GPS, Global Positioning System, is a technology that has been adapted from military applications to civilain needs. GPS helps the product user to locate their land location on a visual map, and associate their position to a variety of local highways, street intersections and landmarks.
The GPS product receives its coordinate positions from a number of satellites around the globe to the GPS antenna of the product. Today’s technology can offer up to 5-meter position accuracy, depending on the quality of the product purchased.
Some systems provide a highly accurate position and detailed information about the area you are traveling through. As the quality of the product increases, the level of detail and user friendliness also increases.
Superb GPS systems provide touch screen control, user friendly operation, and high resolution displays. You will find a very basic type of GPS advertised on TV, but these systems are very basic, and do not provide any detail at all, nor are major landmarks provided for references.
The very best GPS system available today is the Pioneer AVIC-N1, which offers over 12 million data references throughout the USA.
It is so well defined for information and ease of use, a driver could travel to nearly any location in the USA without ever using a map, and the AVIC-N1 would give you excellent voice and map guidance to within 5 meter accuracy.
You could call up a variety of businesses in the area you are traveling or along the trip route and the AVIC-N1 would provide street addresses, telephone #s, and detailed guidance to the location. The AVIC-N1 also provides DVD and CD capabilities in the same system, and XM Radio is optional. It provides 5 meter position accuracy, superb map definition and many features, that we have no room to describe here. See Pioneer AVIC-N1 page details for more information.
The mid-level GPS systems provide good detail, should not require installation; ie, they plug in and are ready to operate. We have taken a look at several companies such as Garmin and Magellan, which offer mid-level GPS products. We feel Garmin offers excellent features and operation over Magellan GPS and the 2610 definitely provides the most user-friendly operation.
The Garmin 2620 is the best of the mid-level GPS automotive products and offers excellent features, as well as touch screen control for easy customer interface. It does not offer DVD or CD capabilities, as does the AVIC-N1 discussed above. It provides 15-meter position accuracy and reasonable map defintion. See Garmin 2610 page details for more information.
For a totally portable GPS product, the Garmin GPSMAP 76CS is ideal. Although it does not offer voice guidance, it is very easy to use and can be used in your car, as well hiking, biking, camping. The CS60 is battery operated and can be used anywhere at anytime.
If you want to jump in your vehicle and drive into the mountains or country, the 76CS will get you there, and then allow you to hike to your location and provide excellent guidance to your desired location. It would be hard to get lost, but if you had a 76CS you could identify landmarks that would enable to find your way to a point of safety. It provides 100 meter position accuracy and basic map defintion.