How to Use GPS

GPS devices uses four or more satellites to provide a reliable reading on the current position of the instrument. Learning how to use GPS is a nifty skill nowadays, considering that this technology is starting to become more common in our everyday lives such as in cars, dog collars, mobile phones and other forms of tracking devices. Here is a basic guideline on how to use GPS.

The first step in how to use GPS is moving to a position that can get you a satellite signal. Remember, a GPS device requires unobstructed line of sights to 4 or more GPS satellites for it to work properly. Therefore your GPS receiver will not work properly inside buildings as it blocks high frequency satellite transmissions. A good place to use GPS is in an open, level area with a full horizon.

Usually your GPS device has stored your geographical position when you set in which country you are located. Because of this it knows which satellites are above your local horizons. Then it will start to acquire satellite signal while displaying the signal strength. Once it acquires signals from three satellites, it will provide a rough calculation of your current latitude and longitude as well as the estimate of uncertainty. Eventually as it acquires more signals from other satellites, the readings will become more stable and it will display the altitude above the sea level.

The next step in how to use GPS after establishing your position is to move around with the device to follow a route. Depending on the how advanced the device that you are using is, it will display the real-time changes in information as you move with the device, such as the direction that you are moving or your current speed. In some GPS devices, a graphic representation of the route that you are moving in is displayed so that if you are lost, you can retrace your steps on go back on your initial point. More advanced GPS devices even allows you to set a goal point so that it will display the distance between the instrument and it, and your estimated time of arrival based on that distance and your rate of movement.

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