How to choose a navigator

The life of a modern person is absolutely impossible to imagine without a GPS-navigator. These miracle devices are a real find for travelers and those who value their time and do not want to spend it wandering in the endless labyrinths of big cities. Navigators combine the functions of a GPS receiver and a computer. The receiver is focused on processing satellite signals, the computer is engaged in their decoding. Most consumer navigators are supported by the Navstar system, the rights to which are owned by the United States Department of Defense. Navstar satellites are located at a distance of 20180 km. Navstar's main competitor is the Glonass system. The satellite constellation of this system and the rights to use it belong to the Russian Ministry of Defense. Glonass satellites are located in three planes at a distance of 19100 kilometers. European, Chinese and Indian companies are at the stage of developing their systems. How to choose a navigator will be discussed further.
Types of navigators
Among the types of GPS navigators there are marine, aviation, universal, motorcycle, bicycle, automobile models. Perhaps, car navigators are the most popular among citizens, so the question of how to choose a car navigator is very popular these days. This type of navigator is equipped with a voice engine that suggests the route, a route calculation function and the ability to download city maps.
Navigators are also divided into two large groups - independent and stationary. Standalone does not require an external computer to function. They have a display that reflects the necessary information. These devices are powered by a built-in high-capacity battery. Navigators designed for the car are stationary. They charge from the cigarette lighter.
Navigator design
What else to pay attention to, how to choose a GPS navigator yourself? Do not worry, because the device is designed quite simply. The device includes, in addition to the receiver itself, a processor, RAM, a case equipped with a display, and a battery. The speed of the GPS receiver depends on the power of the processor built into the navigator. The more powerful it is, the faster it does its job (route calculation, map loading, etc.). The power parameter is measured in megahertz. The frequency indicator ranges from 266 to 600 MHz. Be sure to pay attention to this option.
CPU
The processor is called the chipset, which performs calculations to determine the coordinates. He is also responsible for receiving the signal. The most popular chips today are SiRF Star III, SiRF Atlas III and SiRF Atlas IV and SiRF 3i. The latest generations of navigators use a hardware graphics accelerator built into the processor chip. It is necessary for displaying video that is not adapted to the navigation device and creating 3D models of various buildings displayed on navigation maps.
WAAS/EGNOS systems work in navigation processors. They are designed to improve the accuracy of determining coordinates. Modern-style processors have the ability to apply corrections to these systems. However, system corrections work only at those points where there are base stations transmitting them.
Another type of chipset from SiRF - Centrality Atlas III, is gradually gaining popularity among users of navigators. The level of their power consumption is relatively low, in addition, they support about 51 channels. By accurately tracking satellites, these chipsets use their signals to work with position determination. However, today these chip models are significantly inferior to the developments of SiRF Star Atlas IV and SiRF 3i+, which support up to 64 parallel channels.
Start time
The start time for each model may be different. They share the so-called cold, warm and hot start of work.
Cold start. If the GPS is powered off for an extended period of time, the cold start process will restart it using part of the information stored in the device's memory. Even though the information will be somewhat outdated, it can still be used to transition to operational mode. The cold start time can last from 100 to 300 seconds.
Warm start. The process that starts when the device is turned off for a short time. The start time itself is relatively short compared to the same cold start - from 1 to 60 seconds. At the same time, the GPS receiver stores in its memory all information about satellites, system time and coordinates. Only a few tens of seconds will be required in order to fully restore the receiver to your usual mode.
Hot start. Near-instantaneous GPS recovery mode, applicable after a loss of power due to loss of satellite signal. This happens, for example, when you find yourself in a tunnel. When such a case occurs, although communication with the satellite is lost, reliable information regarding the coordinates of the location is preserved. It remains saved from the previous coordinate location. The hot start time usually lasts no more than ten seconds. The lower this indicator, the more accurately your receiver tracks a given route.
Your location data is updated at a high frequency. This parameter is equal to an indicator in the range from 0.1 to 10 times / s. The vast majority of models update their location data every second. The receiver's leading indicator for this parameter is 10 updates per second.
The work of navigators is very tightly connected with mobile networks. The most common of them are only two, these are GSM and 3G. Mobile networks are used to calculate the location as accurately and quickly as possible. Interaction with mobile networks expands the capabilities of the device. Among these features are downloading a map of the location of satellites relative to the terrain, determining the time and location of the user. This option is implemented using a GPRS connection via the Internet.
Coordinate Accuracy Corrections
This option is available in almost all modern models of navigators. We are talking about amendments to special systems that serve to increase the accuracy of coordinates. The systems are called WAAS and EGNOS. However, the option is implemented only in territories where base stations are located that are capable of transmitting these amendments. The time spent on calculating the coordinates in the chip corresponds to the time it takes the radio waves to travel the distance from the satellite to the controller chip.
The EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Services) system was created specifically to increase the accuracy of navigation instruments from the satellite group. The system operates on the European territory. In Russia, unfortunately, it is almost impossible to use the system. The exceptions are the Leningrad, Smolensk, Pskov and Novgorod regions, as well as the Republic of Karelia. In these territories, base stations are installed, the coordinates of which are known in advance. Stations receive data from satellites and their coordinates. As a result, the stations calculate the error that is relevant for a given time and location. There are several reasons for the appearance of the error: delays in the ionosphere, poor weather conditions, errors in the direct location of the satellites, and some others.
The WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) system has a similar principle of operation to EGNOS. The system corrects the data received from the satellite. This process is controlled by base stations. The stations correct the data using special corrections, while the stations themselves are installed directly in the WAAS service areas. The system does not apply to the territories of the Russian Federation, but operates within the United States.
Display
The display is a part of the navigator, without which you simply could not find out anything, not your coordinates, not other information. The display shows all the necessary information about the location, and also simulates a map of the area. In addition, on the display you track the trajectory of your route. All modern models that are released on the home appliance market today are equipped with color screen displays. The screen size can be up to 7 inches. The minimum size is 3.5 inches. Of course, the large screen diagonal provides maximum comfort when using the GPS receiver. An important display parameter is the screen resolution. By the number of pixels, the value of this parameter ranges from 320 to 800 units. If the user frequently looks at the screen from a distance, the screen size can play an important role in the final purchasing decision.
The largest number of models is equipped with a touch screen. This decision of manufacturers is dictated by security measures. Now, while driving a car, you will spend a minimum of your attention on the navigator. In order to move the map to where you want, you only need to swipe your finger across the screen.
In addition, the touch display makes it easier for your device to perform multimedia functions. The necessary buttons, regardless of the mode in which the device operates, whether it is navigation or playing files, are automatically displayed on the screen. Also, you can adjust the brightness level and display backlight time on the GPS navigator. The bright, illuminated display is very convenient for drivers following the route, including at night. The screen backlight increases the brightness of the image on the screen and allows you to use GPS in the dark.
Navigator memory
The built-in memory of navigators allows you to load one or more maps into the device at the same time. The number of maps that can be loaded directly is affected by the amount of built-in memory of the device. Accordingly, the more maps loaded at the same time, the higher the performance of your GPS receiver. A number of devices can be upgraded by increasing the amount of internal memory. This parameter is of great importance if the device cannot download content from removable memory cards. All GPS navigators are equipped with special slots for memory cards. You can use the memory of your GPS device, among other things, to store media files.
Software
Navigators, like any technology on the market, are constantly being upgraded. This is dictated by the high level of competition. Competition affects not only the GPS receivers themselves, but also various related products. For example, software. There are dozens of competing companies among the manufacturers of software for navigators. We will talk about the most popular software from this long list.
Navitel. Software from a Russian company, which is endowed with all the necessary functions and the most necessary content. With Navitel you can optimally calculate your routes. Navitel, which is important, supports the ability to download information about the presence or absence of traffic jams.
To date, Navitel supports maps of cities in the Russian Federation.
Garmin. The software from the flagship of the market for navigation devices is considered one of the best in the world. The Garmin software contains maps of every city and country in the world. The software of this company is distinguished by the highest level of content and the ability to work with high-tech products. Speech recognition system, anti-theft system, Google synchronization system - all this is supported by software from Garmin. Software from Garmin is perhaps the best choice for people traveling the world.
city guide. Software, the main feature of which is the daily provision of updated city maps and traffic situation. Maps are also updated daily automatically. Under the traffic situation, among other things, it also means various road signs, speed limits, traffic jams. In addition, City Guide is also an information service that operates around the clock. Information services include the provision of information about traffic jams and route alternatives. City Guide works with all known platforms. Among them are familiar to you ios, android, windows mobile.
Sygic is software that belongs to the innovative software in the world of GPS navigation software. Sygic Mobile Maps for mobile devices runs on popular modern platforms. Among them are Windows Mobile, Symbian, Linux, Ios and others. In addition, the software has an interface and voice commands in Russian.
"Progorod". Software designed to work mainly in Russian cities. It features a high degree of detail maps of the area. Progorod is designed for navigators working with GLONASS satellites. The content that Progorod works with is impressive. The number of settlements covered by the Progorod software reaches 33 thousand, and there are about fifty regions. The road network included in the maps of the Progorod software includes 800 thousand kilometers. Progorod supports the Windows Mobile platform and car navigators - PND, a series of classic models of GPS receivers.
