GPS stands for Global Positioning System and this is a tool for determining one's exact current location with the help of various satellites that are placed in the sky. The information relayed by these satellites can also be used to get directions to a particular destination, and it can also enable the individual using it to get a satellite view of the terrain and a live camera view of almost any location in the world.
The technology was first developed by the United States Department of Defense in 1973, and today it is available to almost every individual from all around the world. Smartphones, tablets, standalone GPS systems and computers are commonly fitted with GPS connectors today, so getting your hands on one is no difficult task at all. Ideally, the GPS receiver needs to communicate with at least 4 satellites in the sky to get a bearing of the four directions, and this is the fundamental concept that is used in GPS systems.
Standalone GPS systems can be attached inside vehicles as well, and many manufacturers provide this service when they sell a car. A GPS system that is inside a vehicle can be used for navigation purposes, and the impressive text-to-speech function actually gives voice directions for navigational needs. The result of all these is that almost everyone has easy access to GPS systems now, and this has proven handy for a large number of people.
Best GPS System Manufacturers
There are a few companies that top the list of GPS system brands, and these companies are Garmin, TomTom, Magellan and Navigon. Their GPS receivers are very popular amongst vehicle manufacturers, and they even provide handheld GPS systems for people who go camping and trekking and need directions. Smartphone manufacturers also provide GPS receivers in their handsets, and these receivers can be turned on or off with the touch of a button. Combining this system with the awesome Google Maps has given the common man access to unlimited features and assured productivity.
If you are looking for a standalone GPS system though, then Garmin should be the brand of your choice. Garmin is a Swiss company that was founded in 1989, and since then it has been providing buyers with the latest in cutting edge technology that fulfills their navigational needs. They have a long list of GPS systems that can be used in a variety of positions (underwater and even on a laptop, for instance) and they are to go-to name when OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) wish to incorporate GPS systems in their products as well.
Best GPS Systems Reviews
Finding the best GPS for the money is not a difficult task, thanks to the countless reviews that can be found online. Technology websites and forums regularly update their reviews sections when new GPS systems are released, and they always belong to the brands that are mentioned above. Here are some of the best GPS systems for various categories that are available in the market today.
Best GPS for Automobiles
The Garmin Nuvi 255W is universally accepted as the best vehicle GPS system that you can buy today, and this will cost you $299. The large 4.3" touchscreen makes the device a joy to use and very easy to understand. The standard features of text-to-speech and points of interest are available, and creating routes and getting information about one's current location is as simple and effective as it gets.
A SD card slot is also available, so storing information and past directions is not a problem either. The cradle for the GPS is rather large though, so it is best suited for use in an automobile only. The maps that are provided are updated as often as possible, and this is easily the GPS system that offers the most value for money in the market.
Best GPS for Smartphones
Top of the line smartphones like the Apple iPhone 4, the Samsung Nexus S and the Motorola Atrix offer GPS functionality as well. These are ideal for people who would like to get directions and maps no matter where they are, and the GPS receivers just take a few seconds to latch onto the correct position.
Maps are either provided by Google or other third party providers. Brands like Garmin also have GPS apps that are provided on these platforms and can be used by smartphone users from all around the world. The prices for such devices will solely depend on the nature of the smartphone itself, and the range for these prices is very large.
Some of the other features that these GPS systems provide are choices between the shortest and the fastest routes, 2D or 3D image rendering, large databases of maps and routes and the ability to provide additional information about various points of interest as well. GPS systems have changed the way the world fulfills its navigational and directional needs, and this is a revolutionary technology that is here to stay.