GPS or Global Positioning System is a means of determining your exact latitude, longitude, altitude and time. It is facilitated by a network of satellites and control stations developed, established and maintained by the U.S. government to assist in navigation. Although initially intended for military use, it has eventually been made available for commercial and civilian utility. Anybody can make use of the 24 or so GPS satellites circling the globe, provided that they’ve got their own GPS receivers, gps tracking systems and gps tracking devices. These are gadgets that convert GPS signals into temporal and spatial coordinates, that is, they will tell you your time and location.

Knowing exactly where and when you are have proven useful in a diversity of fields. The most basic application is in navigation – helping travelers reach their destination. Being aware of your location on a map is invaluable when you suspect that you’re lost. All you need is a clear view of the sky and your GPS receiver.

An advanced use of GPS is GPS tracking. It’s the same with basic GPS, except that your location is automatically determined and plotted as you move along your route. As the name implies, it is used on something that you want to keep track of. Vehicle fleet management makes extensive use of GPS tracking. If you’ve got dozens of vehicles, say, delivery trucks, you would want to know where they are and what they’re doing at all times to ensure that you’re sticking to your schedule. It also comes in handy in the event of an accident or theft. However, this will require the installation of gps tracking systems and gps tracking devices on the desired vehicles.

A variety of GPS tracking devices are commercially available. These could be as simple as a pocket-sized GPS beacon that reports its coordinates at regular intervals, or as sophisticated as a GPS smart box that can recognize external stimuli or events and initiate predetermined responses. Some could even tell whether an accident has occurred, after which it will unlock the doors and send out a distress signal. Others will be able to tell when a vehicle has arrived at a certain destination and when someone opens the door, alerting the monitoring crew of the occurrence. Depending on the features, you can get GPS devices between fifty to a couple of thousand dollars.

GPS tracking obviously does not only apply to cars. Anything of value may be equipped with gps tracking systems and gps tracking devices. A laptop, for instance, can be installed with a GPS device to track it down in case of theft. In fact, some laptops come built in with one. A package or a container for shipping that just can’t be lost is usually tagged with GPS tracking. A pet could have a GPS collar. Even your own children could have a GPS device tucked into one of their personal effects so that you won’t have to worry about their whereabouts. Of course, an open discussion with your children about planting a tracking device on them is advisable.