IGO is software designed for the road networks of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Europe. A distinctive feature of IGO is a special keyboard. The keyboard leaves active only those keys when typing street names that are possible with a combination of already entered characters.
TomTom is a program found on both original navigators and third-party devices. One of the features is the ability to download the latest information from weather stations.
Autosputnik is a Russian program covering more than 200 cities and towns in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and a number of European territories. Using the Autosputnik program, you can search for addresses knowing only the number of a house, building or building. Allows you to search for addresses not only by house numbers, but also by buildings and buildings. In addition, with the help of "Autosputnik" you can build a route taking into account traffic jams.
Navteq is a program that currently provides navigation in Moscow and the Moscow region, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, as well as in Europe.
Cards
As a rule, navigator manufacturers already take care of the necessary software for their devices in advance. Built-in maps, pre-installed software make your navigator completely ready for work when it is still in the store window.
If you need to download some content and install programs from certain manufacturers, you can easily purchase and install all this. The most detailed maps of the area for the GPS receiver still need to be purchased separately or loaded into memory from any suitable flash media. Loading occurs through appropriate flash-cards, cartridges and interfaces.
On maps installed in the device, the user can designate waypoints, which serve as signs of destinations. In most cases, these are various places of rest. If travelers have worked out the route in advance, waypoints will be considered key points of the route and will be associated with any changes in directions of movement, places of parking, overnight stays, crossings, locations of attractions that they would like to visit.
Routes
How to get directions using the navigator? A route is a set of waypoints located sequentially on key sections of the path. One route can contain up to 50 waypoints. The modern model of GPS receivers supports about 20 routes. Switching the navigator independently, the user is accompanied along the route from point to point.
In this case, the user moves relative to only two points - the start and end. A route consisting of a group of small sections will be more accurate given the complexity of the road network. Indeed, in almost all areas, traffic, one way or another, can be difficult for a number of reasons. Among them may be road works, traffic jams, markings and much more.
Ways to create routes
Automatic generation. The method that is considered the most convenient and effective. It is available in most modern models of navigators. The user sets the endpoint. And the navigator calculates the route automatically. This method is supported by the "autorouting" function. Autorouting is autorouting. Also, to implement the autorouting function, it is necessary to load maps with up-to-date traffic information into the navigator.
saved track. Having traveled a certain path, the user converts it into a route. The saved track is used in further trips along this path.
Enter waypoints manually. The user independently selects the places he needs on the map and adds points. You can choose your own point names.
Download from PC. You can download waypoints from your personal computer to the device's memory along the route. Compiled in advance.
Select points from the list. If the list of waypoints is prepared in advance, the user has the ability to vary the sequence of waypoints by adding or deleting them.
If you don't want to miss the point you need. Set up a custom alert. An alarm will sound when you approach your chosen point. In addition, the navigator will estimate the remaining distance to the point, and the amount of time required to reach it. The navigator will also zoom in on the map to make it easier to maneuver the car. When the desired point is reached, the device will move to the next point, according to the list you specified.
Tracks
In GPS navigators, tracks are a certain sequence of points that reflects the route you have traveled. Trackpoints are sometimes confused with waypoints, but they are different concepts. Track points inform the user about the current coordinates for a given minute, about the value of the height and speed of the car. The speed is calculated based on the neighboring coordinate points, as well as the difference calculated by the recording time. The track has the ability to return the user to the beginning of the path. This is done with a special feature called trackback.
Detailing
The detailing of the route is characterized by the number of points in the track. The proportions are as follows: the higher the number of points in the track, the higher the detail of the route. The number of points in a track can be different. Models of modern navigators can contain up to 5 thousand points in a track, while one track, if it is saved, cannot contain more than 256 points. Accordingly, this does not affect the quality of detail in the best way. In addition, the saved track does not leave indications of altitude and time, only coordinates. It is also worth adding that in the off state, the GPS device will not record the track. Therefore, the connection of points will occur before the device is turned off and immediately after it is turned on.
Switching
These include removable flash-memory cards, interfaces, slots designed to keep your device connected to the network.
Memory card slots
Removable memory cards are used to increase the built-in memory of the GPS receiver. This is necessary to expand the capabilities of the navigator. You can store detailed maps, routes, waypoints in large quantities if you use an additional memory card. There are several types of memory cards that work with modern models of navigators.
compact flash. The most common and cheapest type of memory cards.
MicroSD (Micro Secure Digital) is a type of flash memory card with a minimal size. Able to increase the amount of memory of the navigator several times.
