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How does GPS mapping software work?

The global positioning system (GPS) is a network of satellites that orbit the earth and send a signal to GPS receivers and Navigation devices, giving them the precise location, speed, and if you are in an aircraft or up a mountain, altitude.

To be really useful for navigation, GPS mapping software has to be kept up to date. Every year, some 5 percent of our roads are changed in some way. New bypasses are built, lanes are added to existing roads, speed limits are changed, one-way systems are introduced, and traffic signals are changed. Your Navigation device needs mapping software that is regularly updated.

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This is the most obvious advantage of a digital mapping device, such as a Navigation device. Long gone are the days of relying on a traditional road atlas that is almost obsolete in some areas before you get into your vehicle.

Digital mapping companies are working constantly to update the GPS mapping software and to make it available to navigation device users as quickly and efficiently as possible. Digital maps come with street level detail to help you to find your way from A to B as conveniently as possible.

GPS satellites do not provide the maps they simply provide the position lock that is then overlaid on the maps by your GPS receiver. All navigation devices come with preloaded maps, but to make sure you have the latest maps for your navigation device, you have to install updated GPS mapping software regularly.

Map updates are available in two forms: either purchase an expansion card from a retailer or go online and download the updates to your computer ready for installing next time you connect your navigation device.