How does a GPS Tracker Work?

GPS devices are able to obtain information regarding their geographic location by transmitting signals to a system of satellites that orbit the Earth. These signals are then interpreted and used in the triangulation that provides information pertaining to position and location. This information can then be displayed to the users or accessed by third party sites and services. In addition to dashboard mounted GPS devices and navigational systems used in vehicles many wireless companies offer smartphones and mobile devices that also make use of this technology. Mobile devices that are able to accurately ascertain their position and relative location are able to utilize a range of apps and services that require this information.

Activating GPS Services on a Mobile Device

While the majority of high end smartphones, tablets and other devices come equipped with a GPS, it may require users to enable it before it will be able to function. Data caps and battery life are two issues that may be negatively impacted by devices that are constantly left on. Once GPS service has been activated, a mobile device will transmit signals and receive data that will be used to determine its physical position.

GPS Apps and Features

From mobile searches to advertising that targets specific users, GPS services are essential for the proper function of countless software applications and services. Quick and easy access to highly accurate data regarding where a device or user may be located can aid in navigation, the recovery of a lost or stolen device and may even be of benefit for web browsing and online shopping. While not every smartphone may come equipped with the ability to utilize GPS features and services, the falling costs and growing level of sophistication that extends to even low-end phones means that more users are able to access GPS information than ever before.

Satellite Communication Services

The coverage provided by the mobile and wireless companies that have the resources needed to transmit signals to satellites and receive broadcasts can be a limiting factor for GPS services. Areas where smartphones and other mobile devices may be unable to obtain a signal can reduce the effectiveness of GPS services and leave users without the ability to determine their position with greater ease and accuracy. Certain types of mobile phones that do not rely on wireless companies in order broadcast and transmit information may be able to utilize GPS services in areas where conventional systems and cell phone based devices may be unable to function.