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Online GPS Locators, or online global positioning system locators, uses satellite navigation and computation of certain algorithms in order to pinpoint your location and destination and help you find your way there based on an in-built map system in your device. To work properly, your GPS must be able to receive clear signals from at least four GPS satellites in orbit around the Earth. However, this has not stopped many people from finding their way out from heavily forested and mountainous areas. Higher-end devices can also receive signals from basement parking complexes and from the inside of large buildings. GPS locator can also be used to tell the time, your elevation, traffic conditions and weather conditions.

A short history Lesson on the Online GPS Locators

The first GPS was created in the United States Department of Defence in 1973 and its only use was military-based. The GPS was only authorised for the public by Ronald Regan, the 40th President of the United States, after a Korean airline was shot down by the Russians when it accidentally trespassed into their private territory. In 1989, the first satellite for civilian GPS locator use was launched. To date, there are 24 satellites in aid of GPS locators. Popular uses of GPS include GPS locators, GPS trackers, and GPS finders, which can either be used through installing a software or app, or used online through an internet browser.

Online GPS Locators – The Navigation

Today, the GPS helps over a million civilian people all over the world find their way to work, amenities and recreational destinations through both in-built systems in portable devices and online GPS locators. Many popular devices include TomTom, Navman, StreetPilot and Garmin, which not only makes vehicular devices but outdoor and marine as well. Many of these devices are colourful, speech-enabled and very high in detail and resolution. Some today are even voice-activated, giving drivers all around a hands-free and safe option whilst on the move.

Online GPS navigational systems

Online GPS navigational devices are very popular, mobile and compact, and used by many people with enabled smart phones (iPhone, Android, HTC, Blackberry, many of Nokia’s N- and E-series phones). This is definitely a plus for those who would like to save money and prefer having the convenience of a map at the ready on an everyday device. The most important thing that a consumer wanting to use an online GPS locator should note is that their current phone plan should have a considerable amount of data that supports this, as the nature and detail of some of the maps can take up a considerable amount of bandwidth. Using these maps via an internet browser on their phone also takes up a considerable amount of battery life.

Some online GPS navigation systems include the famous Google Maps and Google Earth features, ACME Mapper, GPS Data Team, InstaMapper, MapPoint, MapQuest, MapTech, Nokia’s Ovi Maps, Streetdirectory.com and Yahoo!Maps. Most of these websites offer free online GPS locators with a simple request of a free-sign up. Much of the location data is kept private to protect consumer privacy. Some of these websites which require accounts allow you to perform a multitude of useful features like marking landmarks and special locations, calculate mileage, sending messages to the devices, and replaying the movement history of the GPS device. These websites can be used in conjunction with online GPS trackers and online GPS locators/finders.

Online GPS Trackers

Online GPS TrackerGPS trackers are different from GPS navigators in the sense that they do not provide a planned map route like a navigational device. It does tell you where you are going. Rather, it tells you where you have gone. Online GPS trackers are a way for people to track devices that enable GPS, like cars and electronic devices. These can work retrospectively, or live and real-time. If you need something or someone to be tracked, that item or person needs to have something that allows for the attachment of a GPS tag or a RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag. Depending on your tracking unit, the movement data history can be saved in the unit, or can be programmed to be sent to a computer using a radio, satellite or mobile device inside the unit. Some trackers that can store this kind and level of information are: data loggers, smart phones, data pullers and data pushers.

What can I use it for?

This method is used by people to track other people. Worried but working adults sometimes attach GPS trackers on certain elderly loved ones who have developed the habit of wandering off and getting lost due to Alzheimer’s disorders or mental disabilities. Parents concerned about a teenager’s wild partying habits may find that a GPS tracker gives them a peace of mind. Spouses may use GPS trackers if they suspect that their partner has questionable fidelity issues. Hikers and sailors afraid may take GPS trackers along with them just in case they get lost. Researchers use GPS trackers to track and monitor the status of many endangered species which have been tagged for studies. Some people have even used trackers to track pets that frequently escape and or wander around the neighbourhood. More often than not, it is mostly used by companies who want to track their vehicular uses, and by law enforcement to track down thieves, convicted criminals and those on parole. This is also used very often in public and private transportation companies.

Companies have been fast to jump onto this idea. GPS tracking helps to save money and petrol, and promote efficiency and productivity in terms of goods and service delivery. This is easily attained by tracking the different directions, locations and statuses of vehicles within a company fleet. A lot of businesses have saved effort and money on hand-written driver logs which may or may not be a reliable report of activity. Online GPS trackers matched with online GPSlocators have saved money for managers who have had to tiresomely call their employees on the go to locate each and every one of them by conveniently putting them behind a computer screen which allows them to track everything all at once. They have also helped improve services by finding out which of their drivers out in the field are nearest to their customers which may require help. Online GPS trackers matched with online GPSlocators can also help companies monitor their vehicle fuel and driving mileage.

Uses and Drawbacks

Companies that provide this special service include IntelliTrac, PasarGPS.com, SpySat, Trackingtheworld.com, WebTRACE, Xexun and YellowBrick, which may also sell or sync up with specialised devices for this use. These devices may be covert, AVLS (automatic vehicle location services) or just mobile phone devices with in-built GPS. The famous American Automobile system, OnStar, also makes use of online GPS tracking systems.

However, people should test the waters and try many different types of online GPS trackers before using it for anything serious, since a lot of online GPS trackers function by cell tower triangulation, which may or may not result in accurate results. This is because this method has an accuracy of 1-5km (0.6 – 3.1 miles), although new methods have been reported to track some tracking devices down to about 3m (10 feet).

Respecting Rights

Still, one must be wary not to abuse these services though. The laws concerning GPS use differ from country to country. In the US, even law enforcement officers require search warrants signed by a judge in order to use GPS trackers. In California, you are not allowed to track someone without their consent. You as a user must be responsible enough to respect and know the rights of others and yourself.

Online GPS Finder/Locator

Online GPS LocatorGPS locators are useful for finding devices that emit a GPS signal, like electronic devices. It can be used to monitor people and vehicles, and property that is either on the move or has been stolen. This is especially useful in the case where your car has been towed away! GPS locators help people by increasing their chances of their personal belongings being found in the incidence of theft. Should you require it, you can remotely or automatically activate GPS locators when your property moves or even gets touched. You can then use this to your advantage to find out what time and where your property was tampered with, or even disable the unit if it is a vehicle. Online GPS finders/locators are often used together with online GPS trackers. They are often free, and either make use of specific locator software like Google Earth, Nokia OVi and WebTRACe, or websites like Google Maps, ACME Mapper, GPS Data Team, InstaMapper, MapPoint, MapQuest, MapTech, Nokia’s Ovi Maps, Streetdirectory.com and Yahoo!Maps.

Conclusion

Online GPS locators are highly useful and constantly improving to provide us with better services in terms of its extent of use and efficiency. Efficient and useful technical gadgets are not just for the nerds anymore! Coupled with Online GPS trackers and online GPS finders, they often make the lives and work of everyday people much easier and sometimes safer. Many of these services may soon start using video features to aid with the tracking and locating process. It is wonderful that GPS systems are so readily available to everyone, and getting more affordable and reasonably priced as the years go by. There are many free online GPS services that the everyday man can make use of, although those that require payment often provide a higher level of services and range of use. With a reasonable level of know-how and a good data plan, you maynever get lost again.