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GPS Maps and Directions

GPS Maps and DirectionsThe Global Positioning System (GPS) is used for location-based activities such as navigation, tracking, and location. GPS maps and directions can be used for driving, biking, walking, hiking, and public transit. Maps can show locations, places, routes, details, terrain (topographic), 3D views, street views, reviews, and other information. Some maps show the indoors of select airports, tourist sites, shopping malls, and retail stores.

Maps are either stored on the device or stored on the network (cell phone or GPS provider). The map information is received over a cell phone or GPS connection depending on the device's features. The map's database is used to compute navigation information and location-specific information.

The GPS device or service should include maps of cities in your country. The scale and detail of maps varies. Updated maps show current road changes due to construction and closures. Additional maps or more detailed maps can be purchased. Some services provide map updates for the life of the device or service. Others charge a fee for map updates. Map prices range from $30-150.

The main features for GPS maps and directions are:

  • Auto-routing - Type in the start and destination addresses, and the map shows the route. Choose the fastest, shortest or most fuel-efficient route. Follow the turn-by-turn directions to the destination.
  • Voice prompts - A voice tells you where and when to turn on the road. Allows you to keep your eyes off the display and on the road for safer driving.
  • Real-time tracking - When connected to the network, an arrow (or dot) moves on the screen and gives information about your current position, speed, and past route.
  • Traffic overlay - Indicates the level of traffic congestion and road construction on the current route and alternative routes. Data is received over an FM transmission. Getting traffic information might have an additional charge.
  • Points of Interest (POI) - Overlay on the map shows places that have tourist, historical, or commercial purposes. The type, quantity, accuracy, details, and search (results) of information from each database varies, so check before you buy. For example, some map POIs are based on the American Automobile Association (AAA) TourBook.
  • Waypoints - A waypoint is a position along your route that you want to save and refer or return to later. Some maps allow notes to be added to the waypoint.
  • Lane-assist - Tells you which lane to be in to prepare for upcoming turns or exits.

GPS Map - Lane AssistGPS maps can help you understand where you are and where you are going relative to your surroundings or another location, device or person.

Using a GPS map requires some practice to get the basic information you need quickly and easily, and without mistakes that could lead you to the wrong place. Then you can explore more advanced features such as voice prompts, 3D views, rerouting, and application-specific features.

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