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Making Sense of GPS Tracking Jargon

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Sense of GPS Tracking Jargon

As with other high tech products, when discussing GPS tracking solutions, there is a tendency to throw around terminology that has the regrettable effect of confusing interested consumers. Let’s quickly and painlessly define the most commonly used terms and acronyms in the GPS industry and explain what they mean to you as a potential user of this extraordinary technology.

Real Time Tracking vs. Passive Tracking: Perhaps the single greatest distinction to be made between various GPS devices is whether they actively track a car, asset or individual in real time (“real time tracking”) or they simply log the tracking information in its built-in memory, which can be retrieved and viewed at a later date (“passive tracking”). If you simply want to keep a record of your subject’s travels, then Passive Tracking Devices are right for you. If you want to be able to monitor the whereabouts of a (usually expensive) asset or a person in real time, then Real Time Trackers will provide your GPS tracking solution.

Geofencing: One of the supreme benefits of real time trackers is their ability to allow you to set up Geofences. These are zones that you draw virtually on a customized map that, if violated by the tracking device, typically triggers an alert notification to be sent to specified e-mail or cell phone recipients. These are great at protecting your assets from thieves and others who are up to no good.

GSM and CDMA: GSM is simply the most popular network used to transmit cell phone calls across the country and world. It is the usual telecommunications standard used to send positioning updates in real time GPS solutions. CDMA is another cell phone network standard which, when used by GPS products, usually enhances the GPS device’s ability to maintain sending location updates even when it doesn’t have a direct view of the satellites.

Software Platform: This refers to the software component of GPS active tracking solutions. When you sign up for monthly GPS tracking services, you are able to monitor your vehicles by logging into your account on a website where the software platform is hosted. You do not have to install any software on your own for real time GPS tracking systems.

AVL: This stands for Automatic Vehicle Location. It refers to an interactive online system in which a fleet manager (or any other authorized user) can see the geographic coordinates of their vehicles (or ships or any other mobile assets) on a customized map.

While not as entertaining as some GPS-related posts, if you’ve made it this far, then hopefully you’re now acquainted with some of the commonly used jargon terms in the world of GPS tracking. Stay tuned for more helpful info and tidbits about GPS Tracking.

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