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    What are the benefits of a hand held GPS device?

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    Since the 1980s, GPS, or Global Positioning System, devices have been available to the general public. The most prevalent usage for GPS gadgets is to assist drivers in navigating the city. Detailed road maps that come preloaded on GPS devices have made it practically impossible to go lost and have become a beacon of hope for those with poor navigational skills. With the availability of marine, trail, and topographic maps, handheld GPS systems quickly became a source of entertainment for adventurers and a valuable safety gear for outdoor enthusiasts.

    You can now select a GPS cell phone or a normal handheld device that does not contain a phone from any of the main GPS system manufacturers. In general, they are more robust and durable than the ones you would purchase for your automobile, but they operate similarly.

    A portable GPS being held with trees on the background

    What is a Portable GPS?

    A handheld GPS is a gadget that employs the Global Positioning System and combines advanced geographic technology with a portable, user-friendly device for daily usage. The handheld GPS, which was introduced in the late 1990s, offers various purposes, including navigation help and land-survey data. Some models may include information about geographical areas, such as national and historic landmarks. Outdoor enthusiasts frequently use the device to pinpoint the coordinates of a certain spot for future reference.

    Since its introduction, the popularity of the portable GPS has increased, forcing cellular phone providers such as Sprint® and Verizon® to offer mobile phones with global positioning capabilities. As consumer demand increases and newer, more advanced models of the devices are released, the inclusion of GPS capabilities in mobile phones has become widespread. A few of the features of the device are full-color displays, 3D maps, and user-friendly interfaces. Even one’s own residence can be viewed using satellite images.

    GPS units have also been incorporated into on-board vehicle attachments. In addition to performing normal GPS operations, these devices feature integrated road map software that assists drivers in locating their destination with ease. By inputting the current and destination addresses, these GPS devices will voice the directions aloud and inform the user when they are nearing a turn or diversion. These devices have supplanted the route atlas for many drivers due to their convenience, accuracy, and usability.

    Selecting Your Portable GPS

    Before venturing away from cell service, you must select the ideal handheld GPS gadget for your requirements. To accomplish this, there are several factors to consider. Consider the following features when searching for the ideal portable GPS.

    1. Interface

    When searching for the ideal GPS, you must evaluate how you intend to interact with the device. Touchscreen choices are ubiquitous, although they may not function as well in rainy situations or when gloves are worn. Consider these factors while selecting a device so that you can use it as effortlessly as possible.

    2. Device Size

    Those who intend to venture into the outdoors typically desire something quite compact. It must be easily transportable without becoming excessively bulky. However, you should also consider a gadget that is large enough for you to read with relative ease. If you have problems seeing what’s happening on the device’s screen, it will be difficult to navigate anyplace.

    A person using GPS map phone

    3. Extra Features

    Many GPS gadgets offer additional functionality that you may desire. These include the ability to share your whereabouts with friends and family, receiving notifications via SMS or email, and SOS alternatives such as the ability to call search and rescue monitoring centers. These are excellent options for those that prioritize safety.

    What are the Advantages of Using Portable GPS Units?

    Handheld GPS Devices are comparable to the compass of the present day, except that they do much more than point the way. Here are a few of the numerous advantages of utilizing a Handheld GPS Device.

    1. Digital map for accurate navigation

    Any activity that leads to unfamiliar locations necessitates the use of a device that indicates where you are and whether you are travelling in the correct direction. Having real-time information on where you are and how far you are from your destination makes navigation a breeze. This helps you avoid running in circles and becoming lost in the bush, while also allowing you to save time by knowing the most effective route.

    2. Keeps track of your routes and past locations

    Handheld GPS Devices store all data pertinent to your travel movements, meaning they are fully aware of where you’ve been by keeping a real-time record of your prior locations, the time, and your distance from them. This will help you prevent getting lost throughout your trips. Simply going through your prior locations makes it simple to regain your bearings.

    3. Identify your locations

    This feature of a Handheld GPS is analogous to having a digital bookmark for locations you wish to remember. Whether you intend to return to a marked region or for any other purpose, the ability to mark locations is extremely useful for navigation. This function can be used judiciously, for instance, by noting sites with limited visibility or restricted zones every time you pass through them, so you will be aware of them the next time you cross them. However, you have complete control over how you utilize this function for the optimal experience.

    4. Weather predictions

    Weather forecasts are essential for travel, especially for marines, which is why Handheld GPS has an integrated weather forecast system so that any user may anticipate the weather and determine if it’s a good time to travel. Temperature and various altitude calculations have made this functionality possible.

    A man holding a GPS with data on it.

    How to use a portable GPS?

    1. Study Features Prior to Travel

    Before using a portable GPS, you must understand that it is not meant to replace a map, but rather to supplement it. Because it must connect to at least four satellites before providing a reading, you should not rely solely on a GPS for navigation. If you have a weak signal or frequently lose service, you run the danger of receiving erroneous information, which might lead to you becoming extremely lost.

    2. Coordinates are Complicated!

    It is not difficult to read coordinates, but it is helpful to have a basic understanding of them. Do you recall studying about longitude and latitude in the sixth grade? Whatever techniques your social studies instructor taught you to recall this material could be really valuable at this time. So, strain your mind.

    Once you have a better understanding of coordinates, you should learn how a GPS uses them. Essentially, the GPS inserts a set of coordinates on a grid to determine your location based on its north/south and east/west relative position.

    It is! Now that you understand how your GPS uses coordinates, learn how it DISPLAYS them on the screen.

    • DMS (Degrees, minutes, seconds) (Degrees, minutes, seconds). This is the normal format for expressing longitude and latitude, and it indicates the point’s distance in degrees, minutes, and seconds from the equator and prime meridian.
    • DDM (Degree, decimal, minutes) (Degree, decimal, minutes). This is identical to DMS except that the “seconds” portion is converted to a decimal and added to the minutes.
    • UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) (Universal Transverse Mercator) This employs a grid instead of longitude and latitude, with each line representing a place 1,000 meters apart.

    To summarize

    A handheld GPS can be an extremely valuable tool, but only if you know how to choose the proper one and use it effectively. The good news is that learning how to use a GPS correctly does not take too much time. You will quickly be able to navigate and communicate as necessary. 

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