A GPS tracking device is not the same as a car GPS. Both GPS devices work by utilizing information via satellite coordinates. The basic purpose of a GPS tracker is to track a specific target vehicle or vehicles. The tracking device is able to relay information concerning where the vehicle has traveled, how long the vehicle stopped, etc. GPS tracking devices are usually installed in vehicles. However, GPS tracking devices can also be used for motor cycles, scooters and bicycles. Some GPS trackers are designed to monitor and track movements of laptop computers if computer is lost or stolen.
All GPS trackers use global positioning satellites which can determine accurately a vehicle’s location and speed. The GPS tracking system sends information to orbiting GPS satellites which route the data through a cellular or phone network back to an associated receiving device. GPS trackers can also send information via the internet and alert the recipient via SMS text messaging.
Like a common car GPS system, GPS trackers can also provide detailed mapping information showing where a target vehicle has traveled. The mapping details acquired can be archived for later reference.
GPS trackers are used by law enforcement, private investigators, fraud or insurance investigators, corporate and private individuals to secure information necessary for investigative purposes. Some companies, like limousine companies, cab companies and delivery companies, use GPS trackers monitor and keep accurate data records on how corporate vehicle fleets or properties are being utilized. In addition, GPS tracking devices can be used to track company vehicles if stolen.
Some companies used GPS tracking systems to improve productivity by monitoring mileage and speed of company vehicles to control fuel usage, thereby saving fuel cost. GPS tracking systems can also be used to log how employees use company vehicles for customer related delivery of products by detailing exactly when a product was delivered and received.
In addition, GPS tracking devices can be used legally to monitor family activities, i.e. children or spouses. However, the use of GPS trackers is controversial in these areas. Though GPS tracking devices can be used in most States, legally without a special permit or license, one should check applicable State or Federal regulations concerning the use of GPS tracking devices.
There are also functional differences between a GPS tracker and a GPS system. A GPS tracker is a device used to collect data by monitoring a target vehicle’s movements. This by default means the occupant or occupants inside the vehicle are tracked. A detailed map of the vehicles location can be sent a cell phone or computer system. The data received is not only recorded, but stored. GPS trackers are sometimes used by law enforcement officials to covertly track and monitor potential suspects being investigated.
GPS systems require installation of mapping software which allows devices to provide directional information for various locations. GPS trackers do not require mapping software to be installed in order to operate.
A GPS system is technically not designed to track a vehicle, but rather actively provide information to enable the driver to navigate successfully from one specific location to another preprogrammed destination.
All GPS systems use overhead satellites to acquire and relay latitude and longitude information which can pinpoint exact locations traveled. A GPS systems purpose is to provide directional information, while a GPS tracker purpose is to provide tracking information which can be used for investigative, corporate or private purposes.