Selecting the Right GPS Tracking Device for You
Finding the right GPS tracking device depends on how you plan to use it. Preventing theft, finding fish, staying on the right path, keeping tabs on pets, and impressing style-conscious cats are all valid uses for a GPS tracking device. [Image shared by jeffreyw via Flickr]
Selecting the right (Global Positioning System) GPS tracking device for you can be a difficult task if you’re not sure exactly what you want out of the device. The average smart phone these days will double as a GPS tracking device on the fly, but it rarely offers reliable positioning in cases where you are out on the water or between cities on the road.

Add to that some of the extra features that people come to expect from a GPS tracking device, such as sonar for fish finding, and you’ve got a multi-purpose solution to a variety of situations.

You may even want to “tag” your car or property in the event that it’s stolen so you can give its location to authorities. A GPS tracking device can enable you to do this in a way that isn’t easily discovered by a would-be thief.

In this article, we’ll go over features you might want to look for in a GPS tracking device.

Using a GPS Tracking Device as Fish-Finding Sonar

Selecting the Right GPS Tracking Device for YouImagine being out on a boat with your buddies. You have bait, rods, and hooks at the ready. The only thing you’re missing is the fish. It’s almost impossible to predict where a school of adult fish will be at a given time. You can take educated guesses (under a pier, along the brush, etc.), but there is no guarantee that any fish are actually swimming where you cast your line.

A GPS tracking device equipped with sonar, such as the Lowrance Elite-4 Map Base Transducer, can give you a very real sense of whether the fish are actually swimming under your boat. It can save you a lot of time and frustration by practically eliminating the obstacle that dark, murky water can create. You’ll be able to “see” the fish swimming nearby.

Using a GPS Tracking Device to Track Down Pets and Property

Selecting the Right GPS Tracking Device for YouThis might not be a part of your standard GPS device’s integrated features, but imagine being able to track down your car or dog with the GPS software in your phone. Accessories like the Tagg Pet Tracker can make finding your lost pets or property easy. All you need is a smartphone or GPS unit that can take the GPS data transmitted by the device and enter it as a point on the map.

There are even some handheld GPS units that come with external tracking devices you can place on various objects in order to keep tabs on their location.

Other GPS Tracking Device Extras

Not all GPS devices are created equal. Most of them will do a good job of keeping you apprised of where you are in the world, as well as offer turn-by-turn directions to your destination. Some, however, will take this a step further by adding real-time traffic reports, FM transmitters for in-car audio, MP3 players, extended battery life, and even large POI (point of interest) databases that can point out interesting places nearby as you travel.

Finding the right GPS tracking device for you can require a lot of research, but the results can be well worth the initial investment. Your phone can handle most of the standard features that budget GPS units will deliver, but they rarely give you the full, feature-rich functionality you’ll find in a multipurpose GPS tracking device.