Last month I was out in the desert doing some hiking with a friend. We wanted to make sure we did not get lost and kept trying to remember different landmarks to map out the route we took. Even though we had a compass with us we wanted the added amount of security. It was at this time that I wondered how our ancestors did it. It was also at this same time that I decided to purchase a handheld GPS unit. If we had a handheld unit with us, we would have been able to see the route we were taking. Having a GPS unit would have provided a sense of security and a piece of mind. Using a handheld unit deftly takes the place of using a compass.
As technology continues to improve, the general public continues to reap the benefits. Handheld GPS units have been gaining popularity over the last decade. Global positioning systems were originally designed and developed by the United States Department of Defense. These systems were originally to be used for military purposes only. However, due to some unforeseen situations the government released this technology to the general public in the mid-1980s. GPS technology is made possible by utilizing the 24 to 32 satellites currently circling the earth. Twice a day the satellite will transmit a signal back to receivers on Earth. Once the GPS navigational receivers receive the triangulation signal, the system is able to calculate the exact position of the receiver.
While the technology involved in making GPS systems work sounds complicated. Actually, using a handheld GPS unit is extremely straightforward. All you need is a GPS receiver and a clear view of the sky. Once you have these items all you need to do is enter your destination into the GPS unit. The unit will provide the distance and the route on how to get from point A to point B. Your handheld unit will also be able to track how far you traveled, how long you have been traveling, your current speed, your average speed and an estimated time of arrival. You will be able to review this information in either a line format or in a map. The choice is yours to make. The best things about these GPS units are the number of options you have.
Brenda Fanning owns and manages various technology websites including http://www.StatusGPS.com
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