Essential Guides on How GPS Tracker Works
This article will state how to use GPS properly.
Most of us are aware that using satellite navigation to find our way around unfamiliar locations is a benefit of GPS technology.
Whether you’re driving or walking in a city, attempting to find your way to a theater or restaurant, satnavs are a wonderful invention. But for what other uses can GPS be useful? First, let’s find out how the technology works.
How Do GPS Trackers Work
GPS tracking systems use a method called ‘trilateration’ to determine their location. Not to be confused with triangulation, which measures angles. The tracker relies on global positioning satellites to pinpoint its exact location.
The GPS device on the ground, whether it’s a cell phone or satnav, picks up the signal from an earth-orbiting satellite.
The signal shows up on a monitoring system as a circular area, giving an approximation of its location. It’s way too large an area to be of any use. So the device locks on to a second satellite signal, which forms a second circular area.
That means there is now a common area between the two circles where the device is located. But that common area could cover miles and miles. So the tracker seeks another satellite signal, giving a third circular area.
Once there are three overlapping circles, the common ground reduces even further.
But the GPS device doesn’t stop there. It continues to pick up other satellite signals until they pinpoint its location within a square meter or so.
Given this level of accuracy, in what other ways could we use GPS trackers?
Trackers are monitored either with their own built-in display, a dedicated monitoring device, or a simple, smartphone app. Some trackers even utilize all three methods.
Track Your Children
Many schools in the US are using a different form of tracking: RFID or Radio Frequency IDentification, to keep track of students on campus. However, RFID has a limited range, so what if your child wanders out of range, or worst case scenario, is abducted?
Anyone who has ever lost sight of their child, and that is probably most of us, know that feeling of panic and sheer helplessness as we frantically search and call out. Of course, we usually find them safe and sound, but for those few minutes, or, in some cases, hours, it feels like the world has stopped spinning. It is the worst thing in the world.
Wearable GPS trackers are the latest technology to protect children. Wristwatches are popular, and my 8-year-old niece has this Kid Smart Watch GPS Tracker which works as a cell phone and a way for my sister to track where she is.
These kinds of devices require a sim card to function, which means a contract with a network provider such as T-Mobile, or a pre-paid card. They give parents peace of mind while allowing the child to have a little more autonomy.
It’s a simple enough matter to download the required app to the parent’s smartphone and connect to the child’s device. GPS tags that simply reveal their location, without the extra functions of a wristband/watch can be hidden in backpacks and clothing.
Locate a Missing Pet
There are many kinds of Bluetooth and RFID trackers available, but they have a limited range. Therefore a proper GPS tracker is better. It is a simple matter to attach a tag to their collar, install the appropriate app on your smartphone, and you and your pooch (or cat) are always connected.
Similarly, you can do the same with horses.
If your horse grazes over a wide area, you need to be able to locate it easily. Again, attach a GPS tag to its headstall, and you’ll always know where your horse or pony is.
More sophisticated devices allow you to set a geofence around the animal. This means that if your horse wanders (or is taken) out of the area you have geofenced (specified), an alert is sent straight to your smartphone.
Don’t Lose Your Elderly or Infirm Relative
One of the more worrying tendencies of people living with Alzheimer’s is that they wander off and become confused and lost. Protect them by getting them to wear a GPS-enabled wristband or tag. Make sure they cannot remove it easily.
My friend’s elderly father managed to walk seven miles in his pajamas, dressing gown and slippers before the police were alerted and he was found. A tracker would have revealed his location immediately.
GPS Trackers and Extreme Sports
A dedicated GPS device usually has a much longer battery life than a smartphone. Therefore it makes sense to carry one whenever you are taking part in sports such as hiking, trekking, climbing, kayaking, or anything else that takes you into the wild.
And, not just for security, GPS trackers can monitor your performance and provide mapping and other data to ensure your experience is always a positive and safe one.
Ensure that someone at home or at the base can track you via a smartphone app so that you can be located fast in case of any mishaps.
Track a Newly Qualified Driver
If your teen has recently acquired their driver’s license, it makes a lot of sense to install a sophisticated tracker in their vehicle.
These days, they don’t only provide location mapping and satnav, they also offer feedback such as route taken, speed, driving style, fuel consumption and even maintenance data.
Advanced trackers will also provide information in real time, allowing you to know exactly where your child and car is at any given moment. If you want to check how and where your teen is driving, you should install a GPS tracking system.