Handheld Gps

Written by Norene Anderson
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The handheld GPS (global positioning system) receiver has the ability to determine your exact location on planet earth. There are 24 satellites orbiting 11,000 miles above the earth with atomic clocks in them to keep absolutely precise time. Most receivers can calculate your location to within forty-five feet. There are units that have WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) technology that narrows the location down to within ten feet.

When the handheld GPS is activated, it picks up radio signals from the GPS satellites. Each signal has certain information regarding the position of each satellite and contains the precise time the information was disbursed. The information is gathered from at least four satellites. A computer in the GPS takes the information and processes it to determine the location.

Features of a Handheld GPS

Many of the handheld GPS receivers have expandable mapping capabilities that make it great for many outdoor activities such as hiking or boating. There are also waterproof casings available to guard against damage that can be sustained with use around or in the water. There are units that allow you to mark as many as 250 places, give them a name, and find the shortest route to them just by entering the assigned name.

Some handheld receivers allow you to mark five hundred or more waypoints and then guides you back to the origin by retracing your steps or road. This is a vital safeguard for hikers, boaters, or travelers in unfamiliar territory. Some areas may require an external antennae for the best service.

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