The Global Positioning System (GPS) has made getting lost a thing of the past. With a GPS device, you can instantly find out not only where you are, but also get directions to your destination simply by entering some basic information. These systems can be installed in vehicles and can be enabled on cellular telephones, Smartphones and other handheld computing devices.
Because GPS is a satellite-based system, it operates unerringly at all times and in all weather conditions, no matter where on Earth you may find yourself. Its origins date back to 1973, and today, the system covers virtually every square inch of the planet's surface and is administered by the government of the United States.
All GPS devices are capable of revealing your current location and giving you directions to another, but some are better and more complete than others. Some of the factors to consider are accuracy, interface options, storage capabilities and weather resistance.
Accuracy is rarely a problem for the casual user, but if you have a specialized application in mind, you may want to invest in a GPS device with superior accuracy. Most are calibrated to be accurate to within about 15 meters, but if you need the functionality, you can get GPS devices that are accurate to within less than 1 meter of your target.
In terms of usability, interface options are very important for the everyday consumer to consider. The ease with which you can enter and receive information from the system can save you a lot of time and hassle when you're on the road in need of directions.
Simple GPS units do not offer much in the way of data storage. Thus, if you're on the road a lot and want to save directions to commonly visited destinations, it might be better for you to invest in a GPS device that offers better storage capabilities.
Finally, there is the question of ruggedness to consider. If you're going to mount your GPS device in your vehicle, then you won't need to worry much about its weather resistance or waterproof ratings. However, if you plan to use it outdoors during hiking, climbing, fishing, hunting or spelunking expeditions, you should certainly opt for a unit that can resist the elements.