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A global positioning system (GPS) is a navigation system that is supported by a network of satellites in orbit around the Earth. Most systems can help users to do things like pinpoint exact locations, navigate streets, and even set up fishing excursions. Many provide real-time data integration, one of the benefits of GPS that can warn a driver about traffic congestion or guide him or her to an open parking spot.
GPS units are commonly used in cars to help determine the exact location of the vehicle. These units act as a traveling guide, allowing the driver to know the names of surrounding streets and intersections. Detailed maps with step-by-step directions are a hallmark of most vehicle GPS systems. Unlike a traditional map, a GPS unit will automatically re-calculate a wrong turn, reducing the chance of the driver getting lost. Benefits of GPS systems are not exclusive to cars, for many seafaring boats can benefit from them as well.
Fishermen who work in open waters can not only reap the guiding benefits of specialized GPS systems, but may also be able to use the unit as a fish finder. Many units designed for fishermen have a dual function of sonar technology, essentially creating a map of the ocean floor. Chart plotting technology may be used to identify shorelines and surface features that can aid a fisherman during an expedition. Measuring the various depths of the water can also help in finding a specific type or species of fish — one of the many benefits of GPS that can be reaped for commercial fishermen.
Many GPS units used on cars and boats will have a voice to read directions out loud, allowing the driver or pilot to be focused on the road or ocean. GPS systems can also be quite small; cell phones are often fixed with a GPS receiver. This also offers an element of safety, for some emergency workers can pinpoint the location of an emergency by the signal given off by most positioning systems.
Geotagging technology is included in many modern digital cameras. By adding geographic data to photos, an amateur photographer can organize footage into specific latitude and longitude points, with some technologies displaying specific location names. Professionals who work in media will often find that this is one of the benefits of GPS integration that can be a valuable asset in their work.