A Beginner’s Guide To GPS (Part 1)
A Beginner’s Guide To GPS Navigation (Part 1)
A To GPS
GPS is becoming a pretty common technology now, although they haven’t become truly accessible to all until the last few years. Here at Chinavasion GPS is becoming an increasingly poplar seller; especially since prices for our GPS and portable GPS devices are at an all-time low, with portable GPS starting at around just $67.00!
With a lot of interest comes a lot of questions, so in this beginner’s guide I’m going to attempt to answer as many as possible about what GPS devices actually do!
In this part let’s look at the functions of GPS devices. Read on to find out what these clever gadgets can do for you!
What Do I Need To Know About GPS Navigators?
A GPS or a Global Positioning System navigation device in a portable package is a valuable tool packed with a wide variety of functions to get you where you need to go, but how do they do it? Understanding the functions of GPS devices will really help when you’re deciding which to splash out on, but is a must if you’re planning on reselling them!
- WaypointWaypoints can be considered as landmarks set by the GPS navigation software. You can also mark certain spots along a route to help you remember a specific location such as a fork in the road, a building, a camp site, or any other location which you find useful for future visits to the place. You can name these waypoints according to your preference and add them to existing points already stored in your GPS unit.
Useful for: Hikers. Imagine you’re trekking through the forest and you want to be able to remember your way easily. You can set waypoints on your GPS as you hit specific landmarks such as a rocky outcrop, stream etc. Think of it as leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for yourself!
- Junction ImagingThis function shows the user an image of the next junction as you aproach which can help you to decide whether to take it or not. No more missed junctions and long detours!
- Lane AssistLane assist uses GPS technology to help guide drivers into the right lane or even alert them if they are not staying in lane by accident.
- Point of InterestCommercial and proprietary GPS software can have digitally recorded items called ‘Point of Interest’ that drivers or travelers may find interesting. These locations can also indicate areas that can be useful while travelling such as gas stations, toilets, hospitals, malls and tourist attractions.
Useful for: Holidaymakers and regular commuters. Even if you’re in an unfamiliar place, just a touch of a button will bring up all local points of interest, be they campsites, museums, hotels or filling stations.
- RouteOne of the most basic navigational functions of most, if not all GPS software is the route, which tells you the fastest, shortest and most convenient route to get to your intended destination. These route points are either pre-programmed into the GPS software, or assigned by the user themself.
- Intelligent Route PlanningMore advanced commercial GPS software and devices offer intelligent route planning features that can help you plan the best route from your starting point and multiple intended destinations. This feature considers sites that you’ll pass by, turnoffs, runarounds, and actual road conditions along your route which is often updated from live traffic information.
Useful for: Regular commuters, as with this function you can avoid traffic problems as they happen, because your GPS is being updated on the traffic ahead of you in real time!
- Voice GuidanceVoice guidance is your GPS unit literally talking to you and telling you where you are right at that very moment. The human-like voice can tell you important waypoints or points of interest according to your route, but is a safe function as you don’t need to keep looking at your GPS to know where you are. You can also change the ‘voice’ to suit your own taste. Darth Vader anyone?
- 3D ViewsAdvanced GPS software make use of at least four visible satellites to give you a three-dimensional view of your GPS position fix. Information that you’ll receive not only includes your coordinates, but your elevation as well.
- Bluetooth ConnectivitySome GPS devices offer wireless connectivity using Bluetooth technology to enable you to make hands-free phone calls on enabled GPS units.
Useful for: Anyone who needs to use the phone when driving as it you to be safe, legal and there’s no need to install a separate hands-free kit for your mobile phone.
- Wi-Fi ConnectivityPortable GPS devices can help you connect and get online access if they have WiFi connectivity. Consider this. Most GPS devices have a reasonably large touch screen display, so are easily as good web-browsers as smart phones and tablets, and are more portable than netbooks!
Useful for: Anyone who likes internet on the go.
- eBook ReaderYour GPS reader can go beyond its core function as a navigational device by doubling as an eBook reader, allowing you to read books and documents stored in pdf format. As mentioned, they have large, sharp screens and are portable; therefore they are ideal eBook readers.
Useful for: Anyone who likes reading, but doesn’t want to carry bulky books or eBook readers around.
- Media PlayerBored while driving or hiking? Your portable GPS device can help you pass the time through its media player function that allows you to play, view and listen to multimedia files stored in various formats such as MP4, WMA or AVI to name a few.
Useful for: Anyone who likes music and movies on the go (who doesn’t), but doesn’t want the hassle of carrying several devices all of the time.
- ActiveSynchWindows-based GPS software can have mobile data synchronization between your portable GPS device and your pc, allowing you to keep your tasks, calendars, emails and other data in sync.
Useful for: Busy salespeople or business people who are always in the car!
- GoTo FunctionThe GoTo function in portable GPS units tells your unit to show you how to get to another location aside from where you are right now. It can instruct the unit to show you directions on how to get somewhere you have been before by indicating a particular time or a particular landmark. This can be activated by pushing a single key or pointing at a touchscreen icon.
Useful for: Travellers who want to check other routes whilst they are already following one.
- Rearview Camera InputsSome portable GPS units have video inputs where an external camera can be installed. With accompanying software that allows the GPS display to switch from its GPS user interface and instead display the camera’s output feeds, you can use this as a rearview camera while driving. It’s like having a third eye behind your back, giving you added safety on the road as you try to locate your intended destination.
GPS In The House!
A lot of these functions sound expensive, and in brand name GPS that you would buy on the high street you would indeed pay a premium for do-it-all portable GPS that combine several devices into; but not from Chinavasion!
Here are the two price extremes of Chinavasion’s range of portable GPS that, despite being different sizes, have many of the features as described above, but both at insanely cheap prices!
- Edit icon layout to suit your needs
- Bluetooth, with phone book, messages etc
- Wallpaper select to customize your Road Nav
- Free 4GB Micro SD card included
- Touch sensitive screen, easy to use with your finger
- Comes with a stylus as well
- 3.5 mm audio out for your home stereo system
- Feels great in your hand, smooth, light and strong performance
- GPS navigator on the go, in the Car, even when you’re on holiday
- Fits neatly and comfortably in your pocket
- All of this for just $67.00!
- Convenient Handheld GPS Navigator + Mobile Phone + Internet all-in-one tech gadget
- Bluetooth enabled
- Built-in microphone and speaker
- 4.3 inch widescreen glare free touchscreen
- Watch movies, listen to music, read e-books
- Surf the internet
- Make phone calls and send SMS messages using any GSM SIM card (not included)
- Supports all of today’s popular GPS navigation software
- SMS self tracker function
- GPS Tracker via GPSGATE
- Compact and portable design
- WinCE 5.0 operating system
- High speed processor, 400 MHz
- USB host (support USB-Disk , USB-RS232, USB camera , USB keyboard)
- All of this for just $192.94!
Remember, GPS devices are so much more than just navigation tools now. They can take the place of MP4 players, bluetooth kits and even netbooks. So take a look at Chinavasion’s GPS category today to find your ideal travel partner or an awesome product to start reselling!
If you have any questions regarding GPS, please fell free to add a comment to this blog and we’ll see if we can help!
Remember to check out Part 2 of my Beginner’s Guide To GPS part 2 of my beginner’s guide to GPS for more information on GPS terms that it’s useful to know.