You may wonder what the difference is between a Past Track (passive) and Real Time GPS tracking device. If so, you are
not alone. Essentially, the difference lies in the availability of the data from the tracking devices.
Past Track tracking devices are items like the tracking key from Rocky Mountain Tracking. These GPS
trackers collect and store the data about a vehicles travel, including direction, distance, speed,
length of stops on a flash memory that can be downloaded to a computer at a later time.
Real Time GPS car trackers require a monthly subscription to a tracking service. The data from these
tracking devices is uploaded to a secure website that can be accessed by authorized individuals to
follow the movements of a vehicle in real time. These real time GPS trackers can track the direction,
speed, engine status, length of time spent at a single location, violation of a geo fence defined by
the user, and other features and make the data available to an internet connected computer within seconds.
It is up to the customer to determine whether past track GPS device data or real time tracking devices
are needed for the particular application. Businesses using tracking devices to track their fleets tend
to use real time tracking devices because it allows them to reroute drivers in case of emergency or when
a new customer call comes in. The benefits of real time GPS devices for businesses are too many
to list here, but the use of GPS trackers is invaluable.
On the other hand, if the tracking devices are being used to track the movements of a person or object, a past track GPS device like the Tracking Key is a less expensive alternative that is within
reach of most individuals. These devices can be hidden in the car for up to three days of
recording, and then plugged into a computer's USB port for reading.
Whether one uses past track or real time tracking devices, the GPS devices must interface with some sort of
mapping software. This may be a mapping application purchased for the device or an interface with an
internet mapping service such as Google Earth. These maps provide the context for the GPS trackers data so
that it makes sense to the users and to authorities when there is an occasion to involve police or EMS personnel.