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Different types of GPS receivers


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There are different types of GPS receivers. Before deciding which receiver to buy, you might consider a quick read of the following. This could eventually change your decision.


Type 1: Not-self-contained receivers (without screen), also known as RS232 receivers or also GPS mice. This type needs a computer (often a Pocket-PC or Palm PDA) and according program in order to visualize the actual position of the GPS receiver. The link between the GPS and the computer can be wireless (Bluetooth), by means of a cable or via a card-slot or sleeve. This type is often used for car-navigation systems with moving map on the computer screen and for golf GPS systems


Type 2 : Self-contained receivers (with screen). Here the computer is integrated in the GPS receiver. We have to distinguish between non-mapping devices (often handheld) and mapping devices which can be handheld or mounted in boat, car or plane (often with external antenna). This type sometimes has extra features as a barometer/altimeter, an electronic compass or even a radio transmitter/receiver.

If your primary use will be in boating or aviation, you should look for a receiver for those particular fields, as they offer you some extra features and readings that will be missing on general purpose models. On the other hand will a good handheld marine GPS receiver serve you perfectly on land.


Type 3: The more sophisticated receivers for professional use in agriculture, mapping and GIS, military, oil and gas, public safety, survey etc. The principle of these receivers is the same as the above, but they often use extra receivers and special antennas for higher accuracy and can often store an enormous amount of in the field collected data, which can be treated later in the office.


Type 4: Dedicated single-purpose GPS systems as there are the car GPS systems with a build-in GPS receiver, using maps from the device manufacturer. Very useful for this purpose, especially because you can take the system from one vehicle to another without hassle. So you can even use it in a rented car or Jeep, during your holidays, contrary to the fixed in-vehicle GPS systems. You can only use maps of the device manufacturer and you can not upload your own maps


Type 5: Very special applications, using GPS, as there are vehicle tracking systems and child-locator devices. Both use a GPS-chip to measure their location and some form of wireless phone system to communicate this information over great distances, eventually via Internet.


Type 6: Phones with incorporated GPS receiver. They could already be used for in-car navigation with street maps coming in through the air.

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