Similar GPS Apps Create a Closer Bond

Since Garmin’s acquisition of German-based Navigon in 2011, the updated apps and features for both companies’ GPS navigation devices have become so similar that they almost can no longer to distinguished. Even though Google and Apple offer many free apps, Garmin and Navigon offer much more in the way of data and features for just under $40. The Maps  Most navigational tools come fully loaded with a set of maps for the United States and Canada. Garmin and Navigon are no exception. They are known for accurate, up-to-date maps. But now Garmin has followed Navigon’s example by giving users theRead More

Use GPS? Simple Tips To Keep You Safe

So many drivers rely on GPS, whether built into the dashboard of their vehicle, a dash-mounted handheld GPS device, or a smartphone app. Gone are the days of requests to “Mapquest it” (although there are some who just can’t let go of the paper driving directions). All of these devices work in the same fashion: maps are preloaded onto the GPS device, accessible thanks to satellites floating up in space. The GPS receiver communicates with these satellites, using their distance to calculate its own physical location on Earth, called trilateration. Although it is different from a paper map, don’t beRead More

Thieves Use GPS to Commit a Two for One Crime


Investigators in both Canada and the United States have discovered a new scheme used by criminals to double their crime sprees. By stealing the GPS navigation device from a car, a thief can often find his way directly to the victim’s front door by accessing the unit’s stored address book. Though some may argue that any car thief can get an owner’s address simply by looking at the registration and insurance information often kept in the glove box, the fact is that most thieves are lazy and a device that provides step-by-step directions to a home makes his crime aRead More

GPS Navigation Leads Driver Into Alaskan Harbor

If your GPS navigation device told you to drive off a bridge, would you? Hopefully not, but some drivers clearly follow the directions of their GPS a little too closely, at the expense of common sense. Not so long ago, we reported tourists in Australia driving into the ocean based on their rental car’s GPS navigation instruction. Even more recently, we posted a story about a drunk driver claiming her GPS told her to drive onto a golf course. The most recent tale comes all the way from Whittier, Alaska, where a gentleman made a right turn into the AlaskanRead More

Generous New Zealand Citizen Replaces Stolen GPS

ambulance medical emergency services

Around 1am on July 5, 2012, a Navman GPS navigation device was stolen along with some other communications equipment, from one of St. John’s Counties Manukau ambulances in Papatoetoe. Because GPS navigation systems are so crucial in cutting emergency response times, a concerned citizen decided to donate her brand-new navigation device to Counties Manukau ambulances. Due to her generosity, residents of this rural region can rest easy, knowing that in case of an emergency, their ambulances will arrive as quickly as possible.   “Going out west – it’s like another planet. I tend to get lost,” Avril Brown, the womanRead More

Step Aside, Paper Maps, and Make Way for the GPS App


Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, whenever my family took a summer vacation in unfamiliar territory, the paper road map was essential. I recall the glove box of my mother’s Ford Taurus station wagon containing a multitude of maps for surrounding states, ready to help guide us along our route as needed. For a time, these maps were available free of charge from select gas stations, but as time when on, the maps were normally only available for purchase only. Free maps can still be found at Visitor Centers. Eventually, people started printing step-by-step directions from sites like MapQuest andRead More

Where should you place your GPS?

Is it safe to drive with your GPS navigation device mounted on your windshield? There have been quite a few stories in the news concerning the dangerous, sometimes fatal, results of texting while driving. It is easy to become attached to one’s phone. While driving, it takes real self-discipline to ignore a text when it arrives. Studies show that texting while driving is worse than driving drunk, but sadly, it is easy to believe that “I am the exception” and ignore the statistic.   There have been ad campaigns by companies that are trying to make users conscious of the risksRead More

GPS 101


More and more, people around the world are relying on GPS to go about their daily business. Whether you own a vehicle with an in-dash GPS navigation device, a handheld GPS device, or even a smartphone or tablet, you use this technology all the time. But what do you really know about GPS and how it works beyond pressing the “calculate route” button or checking in at your favorite restaurant via smartphone? Here are ten things you should know about this powerhouse of technology we can’t live without.   What is GPS? GPS stands for Global Positioning System, the 24Read More

Be Careful When You Park

West Newbury Break Ins

One lucky larcenist in Watchung, New Jersey is pressing his luck. Watchung police are reporting three separate occurrences of GPS devices being looted from vehicles while parked at shopping centers. Two of the robberies occurred in broad daylight, at a Target and Home Depot, respectively. In a very backwards manner, the robberies express the increasing value of vehicle GPS devices.   Why Just Take the GPS? In all honesty, it was probably easy. GPS devices are moderately easy to resell on Ebay or at local flea markets. If the vehicle does not have a proprietary GPS device, then it isRead More

Explore America with GPS and TOPO!

Hike Detail in Mountains

The fear of any outdoorsman is getting lost in the woods; however, in a world of global positioning systems and tracking devices, much of that fear is relieved. Now, Magellan and National Geographic have teamed up to provide outdoorsmen the ultimate in GPS navigational tools. The handheld GPS device series known as eXplorist can now download TOPO!, National Geographic’s full-color and exquisitely detailed topographical maps of the continental United States.   About Magellan Magellan, based in Santa Clara, California, has long been known for its Roadmate series of GPS systems for cars, boats, trucks, and RVs, not to mention itsRead More