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A GPS handheld device is a system that determines your precise position on the planet. Using measurements of your distance with reference to satellites that orbit the earth.
A GPS handheld device will do all the calculations as long as they are in the open and have receivers on them that can intercept the signals from an array of 24 satellites that orbit the earth 12000 miles overhead.
The accuracy of GPS handheld devices depends on timing and every satellite has an atomic clock. The clock has an accuracy of 1 second for 70000 years. For these handheld devices to work accurately they need the signals from at least three satellites. This is needed in order to give an accurate position in two dimensions.
Some of the models of these handheld devices will intercept signals from four satellites and can then measure your location in three dimensions so that you can get a reading of the elevation of your location with respect to a datum.
These GPS handheld devices combine geo-tech thus enabling its users to get navigation assistance as well as land survey data. Most devices in use today will have information inbuilt that provides information on important landmarks.
These GPS handheld devices were introduced in the 1990s and are accurate to within a range of 3 to 10 meters. They use various technologies to improve accuracy and alleviate signal errors. Seeking signals from the nearest satellites can take a few minutes. But most of these devices will carry out the required fix within a minute from any last recorded position.
Most of these handheld devices are quite light and rarely weigh more than 9 ounces. Including the weight of batteries to power them. They would have a minimum of 1MB of onboard memory which would allow the device to just record your position and a few routes, without the help of any in-built maps.
Newer models with larger memories will have a large database of inbuilt maps and color screens. The memory on this device can be augmented with SD cards to give improved performance.
GPS handheld devices can lose their signals when they are in the shadow of a building. Or when the view of the sky is obscured. They provide the user with a precise location giving the required latitude and longitude of a location.
When these are combined with maps of towns, cities, and countries. It makes for great assistance to navigating within cities and on roads. Handheld devices can even be used to help in land surveys to mark the borders of plots of land.
This GPS tech is now a part of most smartphones and this allows their users to pre-plan their travels within cities and countries, with a great degree of accuracy that makes it very easy to go to any locations available on the maps that are part of the device.
Google Maps are extensively used in smartphones. And the position of the device is located in the maps through GPS enabling a user to know his or her exact location at any given time.
Further software allows this constant position monitoring to translate into directions for reaching any location that has been earlier marked.
Read about some great golf GPS watches here.