The GPS: Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on July 7, 2020

Although at first glance it does not look like it, nowadays  GPS is one of the most used tools with more functionality to practice any type of exercise. While it is true, there are some sports in which this gadget becomes essential for your practice, since it helps to have all the times and speeds controlled.’


GPS: A New Ally of Athletes

Every day technology advances and integrates into our day to day in an impressive way. Until a few years ago, for example, one of the technological advances such as GPS was only used to find an address by going by car or walking, however now GPS can also be used as a new gadget for athletes.

Today, there are many phones that integrate a GPS chip, and many accessories and applications also used for sport.

The GPS becomes accessories that help the athlete to know their position at all times, with greater or lesser accuracy. The GPS gives us data about the distance traveled, and the speed applied. The GPS together with a cardiac control system can offer us a complete team to plan and get to know our sports day today.

The use of GPS in sport begins with navigating equipment used in mountain or hiking. They are GPS systems that have the distinction of being more robust and resistant to agents such as water or dust, and that comes with topographic maps and details of rivers and lakes, for example, The Garmin Oregon.

There are also GPS for different sports such as cycling or athletes. The classic GPS are wristwatches. As we can see, there are GPS for all types of sports and people.

Who Can Use Gps?

The GPS (Global positioning system) or in Spanish, Global Positioning System, is a global satellite navigation system that allows you to precisely locate a GPS device anywhere in the world.

The GPS is composed of 24 satellites that are in orbit about 20,200 km from Earth with synchronized trajectories to cover the entire Earth’s surface. Originally the GPS was developed only for military purposes, but with the passing of the years, its use was extended to civil applications.

Currently, GPS has become fashionable in different outdoor activities, sports or other, in which you have to move from one point to other for more or less unknown terrain.

Sports in which GPS can be very useful cycling, athletics, and mountaineering. There are specific models of GPS for sports, the classics are wristwatches with GPS and also mobile phones with global positioning to train and that integrates a GPS chip.

GPS Functions

Many people can consider the global Positioning System (GPS) as a device similar to the compass, but it is not. The GPS receiver indicates the coordinates of our current position, which we must move to a map to know where we are.

The GPS also has an action to mark the course to a destination point, if more and when we have correctly entered the coordinates of the latter. For GPS to indicate the direction in which we must move, it is necessary to move since this option only works when we are in motion.

There Are Four Specific Gps Functions:

  • The GPS marks a path, in English, it is called a track, and most GPS models have a “trackback” or “take me home” function that tells us how to get back to the starting point. This function will help us in case we are lost.
  • The GPS helps us to make a route that we had never done before and that someone else had done. There is an interaction between the GPS and the computer. If someone has made a route, you can easily export it to your computer and share it as a file. Another person can upload it to your GPS and repeat it very easily.
  • The GPS helps us to invent routes on a map on the PC by looking at the roads and marking a track or a “route” that is then taken to the GPS to try to follow it on the ground.
  • GPS is used to tell rescue teams exactly where we are. If this happens, the GPS will help us to find us easy and fast.


Types of GPS

According to the Use That Is Given, Gps Are Classified as:

  • Handheld GPS: They are receivers that record the route, allow to follow pre-marked routes, and can be connected to a computer to download or schedule the routes. This type of GPS can be found with and without cartography and are ideal for outdoor use, hiking, mountain, etc. Some models include a compass and/or an electronic barometer. Your operating system and software is totally closed; you can not modify or add anything.
  • Browsers: This type of GPS is similar to the handheld, but oriented to its use in city and highway. They are also more modern, they allow you to enter a destination on the fly, and the Navigator calculates the route, based on your cartography. This GPS usually do not record the route or connect to a PC. In theory, they are closed systems although in practice some models can be modified.
  • Integrated GPS: Lately many mobile devices, PocketPC or mobile phones, already have an integrated GPS, are high-end models (i.e. expensive). For those who can afford it, it is a good option. However, the same functionality is obtained with a PocketPC or a more popular mobile, adding a GPS Bluetooth.

Another type is the basic GPS used with connection to a computer.

Advantages and Disadvantages of GPS in Cycling

For lovers of cycling, GPS becomes a new accessory that can easily replace the compass, commonly used by athletes to achieve guidance.

Among the advantages that GPS offers to those who practice the sport of two wheels, we have:

  • GPS is more accurate and faster than the compass. GPS gives us the position even when we do not have visual references.
  • The memory functions of the GPS allow us to record and recover later the data (the coordinates of the different points of passage, tracks, routes, etc.) Once at home, we can archive them for later use or share them with other people.

In as much, between the main disadvantages or disadvantages of the GPS we can indicate:

  • GPS costs more than a compass and an altimeter. Therefore, in order to get the most out of it, you have to know how to read a map and know the terminology of the orientation: heading, latitude, longitude, etc.
  • The GPS generates a high electrical consumption, with which the rechargeable batteries become an essential extra if we do not want to contaminate with the alkaline batteries.



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