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Which GPS system is best

GPS systems have revolutionized the process of getting lost and finding your way again.Never again will the stubborn man have to stop and ask for directions.Never again will the confused mother get lost on her way to soccer practice.GPS systems have changed the way people function.If you're in the market for a new GPS system, you may be overwhelmed with all the possibilities.How do you know which GPS system is best for you?

To those unfamiliar with GPS systems, GPS stands for "Global Positioning System."It's a worldwide radio-navigation system of 24 satellites and their ground stations on earth.The satellites are used as reference points for locations on earth.GPS devices triangulate the distance from three satellites for a position anywhere on the earth.It was developed by the US Department of Defense and is officially names NAVSTAR GPS.The 24 satellites are managed by the US Air Force.The cost of maintaining the system is over 700 million dollars per year, including the cost of replacing old satellites and new research and development.However, despite these costs, GPS is free for common use as a public service.Aside for navigation, GPS is also used for map making, land surveying, commerce, and scientific uses.It can also provide exact time measurements and is also used in the study of earthquakes and helps to synchronize telecommunications networks.

Pretty cool, eh?

Now, how do you know which GPS is best to buy?Well, first of all, there are two major ways to buy a GPS.The first is for your car.Many cars nowadays come with a GPS included.Usually, they replace a vehicle's radio/CD player and usually include a large LCD display, navigation system, AM/FM stereo, and a CD player.You might even find some with a DVD player included to watch movies on the LCD screen (for the benefit of your passengers, of course).The LCD screen folds into the interior of the unit when it is not being used.This type of GPS system is great for SUVs and RVs.These systems are moderately expensive, should be installed by professionals, and usually require installation of an outside antenna. These are not good for leased vehicles since vehicle modifications are not allowed.

The second major way to buy a GPS device is a portable device.These may include brands such as Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom.These brands have more flexibility in where and how you use it, the ability to exchange the unit from one car to another, may have more features, and are less expensive than a factory-installed built-in car unit.This is a great option if you often rent cars, drive a business car, trade cars often (with your spouse or co-worker).Most of these portable systems simply mount to a vehicle's window or dash board and are easy to take out when not being used.Most new devices have powerful satellite receivers and built-in GPS antennas, eliminating the need for an external antenna.

Finally, look for GPS devices that have good color displays and good lighting.A large screen is also a bonus, but will be more expensive as you get larger.Be sure you can easily see the screen from any angle.Your GPS should also include street maps.Some companies charge extra for street maps, but they can be invaluable when on a trip in a new city.Choose a GPS that will fit your traveling habits.For example, if you do a lot of distance driving, you may want your model to contain maps of the entire country.Otherwise, you can use a model that has an storage card to store maps and simply buy additional maps when you need them.

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