long hike in the woods. Many even come with an add-on traffic feature, which is useful for avoiding congestion.
Sports GPS Systems
Sports GPS systems are used by hikers, paddlers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts. These types of GPS systems come either in a handheld device or a device that goes on the wrist like a watch. Sports GPS systems can have a variety of features such as "waypoints," the coordinates that mark points of interest along the way such as trailheads and altimeters, which show altitude. Although all handheld GPS units can be used for geocaching, some allow users the ability to download geocache coordinates directly into their GPS unit via their home computer.
GPS Mobile Phones
All mobile phones have GPS tracking ability, which is used in 911 emergency calls and can track calls to within 100 meters. However, some phones, such as those made by Motorola, offer the ability for GPS phones to be tracked by other users. This type of tracking is popular for employers wanting to keep track of employees and is limited to those with computer access but it can be helpful in finding a lost hiker. Many mobile phone companies also offer GPS navigation service on certain models of phones. These can be very similar to Street Navigation Systems, except that they rely heavily on accessing network cell phone towers, meaning that if you are out of range of a cell phone tower, you will be unable to use these functions.
Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen
Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.