How to Use a GPS Device

by Grant Madden

A GPS device utilizes a network of satellites in orbit around the earth to accurately pinpoint a location. n extension of the principles of latitude and latitude developed by the ancient mariners, the satellites have now been removed from exclusive military use and available to citizens of the world.

A GPS device is deigned to pinpoint a location anywhere on the earth. It uses an aerial to receive transmissions from orbiting satellites. The received signal is triangulate and records the position as latitude and longitude coordinates. Turn the receiver on in an area not obstructed by tall buildings or under a tree.

A waiting period for an initial fix is usually achieved within several minutes.

Orbiting satellites will triangulate your location, which will appear as a readout on the screen. You are represented as the center of the screen. It will also include a measurement of accuracy. Accuracy less than twenty (20) feet is considered normal.

With GPS in hand, move about and the satellites will track your progress, turn by turn and by direction facing.


  • check Hand held GPS devices are used for hiking, geocaching, waymarking and other forms of civilian leisure and navigation.


  • close GPS radios are reliant on satelitte transmissions. At various times of the day the number of overhead satelittes may dwindle and accuracy levels may extend out to in excess of 300 feet.

Items you will need

About the Author

An ex-pat Australian now residing in Southern California, Grant is the Writer/Producer of the forthcoming PC game release "Deep Six". His writing has been seen in international publications such as "Cat Sailor" and "Sailing". He recently won a contest sponsored by "Chicken Soup for the Soul" due for release October 2008. A former eight time sailing champion, he now spends his days geocaching and trying to order drive-through in a dialect that can be understood.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Garmin.