Yes, now you can find the use of Global Positioning System in various ways including in your car, your watch, mobile phone, fleet, boat and various others. The primary aim is to find our exact location or calculate the location of an object and hence GPS becomes one of the prerequisite objects in our day-to-day life. Earlier though it was bit expensive but now it is affordable for average person and various technologies of GPS are available in the market. So, it becomes essential for everyone to choose the right one according to his/her needs. Lets look at some vital things that one should consider before buying a GPS unit.
Weight - The first thing that one should look is to find out his/her requirements or how is s/he is going to use the GPS. If you are going to hold it in hand or use it in foot, you have to choose one that is portable, lightweight, and waterproof with other features. However, you are going to use the GPS in your car or other vehicle then the weight does not hold that much of importance as its ability to display maps.
WAAS – The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) increases the accuracy of the GPS unit and provides accuracy within 10 feet. Outdoors activities requires accuracy within few meters but not that much importance for those who want a greater navigation while roaming in the vehicle in the town. Greater number of channels for reception assists in receiving signals in terrain areas.
Mapping Capability – For diagnostic work mapping capability is not important but you are planning to trip to some unknown areas then a good mapping software with all details of the area will be useful. This enables you to quickly find out your real-time location in that unfavorable area by using GPS. Also the unit should have enough memory to store details mapping data.
Battery Life – The longer battery life advocates fewer batteries to run the unit. A decent battery should operate up to 8 to 10 hrs and should also include a battery saver mode. That means one should not change the battery more than once per day.
Clear and backlight viewing screen – The screen should be large with picture clarity techniques. The picture or text should be easily visible in bright sunlight as well as nighttime. Color screen can be a little user friendly but at the same time that can raise the cost considerably.
Waterproof – Waterproof construction provides some level of protection to the GPS unit from any kind of weather hazards.
Hence, the basic features that a GPS should have are topographical mapping, computer interface, WAAS, 12-receiver channel, weatherproof cover etc. However, different application requires some special features like for driving, street mapping, a large display screen, an external antenna, computer interface are necessary while in case of boating marine mapping, color screen, weather proofing, back tracking are essential for excellent operation.