Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The danger of GPS

Lately there have been increasing number of outlet around Kuala Lumpur / Selangor that is promoting GPS navigation system which can be plug into your vehicle and the device should be able to bring you around town without worry. GPS device comes in many different type/size. Some can be plug and play instantly, some have to be install into the vehicle, while others are portable and/or integrated into your phone.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS.

As a GPS user myself, you can assure 90% accuracy reaching your desired destination. Like credit card, it is indeed very helpful tools but if you don't take precautious step it might end up as harmful as it could (brankupcy, debts, stolen identity, etc). Here are a fews issue you should consider while using it.

1. Set before you go
Be sure to pick your destination before you start your journey. Never select while you are driving, it will cause danger not only to you but other road users.

2. GPS holder

For those who have their GPS integrated in their phone, it is adviced to get a GPS holder so that your gadget doesnt fall off when you are making turn or break. Be sure that the device is not blocking your view on the road.

3. Preset my favorite / home
Those application in market is getting more and more competative and thus vendor of such application tend to add in more and more little function that act as add on provide more values to its customer. Adding in favorite place and/or home can be convenience with just one touch the system is able to bring you home or to your favorite spot.
On the dark side, it could be dangerous too. Imagine if someone stole your gadget or you lost your phone and someone pick it up, or worse someone hijacked your car with the GPS in, that person can easily locate where you live and plan on how to get in to your house.

4. Trust your instinct too
Personally, I'm using Mapking on my HTC P3600i and I find it difficult to differentiate which route to pick when there is a flyover and the 'non-flyover' path. It seems that the application that I'm using is not able to tell (or I don't know how to read it.. yet) whether or not I should take the flyover. Never make any last minute decision even though you are already heading to the wrong path, do proceed and your GPS will reroute you back to the correct path.

Like credit card, if you take precaution steps, the application / device can be in great aid especially when you have limited time to explore new places.

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