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Garmin Nuvi255

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GPS Navigation Systems

The GPS system uses satellite to pinpoint where a device is. In the early days they were used in warfare for guide missiles and tracking devices. They moved on to be used as safety instruments for boats and ships and then into our guys to help make our life easier. GPS are now becoming more common in mobile phones. Due to their popularity GPS systems are also one of the most stolen items in cars as they are easily detected and removed. The size of them means they are cumbersome to carry around but easy for a thief to remove and carry away in a bag.

When choosing a GPS device there are a few things you should look out for.

Features such as bluetooth enable your GPS device to act as a hands free car kit for your mobile phone. Meanwhlile, navigation is made easy and safe with features such as spoken street names and red light / fixed speed camera alerts.

GPS Systems can help you reach your destination without an address. Not having the address won't slow you down! Navigators are equipped with 1000's of pre-loaded points of interest. Restaurants, theme parks, sporting arenas, wineries, hospitals, bars, clubs and many more are preinstalled onto your navigator so finding where you need to go is no hassle. These places are also reguarly updated so the device you have is always up to date.

GPS Channels is the ability for the unit to connect to multiple satellites. With the increase in usage older GPS models that don't connect to multiple channels can find their unit not returning data in a sufficient time. If you are travelling at slow pace it may not matter as the device has time to try and connect to other satellites. However if you are travelling at 100 km plus then chances are the system may experience drop outs. The newer GPS models come with more channels so it can connect to a wider area. Similiar to the GSM triband mobile phones multi channel GPS systems will eliminate the drop outs.

Car GPS electronics come with preloaded speed and red light camera alerts for fixed areas. If you are saved from 2 fines, the GPS unit has already made its money back for you.

GPS systems come in compact sizes where you can wear on your wrist, these smaller modules also combine with body monitors for heart rate and blood pressure. The sports model allows runners to accurate measure the distance and time they have travelled without the need of additonal sensors and equipment. Also used for cyclists, rowers, kayakers and even snowboarders.

Other features include the ability to take photos and mark them as POI on the map which can be uploaded for others to see.

GPS systems are now becoming common accessories as part of cars. The OEM items are not up to standards that are provided by the leading navigator manufacturers, however they are integrated with the exisitng in car entertainment units. This saves space and makes the unit more secure.

GPS systems are facing increasing competition from smartphones. Most smartphones have built in gps recievers and default maps that are sufficient to get you from A to B. Additonal apps can be purchased for a fair price. Smartphone GPS is not as quick as dedicated models but they are fairly robust.