How GPS Tracking Works


Before getting into the article it is quiet necessary to understand what GPS is. GPS stands for Global Positioning System which is space-based navigation system that retrieves information about time and location, in any weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an open line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The GPS concept is based on time. The satellites carry very stable atomic clocks that are synchronized to each other and to ground clocks. Any drift from actual time maintained on the ground is corrected daily. Likewise, the satellite locations are monitored accurately. GPS receivers have clocks as well however; they are not synchronized with precise time, and are less stable. GPS satellites continuously transmit their current time and position. A GPS receiver monitors multiple satellites and solves equations to determine the exact position of the receiver and its deviation from accurate time. At a minimum, four satellites must be in view of the receiver for it to compute four unknown quantities (three position coordinates and clock deviation from satellite time). Now I believe that you understood something about GPS.

GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is the use of satellites along with a GPS device to track the location of a person or object on or near the surface of the earth. GPS tracking requires the use of four or more satellites in a medium orbit around the earth to calculate the position of a tracking device within a fairly accurate degree of proximity. A GPS tracker can take a variety of forms and serve several different functions, but the overall process used by them is mostly similar. The three basic types of GPS trackers are data pushers, data loggers, and data pullers.

GPS tracking allows a person to determine his or her own location in the event of becoming lost or disoriented while hiking or traveling. Tracking devices have been used for some time on vehicles and on other important or valuable items to help locate them in case of loss or theft. GPS tracking devices have also been used for nature research to help track the position and movements of wild animals and to determine migratory patterns for mating and birthing among such animals. Such tracking can also be used in conjunction with a device like many modern mobile phones to help track lost or abducted children as well.

A GPS tracker is required to establish position through GPS tracking of a person or object. For many people, this can be a simple device such as a phone or handheld messenger. These types of devices are typically referred to as data pushers that periodically push or send out a signal to a receiver that tracks the movements and positions of the tracker. Simpler GPS tracking devices can be data loggers that use GPS to determine position periodically over a certain period of time, then allow a user to connect the device to a computer or other hardware to access the stored positional data. Data puller devices constantly track position through GPS but only transmit positional information upon request by another system and are often used in objects that do not need consistent tracking but may require tracking if stolen or lost.

GPS tracking requires the use of four or more satellites to accurately locate a GPS tracker on the surface of the earth or flying above the surface. While only three satellites would technically be required for accurate tracking, even minor errors in data received when calculated with the speed of light to determine positioning could lead to grossly inaccurate location results. To offset this possibility as much as possible, one or more additional satellites are used to reduce the chance of erroneous data being used to calculate position.

Vehicle Tracking

Vehicle tracking systems use a combination of technologies to keep real-time tabs on the position of a vehicle or to construct a history of where a vehicle has been. These systems are used in a variety of industries, and they also a key part of most stolen vehicle recovery strategies. Most vehicles tracking systems use GPS technology, and some also make use of cellular or radio transmitters. In short, implemented for monitoring the location of a truck, car or any moving vehicle using the GPS system and widely deployed to keep track of truck fleets, and make sure that vehicles are used properly.

Relay in real time: vehicle tracking relies both on the Global Positioning satellites (GPS) and a cellular system. A tracking module in the vehicle continuously picks up the GPS coordinates that indicate the real-time location of the vehicle. Using a cellular data service such as GPRS, the coordinates are immediately transmitted to the tracking company’s computers. Customers log in to the tracking company Web site to see their vehicles on road maps, similar to in-dash and handheld GPS-based navigation systems

No relay/report later: there are non-real-time tracking systems in which the in-vehicle module records the coordinates, but does not relay them for real-time monitoring. The data are downloaded from the module when the vehicle is returned at the end of the trip.

Passive
the simplest vehicle tracking systems are passive in nature. These trackers typically use a GPS device to record the position of a vehicle over time. When the tracker is removed, the data can be transferred to a computer and analysed. These tracking systems are useful for fleet management, but they also have other applications.

Active
More complex tracking systems also include the ability to transmit the location of a vehicle in real time. For fleet management and dispatch purposes, this data is typically monitored from a central location. This type of system can also be used for stolen vehicle recovery.

GPS Fleet Tracking

GPS fleet tracking employs the Global Positioning System (GPS) to observe and track vehicles in a business fleet. Generally, a GPS module is installed in each vehicle to track the vehicle’s precise location. The modules can also monitor a wide variety of vehicle information including speed, start up and shutdown of engine, route etc. The information from each vehicle is then often transmitted to a remote user. Depending on the GPS fleet tracking system used, remote users can view maps of vehicle locations and routes or access available reports on about the status of the vehicle via internet or software applications. Business owners, fleet managers and dispatchers commonly use GPS fleet tracking to improve fleet routing and accelerate dispatching. In addition, GPS can be used to monitor unwanted driver behaviour, reduce fuel consumption, prevent theft and provide various operational efficiencies. Many businesses find that these various cost-cutting benefits of GPS fleet tracking more significant than any cost for the system. The practical solution goes beyond traditional GPS fleet tracking to provide a variety of customisable manager reports that give managers the ability to gauge the effectiveness of their fleet in the field. Customised alerts notify management of unwanted driver behaviour and can be used to encourage fuel-saving practices.

