Best Uses of GPS Receivers
Best Uses of GPS Receivers

GPS receivers are manufactured for both consumer and commercial applications.  Engineers, surveyors, and aviation manufactures use special application equipment.  There are also special product lines for marine use.  They include sonar and other features specifically for boating.  This guide primarily focuses on consumer and recreational use gear.

First the good news, a GPS receiver will most likely be the most useful and practical electronic gadget purchase you’ll make.  The bad news is that like any other form of electronics, there are many options and prices.  Buying the wrong equipment will be a disappointing endeavor of wasted time and money. 

The most common GSP related question is, Which one is the best to use? This question is usually followed with the statement, Should I get one of the neat hand held units or just buy software for my laptop? Our scientific response is, Well it depends. The question must be followed with a question, What are you going to use it for? It’s difficult to read a small hand-held screen while racing down a bumpy dirt road, as it is to take a laptop computer on a hiking trip. 

You’ll need to know the basics before knowing exactly what equipment to buy. First we will introduce the basic features available to help determine what features will be important for your application. Then provide a list of major brand manufacturers. We group GPS receivers into three different categories. Each category will include the benefits, applications, and brand name models available. Read on to help determine what equipment best fits your application and price range.

Recreational uses of GPS Receivers-

Answering the question of what the different types of GPS devices for children is used for and what types of activities will find them a good and reliable means of getting to where you want to go?

For people of all ages, the answer is simple. For kids: any type of GPS device that contains a receiver and a GPS to locate a receiver and then use this to set your GPS transmitter to point to your specific location.

The type you choose will depend on a number of variables but the main ones would be:

  • The size of your receiver (not to be confused with the receiver size)
  • The GPS you have (again this is only for the receiver)
  • The strength of your GPS signal (GPS units with better signal strength usually have higher sensitivity and can make good receivers)
  • The type of GPS you need or want (eg: if you have a GPS that has 3G coverage or a stronger 6G connection, then you don’t need to purchase a separate satellite navigation unit. This is the same is the case if you have a Bluetooth GPS receiver with a higher strength than the typical unit).

Children that would generally like to use this equipment for the most part of their life and the majority of devices are not only not necessary at this point in life, but they even have a chance at being unnecessary if something happens to your GPS unit (battery failure, theft, damage to this unit, etc.). This may come as somewhat of a shock to parents but is very true: the longer these devices are kept unused, the more harm they can cause.

You will have noticed that some children love using all types of devices to get to where they want to go. It is generally the case at this age that children can identify and pick the device that works best for them

GPS boosts productivity

GPS boosts productivity, accuracy, and overall performance of a vehicle

A GPS receiver is an important but costly part of a vehicle, just like the rest of the car. For this purpose, there is a need for a GPS receiver to be the most reliable model and one of the top performers in terms of overall performance.

GPS units have one of the highest customer satisfaction rates compared to other navigation systems, mostly due to their high performance and their ease of use. They are also affordable to all types of vehicles, either entry or used, and offer a competitive price to their competitors.

The GPS Receivers that are in the market today are divided into two types, depending on the manufacturer. First, there are the ones that use satellite signals for navigation purposes. The satellites themselves are a source of information used for calculating the routes used by our vehicles. These are commonly known as global or satellite positioning system receivers. The other type is the ones that do not use satellites but use compasses for navigation purposes. While the latter model has certain advantages over the former, both can be used in the same vehicle simultaneously.

When a GPS receiver uses satellite signals to determine its location, it gets this information from a particular constellation that orbits the planet all the time, but when the compass that a GPS receiver uses as its primary reference source is used, it gets this information automatically, without the need for any further equipment. Now, even if you do have another receiver in your cars, such as a conventional VHF or amateur radio receiver on your dashboard that does not use satellite signals for navigation purposes, you will still be able to use both your GPS receiver when it uses the compass and vice versa.

So what exactly is a GPS receiver used for? This depends on the type of car you are driving, and there is a strong requirement that you check these details

GPS Receivers

GPS receivers make use of global positioning system (GPS) technology, which was invented by the U.S. company Qualcomm (in 1971), in order to give precise information about your location every second. By connecting with a GPS antenna, which comes from the earth itself or a GPS satellite, GPS receivers can accurately find out the exact time and location of the receiver’s current location, for example.

GPS technology has been implemented in various products like cars, smartphones, mobile devices, and GPS receivers. But this technology has become so popular with the advancement of technology that even companies are now using it in developing new products for their products. GPS Receivers are becoming so common so that you can make your life easier and more convenient.

These receivers are extremely useful when you’re buying or making any type of product with a GPS feature or when it involves a GPS function during the process of tracking your location. They also come in handy to find the exact location of an object or device after you have misplaced it.

They are also helpful when you want to receive the weather forecast or know the exact location of a gas station. You might even prefer using these GPS receivers as a replacement in the microwave oven so that you can get the exact location of the oven.

