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handheld gps menu display Not long ago, GPS devices were reserved for those in the armed forces, the aviation field, or search and rescue groups, to name just a few.  But today, handheld GPS units are used by a variety of regular folks, from cyclists to hikers, from skiers to mountain climbers.  GPS devices are even embedded in some cell phones so that parents can keep track of their children!

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The NAVSTAR global positioning system (GPS), a fairly recent invention, consists of a network of Earth-orbiting navigation satellites that people can use to pinpoint their location.  The satellites orbit at 12,500 miles above the earth, and are positioned around the earth in a giant geodesic dome pattern.  These GPS satellites rotate in a geosynchronous orbit, which means they stay in the same positions in relation to the earth and each other at all times.

hunter holding a gps unit GPS receivers can pick up signals from GPS satellites that are above the horizon, and they use information from each signal to determine their distance from each satellite.  A GPS receiver requires information from at least three (3) GPS satellites to calculate its latitude and longitude position.  Basic GPS units show only latitude and longitude co-ordinates, while more advanced GPS devices may incorporate digital map displays as well as travel distance and average speed calculations.  When all is said and done, a GPS allows anyone holding the receiver to determine his or her exact location!  While you can see how helpful this could be to those in the armed forces or in the defense industry, anyone who has been lost on a hiking trip or family outing can appreciate the value of a GPS system as well.

While many GPS units are still designed for aviation, automotive, and marine use, small handheld GPS units are popular with outdoor enthusiasts who use them for tracking their location in remote, wilderness areas.  These convenient GPS devices are also handy for people who spend lots of time traveling and going from destination to destination.  As GPS systems become more accessible and more affordable, people are finding they make great gifts for both outdoor enthusiasts and travelers who could benefit from a little extra help finding their way.

The GPS equipment suppliers listed here offer a selection of GPS gear and accessories.  Spend some time browsing these websites, learning about handheld GPS units and how they can enhance your outdoor recreation or travel experience.

black gps unit with antenna, display, and control buttons
A horizontal, black GPS unit is photographed on a white background.  The display shows the user's exact location coordinates.  Use a GPS unit to learn the distance and expected travel time to your next destination or even to provide detailed travel directions to your destination!

Shop For Handheld GPS Units

  • GPS and Electronics
    Find a broad range of GPS units, personal locators, and accessories from selected GPS product suppliers.  Featured listing.

GPS Equipment Manufacturers

  • Magellan
    Global developer and manufacturer of positioning, navigation, and guidance equipment features GPS solutions for the consumer electronics, outdoor, and automotive markets.  Magellan offers a selection of devices ranging from entry-level handheld GPS products to premium vehicle navigation systems.
  • Garmin International
    Leader in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and an innovator in consumer electronics. Garmin serves both the aviation and consumer markets, and its products are used in flying, boating, driving, hiking and other activities.
  • Navman
    Manufactures advanced, affordable GPS navigation, communications, and marine electronics equipment for business and recreation.
  • RoyalTek
    Professional developer of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology designs, manufactures, and markets GPS products for worldwide OEM/ODM requirements.
  • TomTom
    This innovative technology firm helps people find their way through all-in-one navigation solutions, handheld computers and smart phones.  Order a personal navigation product for your car or turn your PDA into a wireless personal navigation system.

GPS Navigation Directory

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