GPS Navigation- A Beginner’s Guide

GPS Navigation- A Beginner’s Guide

At first glance, GPS seems like a technology that’s here to make our lives easier. After all, with the click of a button, it can show us exactly where we are on the Earth, and give us perfectly accurate directions to anywhere we’d like to go.

But in reality, nothing is ever that simple. The Map software that you need to use with GPS Navigators have proven to be a pain for many casual users. Even simply following your route or keeping track of others can be a hassle for some people.

As for the resellers out there, your inconvenience becomes even worse- since you’ve got to deal with the myriad of questions from customers about how the products work. Unless you have done a good deal of research in the field or have extensive experience with GPS products, you probably won’t be able to answer all the questions yourself.

This in-depth guide includes how GPS works, tips on installation, and some Frequently Asked Questions.

Please note that while we will provide you with all the GPS hardware you’ll ever need, we do not sell software for GPS products. Those are provided by third-party retailers and so we cannot provide any support on their use.


Intro to GPS

GPS Maps

Free GPS Software

GPS Frequently Asked Questions

Troubleshooting Your GPS

Intro to GPS

Intro to GPS

GPS- How it Works

GPS, or Global Positioning System, was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide an accurate and reliable navigational system for the military. It utilizes satellite technology to pinpoint an exact location on the planet. It does this by using a minimum of three satellites transmitting a signal to an earth based receiver. The receiver requires a minimum of three satellite signals to trilaterate the position (similar concept to triangulation). It does this based on the discrete travel times of the radio signals emanating from the different satellites to the receiver.

GPS Applications

Nowadays, both commercial and recreational users have access to this super-convenient technology. In the consumer arena, GPS has gained popularity in automobile navigation, as well as off-road leisure activities like hiking and fishing. And in the event of emergency, the GPS components in cell phones can be activated to find missing persons.


GPS technology may have existed since as early as 1967, but it was only in 1989 that map software started being used by navigational devices.

Since then, the market is full of various software to choose from for all your GPS mapping needs. Along with high-quality paid software, there are also free open-source map programs available for download.

While some GPS products come preloaded with their own proprietary software, below are a handful of high-profile providers for software that can be loaded on almost any GPS device:

  1. Elektrobit

  1. iGO

  1. NDrive
  1. Tomtom

Such software is not supported or sold by wholesalers like There are many reasons for this approach.

For one thing, certain software that may be ideal for one country, may not work as well or at all in another part of the world. In addition, sourcing GPS-ready devices without preloaded software allows them to keep their prices down, Therefore, it is better to let the customer decide on the software that works best for them.

Free GPS Software

Please check this site for a regularly updated list of all known free GPS software: Free GPS Software- An Up-to-Date-List

GPS Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which software is right for my GPS?

This depends on the operating system that the GPS Product is utilizes.

Many open-source programs run on Linux/Unix, Mac OS, or Windows OS (or the more basic Windows CE).

You can find out which OS is supported by your GPS Product by reading the GPS Gadgets product description page to make sure you are matching up the right OS with the right software.

Why did you send me a GPD Receiver with mapping software different from where I live?

The software loaded on those wholesale GPS Product is loaded with evaluation software. This is to confirm that the product is working perfectly before sending it out.

After you receive it, you need to get the software that best matches your location and preference.

Why Do I Need an Unlock Code for my GPS software?

Certain GPS software providers make it necessary to unlock the software before it can be used on a GPS receiver. You need to register their software online and they will send you the unlock code.

Why Can’t I Pick up a Signal on my GPS?

This is usually caused by a blocked signal to the GPS receiver. You may want to keep it away from solid surfaces. Also, if your windows have tints, these have been known to cause interference with the signals.

Additionally, painting the GPS unit will have a similar effect, so you may want to refrain from that.

How accurate is GPS?

Specifications for many GPS receivers indicate their accuracy will be within about 10 to 50 feet (3 to 15 meters), 95% of the time. This assumes the receiver has a clear view of the sky and has finished acquiring satellites.

Many receivers include WAAS capability, which can enhance GPS accuracy in many parts of North America. But if you’re moving around or in areas with less than ideal conditions, you’ll probably find your receiver isn’t using WAAS a good share of the time.

Thanks to a special military frequency and the L2 signals the army can get up to millimeter accuracy.

What is a GPS Waypoint?

A GPS waypoint is a navigational fix on a point of reference. The GPS waypoint is oftentimes provided as a set of longitude and latitude coordinates in the “degree, minute, second” format. GPS Users create waypoints so that the unit remembers the destination for them.

Troubleshooting Your GPS

If your GPS is not functioning properly, please follow these steps to find the problem and determine the proper solution:

  1. Step 1

Initialize your handheld GPS unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most devices come with a quick start guide or section at the front of the user manual that specifies how to perform an initialization.

  1. Step 2

Shut down the unit and turn it back on again. Powering down is usually the first step when you troubleshoot a GPS unit.

  1. Step 3

Replace the batteries with new batteries or recharge the batteries.

  1. Step 4

Avoid using the receiver for at least 5 minutes after you turn it on so that the unit has enough time to download all the data it needs from the navigational satellites. Keep the receiver in one place with a full “view” of the sky from as many angles as possible.

  1. Step 5

Move to another area to try to get a stronger signal. Heavy foliage, buildings, hills, rock formations and other structures can block the signal from getting from satellites to the handheld device. Close proximity to these structures can also interfere with the accuracy of the information provided by bouncing the signal.

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