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GPS Navigation Systems: A Must-Have
Today's automobiles come with a variety of extras, from passenger side air bags to the ubiquitous car alarms. Entertainment options range from high-end speakers and CD players to multiple DVD players. The GPS navigation system, however, forms the bridge between safety and entertainment features. While they're definitely entertaining, they can also become a must-have safety net in your travels.
GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) navigation systems can replace all the maps in your glove compartment and ensure that you arrive at your destination on time. GPS navigation systems are equipped with mapping software and can give you driving directions, show you alternate routes if you're stuck in a traffic jam, and can help you negotiate a new city. While you're on the road, a GPS navigation system can also guide you to the nearest gas stations, restaurants, and other points of interest.
Some GPS navigation systems are built right into a vehicle, while others are handheld devices that mount on your dashboard. Although GPS navigation systems are used by everyone from rescue workers to hikers, if you're using one for driving, it's helpful to select one that has voice navigation features. The GPS navigation system will tell you when you're approaching a point where you need to, for example, turn, and then tell you to make your turn. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road, where they belong.
There are many accessories available for GPS navigation systems. You can, for example, buy software, GPS holders to mount your system to your dashboard or windshield, memory cards, cigarette lighter adapters, antennas, and Bluetooth.
When buying a GPS navigation system, you should consider such factors as screen size and whether you need a color or monochrome system. Color systems, for example, usually provide greater detail and better readability, but also use more power. GPS is sometimes included in handheld computers (PDAs), so if you're in the market for a PDA, you may consider buying one that includes GPS.
Another factor to consider is the memory capacity of your GPS system. If you'd like more than the basic mapping software, you may want to consider buying a system that has additional memory capacity, such as space for a removable CompactFlash card. It's a good investment to buy a navigation system that has voice prompts, so you won't have to look at the screen while you're driving.
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