Working of GPS Tracking

GPS satellites are constantly transmitting a signal toward the Earth, which includes their exact position and the precise time as measured by an atomic clock. Receivers pick up these transmissions, calculate how long it took the signal to reach them, and measure that against their own internal clock. By picking up a signal from at least 3 satellites, the device can then figure out exactly where it is using a process called trilateration: “If satellites are here, here, and here, I must be here.” The only information that is actually transmitted by a GPS satellite is its trajectory, along with those of all the other satellites in use, and the exact time of the transmission. The receiver then uses this information to calculate its position in 3 dimensional spaces as a set of coordinates.

Different methods are there for making the GPS tracking system to work. From a commercial perspective, GPS devices are generally used to record the position of vehicles as they make their journeys. Some systems will store the data within the GPS tracking system itself (known as passive tracking) and some send the information to a centralized database or system through a modem within the GPS system unit on a regular basis (known as active tracking) or 2-Way GPS.

A passive GPS tracking system will monitor location and will store its data on journeys based on certain types of events. So, for example, this kind of GPS system may log data such as where the device has travelled in the past 12 hours. The data stored on this kind of GPS tracking system is usually stored in internal memory or on a memory card, which can then be downloaded to a computer at a later date for analysis. In some cases the data can be sent automatically for wireless download at predetermined points/times or can be requested at specific points during the journey.

An active GPS tracking system is also known as a real-time system as this method automatically sends the information on the GPS system to a central tracking portal or system in real-time as it happens. This kind of system is usually a better option for commercial purposes such as fleet tracking or monitoring of people, such as children or elderly, as it allows a caregiver to know exactly where loved ones are, whether they are on time and whether they are where they are supposed to be during a journey. This is also a useful way of monitoring the behaviour of employees as they carry out their work and of streamlining internal processes and procedures for delivery fleets.

How does GPS for vehicle tracking systems work?

Linking vehicles to the office with GPS for vehicle tracking

Vehicle tracking system has an integrated GPS receiver to enable GPS for vehicle tracking, and a GSM transmitter to broadcast a vehicle’s location coordinates. Back in the office, fleet managers simply log on to a secure online application, to monitor each vehicle’s journey equipped with a vehicle tracking system. Location data is refreshed every minute, so you always have the up-to-date information you need to make important operational decisions.

Monitoring driving styles with GPS for vehicle tracking

Vehicle tracking system also has a g-force sensor to detect acceleration and abrupt movements such as harsh braking and over steering, along with current speed and idling time. By tracking these movements, you can quickly see which driving behaviours are pushing up your fuel bill and take steps to encourage a more efficient driving style.

Enhancing GPS vehicle tracking systems

For an enhanced GPS vehicle tracking solution just add one of the professional navigation devices. They enable two-way communications with the office for easier time management and job dispatch. And they connect to the LINK unit using Bluetooth and let drivers know when they need to change their driving style through a concept of providing feedback to the driver who is active.

Tracking devices

With today’s advanced capabilities in cellular and satellite communication, you can use GPS tracking devices for trucks, vehicles, barges and equipment, to better manage your mobile resources, no matter where they are located.

A satellite vehicle tracking system is the ultimate device in managing your mobile resources wherever they go. Pure Satellite GPS truck tracking offers detailed reporting and real-time GPS updates for companies that operate far from cellular network ranges, so that no matter where your vehicles are, you can keep track of their location, speed, direction heading and more. With accurate vehicle and employee statuses, you can manage an improved business process.

Passive systems allow for infrequent, periodic data transfer. Cellular GPS tracking systems are affordable solutions for companies and vehicles operating within cellular coverage areas a majority of the time. When you know the detailed status of your vehicles at all times, you can better manage your company assets for improved service and business.

GPS technology is integrated into several different systems. Perhaps the most common application is the turn-by-turn directions of car GPS units. GPS receivers are also present in most smartphones, but of course using your smartphone for navigation decreases your battery and your data allowance. GPS trackers are small, tough devices with two main parts: built-in GPS receivers and cellular radio transmitters. They pinpoint their positions from the GPS satellite system and then transmit location data to a server using a cellular provider’s network. This means that they require a SIM card and cellular service in order to work.

GPS vehicle trackers are invaluable tools for monitoring either a single car or an entire fleet of vehicles. A real-time car tracking device gives you up-to-the-minute speed and location updates, including text or email alerts based on parameters you set in advance. If you’re wondering if your driver has gone off course or if your teen has been speeding, the vehicle tracking devices give you the answers you need. Detailed reports tell you exactly where a vehicle has been, where it’s headed and how fast it’s traveling.

Conclusion: never ever fall in a myth that trackers are not good after reading this article. Though I haven’t explored much about tracking system, vehicle tracking, and about tracking devices but I am quite sure that I have covered the basic facts. Just get explored deep into such stuff and demolish the myth in you…

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