GPS Receivers are very helpful when you are planning to purchase a new device, like a cell phone. These smartphones have more features than their old ones used to have, so it is more difficult to figure out exactly which features are the important ones. They also come in handy when you are trying to find out the accurate location where you will be able to buy the cell phone.

The world and their technical know-how to make any situation so much easier. They do it with the help of these GPS receivers. These are the best electronic devices for the planet which.


Like most modern electrons, GPS receivers are packed with features and options, more than many us will ever use.  Understanding the features available will allow a more informed purchase, as well as provide the opportunity to use the equipment to its fullest potential.  Fortunately the modern receivers share many of the same features, and are consistent in accuracy, regardless of price.  The following is a list of the typical, optional, and required features.  Review this checklist before you buy.Typical features of any modern GPS receiver


Reports of accuracy vary greatly. With Selective Availability (the US Government’s scramble mode) shut off, the average accuracy anywhere in the world should be within approximately 5 to 15 meters.  Accuracy seems to be consistent in most receivers, (assuming the antenna has a clear view of the sky), regardless of the style or cost.


An alarm notifies the user of an approaching waypoint.  Text Alarms flash a message on the screen.  Audible alarms sound a tone.


The options available are built in, detachable or external. The antenna option is important because it is a determining factor on how the equipment will be used. Receivers with built in antennas are more durable for hiking, but are somewhat restricted in their use. Detachable antennas are ideal for receivers used in and out of vehicles.  External is for vehicle applications where equipment is mounted with no clear view of the sky.

Battery Duration:

Battery life is important for extended hikes with no other source of power. Receivers are rated for battery life duration for both continuous use and power saver modes.

Clock & Timer:  

Receivers provide precise atomic time in either a 12 or 24 hour display. Various timing features include date, time traveled and estimated time of arrival.

Compass Data:

Receivers provide a compass bearing if traveling over 10 MPH, as well as a compass bearing to next waypoint. They adjust the compass reading to account for magnetic declination. They also provide a pointer to help maintain a correct bearing. Some of the most recent units include a electronic compass which will provide direction while the receiver is stationary.

Computer Interface:

Input capable allows the unit to receive (upload) information from a computer.  Output capable allows the unit to send data (download) to a computer.  Most of the latest receivers allow data to be uploaded and downloaded.

Coordinates Displayed:

Most receivers provide the option to display mapping coordinates in multiple formats.  The primary two of interest are latitude/longitude and UTM, Universal Transverse Mercator.

Cursor Dialog Box:

Receivers with a rocker pad can scroll a cursor arrow on the map page. Data displayed in the dialog box includes the coordinates of the cursor’s location, as well as the distance from the current location.

Directional or DGPS Ready:

These receivers are capable of accepting radio signals which increases accuracy. This requires an additional radio beacon, and can provide accuracy to a few centimeters. Primarily used in marine applications.

Route Tracking:

A series of waypoints are organized in the form of a Route. Routes typically contain up to 30 waypoints, designed to guide to a destination. They can also be reversed to track back from the destination to the starting point. Unless otherwise stated, all of the receivers in this guide offer at least 20 routes.

Satellite Status Page:

Information includes the number of satellites being locked into with a signal strength bar for each.  They may also provide a battery strength indicator.

Track Log:

Plots a bread-crumb trail, a series of dots showing the area traveled.

Travel Data:

Includes distance and time to next waypoint, current speed, average speed, and trip odometer.

Water Resistance:

Receivers are rated for their resistance to water. Water-resistant usually means the equipment can be splashed or briefly dunked. Waterproof means the equipment can be submerged for a specific amount of time before damage occurs. Regardless of rating, use a zip lock bag anyway.


Specifically recorded locations stored within the receiver’s memory. Saved waypoints allow the return to exact locations. We recommend the ability to store a minimum of 200. Unless otherwise stated, all of the receivers in this guide offer the ability to store at least 500.

Optional Features

Electronic Base Map:  

More advanced receivers include a basemap stored within their memory. Basemaps include general information on cities, roadways and waterways. The maps are not highly detailed, but impressive considering they typically include such large geographical areas like North America or Europe.


Using a receiver without mapping emphasizes the requirement to read map coordinates. These mapless receivers provide map coordinates in typically latitude/longitude or UTM, Universal Transverse Mercator. These coordinates are useless to the user without the ability to understand how they correspond to a map.


Most receivers have a capacity to store additional point of interest and mapping information. Basic units without mapping have the ability to store waypoints and routes. Mapping units can accept additional mapping detail including topographical maps. Some models also have the capability of receiving memory cards for greater detail of cites, waterways, and other specific areas.

Required Feature

Parallel Channels:

Make sure the unit includes 12 Parallel Channels.  New units are equipped with this feature, however the first GPS receivers available were single channel.  Some of these older units have similar model numbers with marketing stating they can scan 12 satellites.  The older single channel equipment processes information much slower from each satellite through a single channel, one at a time.  This is not the same as a 12 Parallel unit that can process information from 12 satellites through 12 channels all at the same time.  Recently manufactured receivers including all of the units in this guide all feature 12 parallel channels.