Satellite based navigation systems are a godsend for motorists. They make it possible to plan your journey route in advance; display the route map on the screen, pinpoint your exact location and work out the best routes. Initially, only the rich could afford these systems. Today, you too can buy a good navigation system for your car.
There are two kinds of car navigation systems available in the market. The first is the navigation system that can be installed in your car; and the second is the portable navigation system.
Before buying either it is important to understand how the car navigation system works.
A car navigation system has two components: a GPS data receiver and a CPU/display unit. The receiver gets the data via GPS satellites and passes it on to the CPU/display unit. The system then uses the triangulation method to pinpoint the car’s exact location.
This is not all. The navigation system comes loaded with maps of your area that you can use to chart your route. There are some low-end systems that do not have maps. In this case, you need to buy the maps of the region and load them on the system.
The navigation system can not only chart a route, but rework the route if you miss a turning. It also displays car speed, the distance to travel before hitting the next turning, the time that will be spent on reaching the destination, etc.
You also have the facility to load your own maps. These can be stored on detachable memory cards like SD cards, CDs or DVDs. The advantage is that you can pick and chose the maps that you need to carry instead of loading the system with hundreds of maps.
The display can be set to show the conventional flat map view or the latest 3D panoramic bird’s eye-view. Most units incorporate Points of Interest (POIs) and display restaurants, airports and accident-prone areas. You can also add your own POI’s
It is easy to plan any journey using the car navigation system. The first thing you need to do is to enter the ‘starting point’ by noting the present location. After that you need to enter the end destination, and let the navigation system suggest routes. This may include route choices like fastest route, shortest route, scenic route, etc. You also have the option to feed the route that you like. The navigation system will then follow that route.
These are great facilities, and you must take advantage of them. If you don’t have a car navigation system then you must buy one now.