With the continuing commercial development of SatNav systems for vehicles and hand held devices the user community among the general population is rapidly increasing. There is a requirement for more awareness of how these devices work.
Many have a strong belief in the accuracy of GPS and the maps that are supplied to manufacturers of SatNav systems. This belief is well founded for nowadays GPS has a high reliability. However GPS and the maps are not without fault. As with any technical development there are issues and problems that can occur both while in use and in development.
When I hear some people talk about GPS I feel that they do not really know much about their satnav system. The freely used term ‘I have a GPS’ is without regard to the GPS bit only being a part of a complete integrated system with all the different parts needing the other. It is as though most believe, because GPS is space stuff, that understanding is beyond them. This is not the case. GPS technology is deeply engineering, but, the essential principles can be well understood with only a slightly above basic knowledge. The same applies to the navigation and mapping principles that all go together to get you, in your car, from A to B, or Z. When it comes down to general principles this technology is not the rocket science that it would first seem to be.
GPS systems have varying accuracy, according to make and cost and also whether moving or stationary. Further degradation in accuracy can occur depending on your location and present circumstance of use. Setting up the complete nav system at the manufacturer end also has its problems, for the end result requires a map on a flat screen. The process of going from round… Read more…