SD (Secure Digital) is the fastest standard of all flash-memory cards that work with navigators. In addition to increased data transfer and recording speed, it also has a high degree of data protection. SD cards are durable, small and save device power. MMC format cards can also be inserted into the SD slot, but SD cards cannot be inserted into the MMC card slot.
Cartridge. The cartridge is not intended for storing and transferring files, however, all the necessary maps of the area are already recorded on it. Cartridges are produced by manufacturers of navigators.
Connectors
Most navigators are equipped with a headphone jack. This is necessary to implement the multimedia capabilities of GPS devices. These features include playing music files, video files, recording sound on a voice recorder and a system of sound messages.
Inputs
Navigators have an AV input. It can be used to transmit audio and video signals. Also, the input is used to connect the signal from some portable devices. For example, a camcorder or a TV tuner.
Interfaces
bluetooth. Ability to transfer data without the use of wires or cables. Bluetooth is used to download new maps and routes to the device, as well as transfer the necessary data to a personal computer.
COM port or RS-232. Another data transfer interface that is used in the same way as Bluetooth. With it, you can download maps, tracks and routes. Recently, this type of interface has lost its popularity. This is explained by the fact that the COM port provides a rather low transfer rate in comparison with analogues.
GSM/GPRS. A bluetooth-enabled module that provides internet connection. The module can be either external or built-in. This interface downloads data using GPRS technology. However, in order to use this service, the owner of a GPS navigator needs to purchase a separate SIM card. When plotting a route, you will definitely need to take into account existing traffic jams and the traffic situation in general. Given this condition, users prefer the Opera mini browser. This browser is supported by GPRS technology and does not require serious financial costs when downloading data. To keep Opera mini running, you also need an internal modem and the ability to connect to the Internet externally. If your device does not have such capabilities, you can use either a CFIO-Bluetooth module or a mobile phone for these purposes.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) is another interface for data transfer. It is considered the most convenient to use. All laptops and personal computers are equipped with this interface.
Standards
GPS receivers use the NMEA 0183 data transfer protocol. Since NNEA 0183 is a generally accepted standard, most of the corresponding devices are adapted to it. The data transfer protocol guarantees the compatibility of your device with popular software written to support GPS navigation.
Additional functions
Navigators today follow the course taken by the manufacturers of most consumer electronics and digital devices. We are talking, first of all, about the multifunctionality, versatility of devices. Due to current trends, manufacturers are forced to produce their devices with a fairly large list of additional features. Among these functions are the following:
Remote controller. A device for remote control of a navigator. The presence of the remote control is due to the versatility of the device. The remote has separate buttons for each function.
Speakerphone. Using this function, you can communicate by phone using the microphone and speaker and Bluetooth connection. The function is convenient for telephone conversations while driving, as you do not need to be distracted from driving.
MP3 player. The built-in player is a feature that is gaining more and more popularity among users. The player allows you to listen to musical compositions and other audio files read from a removable flash card.
Built-in games. They will perfectly cope with your longing during long waits in traffic jams of highways of big cities.
Built-in voice recorder. The user needs a voice recorder when creating audio recordings or short voice notes.
FM transmitter. This is a radio transmitter. It broadcasts sound to an ordinary radio tape recorder and operates in the FM wave range. To use the transmitter, the user needs to set a free frequency on the navigator and radio. A free frequency refers to a frequency that is not occupied, for example, by any radio station. The transmitter allows you to listen to media files, voice recordings and prompts directly through the car speakers. However, when using the transmitter, difficulties often arise. For example, during the entrance to the territory where the frequency used by him is occupied by the radio. In this case, the operation of the transmitter will be complicated by interference, it can be quite difficult to find a new frequency in such situations.
Magnetic compass. Uses satellite information. It is noteworthy that the compass does not interrupt its work even when the GPS-navigator is turned off.
Video. The function provides viewing of video files in formats supported by the device directly on the display of the GPS receiver.
Photo. Color displays of modern navigators allow you to view all kinds of graphic files without loss in image quality. Graphic files include, among other things, photographs.
Conclusion
Choosing a navigator, as you can see for yourself, is a rather difficult matter. The selection process is also complicated by the regular updating of the range of navigators and the endless complication of the functionality of these devices. Software for these devices appeared, map detail and chip performance reached unprecedented heights. The simplest devices have reached the level of multifunctional devices that have the ability to combine many devices. However, we are confident that you will make the right choice, because now you know everything about GPS navigators.

How to choose a navigator
How to choose a navigator
How to choose a navigator
How to choose a navigator How to choose a navigator How to choose a navigator



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February 2, 2023 16:11:37 +0200 GMT
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