Every Wednesday, I will be posting a digest of GPS related topics that will keep you informed about the current GPS marketplace and activities. Most of you may think of a GPS as a lazy mans way of finding your way around town but a GPS can be more than that. I will try to enlighten you about how a GPS can improve your daily life and make the technology as simple to access as possible. GPS technology is one of those very expensive military projects that was turned into a free consumer service that we can all take advantage of. Read GPS Wednesdays to stay up to date on this exciting technology.
Types of GPS Units
There are a number of GPS types to be aware of. The two main categories are stand alone units and a Bluetooth or wired GPS unit designed to be used in conjunction with a PDA, phone or computer. Either way, a GPS unit is more than just a device to get you from point A to point B.
These are some of the uses for GPS systems.
1 - Points of interest location maps. A good GPS unit or a GPS program can inform you of any “points of interest” within the area you currently are located or another area you wish to be at. Then determine the best route to take to get there. http://www.gps-poi-us.com/
2 – Allows you to pinpoint the location of someone important when they have a GPS unit that you can connect to via an SMS message or via another service.
3 – You can play location based GPS games. http://www.gpsgames.org/
4 – Using a GPS to track the location of stars above your current location. GPS for Astronomy
Geocaching is a free activity that is great for the lungs, heart and the rest of your body. It’s a way of getting yourself outdoors to search for hidden treasure. When Geocache was first started, a little token of appreciation for finding the hidden box was your reward. You were to either leave the token item for the next person to find it or you take the item and replace it with another of equal or greater value. Nowdays Geocaching is just about having fun which is great activity for all ages. All you need is a stand alone GPS unit or a portable unit like a PDA or phone with a built in or external GPS unit. The basic idea is you are given waypoints which are the longitude and latitude of where a Geocache or treasure is hidden. Your task is to find the cache/treasure and record that you found it in the log book contained in the cache/treasure container.
This is a huge activity that involves thousands of hidden locations all over the world. You can go to www.geocaching.com and probably find a Geocache in your area. You will certainly discover fun areas around your home or town that you never paid much attention to all these years. Many enthusiasts even travel all over the world to Geocache. It’s one good way to discover the area you have never been to. Next time you are given the opportunity to purchase a GPS unit at a great price, consider Geocaching as one of the potential uses for the GPS.
Garmin GPS Units
Garmin has been one of the original pioneers of GPS technology. Garmin continues to design and manufacture innovative GPS units. You have not envisioned the potential benefits of GPS until you visit the Garmin website. Garmin manufactures a wide range of products with a built in GPS unit lke:
- A GPS for dogs.
- GPS to indicate traffic congestion.
- GPS with two way radios built in.
- GPS with range finders for golfers
- GPS units for extreme sports enthusiasts to track location and activity of your daily exercises.
Plus many other categories.
Toshiba TG01 Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro PDA
The Toshiba Windows Mobile PDA has a built in GOS unit that allows you to install all sorts of software that will take advantage of the GPS technology. The skies the limit to what you can do with any PDA based GPS system. The functionality is only limited by the application software installed. Yesterday I posted the TG01 as one of the interesting PDA devices in my weekly PDA Tuesdays posting. By allowing the GPS unit to interact with a given software program, you can always update the software program with up to date information like “points of interest” and new streets. you can even find games that utilize a GPS unit. One such game is called GPS MISSION which is a multi player game. Watch video below.
Hope you enjoyed a small glimps of what a GPS is all about. I will be posting this feature weekly and hope to bring you some more interesting tidbits of information from the GPS world.