Description and Photographs of
Magellan and Garmin
hand-held Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) Receivers
General Description of GPS
including discussion on ways to use GPS, also some warnings. In brief,
the Global Positioning Satellite System uses a constellation of low
earth orbit satellites that transmit timing and position signals.
Your GPS receiver listens to these signals, and in a rather complex
process discovers the range to each satellite, and from that and their
known positions, can determine its own position. It is truly amazing
that a navigator in the palm of your hand can know your position
sometimes within 15 feet, but more usually within 100 feet, certainly
close enough to find your car in a busy parking lot, or a house, or a
campsite, or a favorite fishing spot (and so on). When used with a
built in map, it can actually help you choose a route to get to the
destination. Hikers can load a topographic map right into the GPS.
*FLASH* The accuracy-degrading "Selective
Availability" was turned off on May 1, 2000; at least for selected
global regions. Now, your GPS is limited only by its internal accuracy
and the geometry of the satellites.
White House Press Release
Guard Navigation Center
- Magellan Systems Corporation . Magellan has
always been associated with adventure and exploration. The offerings
include a wide variety of GPS receivers with emphasis on exploration,
adventure and survival. One model offers combined GPS and INMARSAT
Corporation . Founded in 1989 producing GPS receivers for
aviation, with embedded IFR, Jeppeson charts. Now offering a galaxy
of about 33 products well suited for hiking, boating, bicycling and
Rockwell Collins , a widely recognized name in radio,
electronics and precision scientific equipment. Job hunting? Rockwell
Collins is looking for a few good GPS engineers. Here is Rockwell Collins Employment
- Trimble Navigation Limited .
Specializing in high precision, differential GPS for aviation,
surveying, GIS (Geographic Information Systems). Founded in 1978,
Trimble now holds more than 200 U.S. patents on GPS and related
technology. They also seem to have the smallest GPS of all, a PC card
(PCMCIA) that will fit right inside your laptop computer!
- Lowrance Electronics, Inc.
, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Specializing in marine GPS. Lowrance was among the
first to bring GPS technology to the consumer.
Where to Buy :
Almost any large department store carries them; but the best
selection (and accessories) will be found in outdoor goods suppliers
(Gart Sports, Cabela's, places like that). Online suppliers include:
World Supply . (NEW, link added 1 June
2001) Located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Exclusively
featuring the entire line of GARMIN GPS receivers.
- THE GPS
STORE (www.thegpsstore.com) Supplier of several brands
(Magellan, Garmin, Delorme) of GPS receiver and other related
products. Located in South Brunswick, NC. Offers a wide selection,
above average descriptions helping you to choose from an almost
impossible range of choices. NOTE: Their webpage is Java enabled; if
you have Java turned off then click on "product catalog" (lower left
corner of home page) to get to the products.
- Adventure GPS
Products , Lancaster, California, USA. Another provider
offering diverse selection and links to information and adventures.
- GPS City
, Great Falls, Montana, USA. Primarily features Garmin units; has
excellent technical details on units.
This British page describes several Magellan GPS receivers in
excellent detail. Units can be purchased directly from this location.
NOTE: GPS come in "flavors" according to the lingo of the buyer and
intended purpose: hiking, driving, flying, boating, mapping. These
flavors influence the type and appearance of the navigation screens
(display options) and the abbreviations you find. One will say HDG
(heading) and another will say COG (Course Over Ground). Advertisements
seldom indicate which way it is going to be, but the GPS Store has little icons to
help you choose the application (icons indicating boating, aviation,
hiking, bicycling, etc).
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