GPS navigation systems come in two general varieties. You can purchase handheld GPS systems or a vehicle with a built-in system. Today’s GPS systems do more than just offers spoken directions. They can be used for things like geocaching, vehicle tracking, geo-fencing, Internet access and wireless communications, traffic monitoring and more.
Many portable, electronic devices today have built-in GPS systems intended to expand their functionality. Cell phones, for instance, often have applications that allow you to use them as GPS systems. These won’t have the same amount of features as a dedicated GPS system but are often enough for the casual user.
Benefits of a Handheld GPS
A GPS comparison makes the benefits of a handheld unit clear. These portable GPS systems offer the best of both worlds because they can be carried with you and they can generally be mounted in a vehicle for road trips. Vehicles that have built-in systems are generally much more limited in their features and obviously can’t be taken with you.
Handheld GPS units are used today in a hobby that’s known as geocaching. Much like yesterday’s scavenger hunts, geocaching is the modern twist on treasure hunting. A portable GPS unit is required to play the game. A handheld GPS unit is also handy if you walk in a city or anywhere that you travel without a vehicle. You get the same quality directions and navigational help without the need for a car.
GPS Navigation System Add-Ons
Since GPS stands for Global Positioning System and uses satellites to get coordinate information, GPS units can be used around the world. Whether or not the GPS can actually give you directions as far as roads and the actual landscape depends on the maps available. You can download free and purchased maps from a variety of places including the GPS manufacturer. For instance, if you’re in the United States when you purchase a GPS Europe maps would be necessary to use it overseas.
A GPS antenna is another add-on that you might consider if you have trouble getting map and direction information from your GPS system. An antenna can help your receiver download the information more quickly in certain circumstances.