Global positioning system (GPS) software works with GPS hardware to deliver real-time data concerning the location of individuals and vehicles. In particular, GPS tracking software works with either a hardwired GPS tracking device, such as one built into a car, or a portable one that can be conveniently carried to different locations. The different types of GPS software relate directly to the type of hardware to which they are tied.
Vehicle-grade software uses a GPS satellite to provide drivers with up-to-date navigation information. Not only can they track the location of the vehicle, but they can look ahead based on a chosen destination and pinpoint the shortest or most convenient route. Such GPS tracking software typically comes with millions of preloaded points of interest (POI), identifying important stops along the way including gas stations and grocery stores.
Mobile phone tracking GPS software relies on either GPS or Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) cellular technology to track the location of a mobile phone. GSM is less precise and uses the strength of the roaming signal to triangulate the phone’s location based on its distance to nearby cellular towers. If the phone features integrated GPS, however, then the phone taps into a GPS satellite to obtain exact latitude and longitude coordinates.
Not all GPS tracking software is built for the same purpose. A GPS logger, for instance, is a type of GPS software that continually records a vehicle or shipment’s location. Business owners or police officers can later upload the information to a computer for analysis, such as in the case of an FBI agent tracking a suspect. Such systems are considered passive.
A personal GPS tracker is designed for tracking people. Built primarily for safety purposes, these small and portable devices can be carried around or clipped to a tie or belt. Their purpose is to maintain an easily accessible track of an individual’s movement at all time. Such devices also typically include an emergency button that alerts police officials to an impending threat or emergency.
The most common type of GPS tracking software is a real-time GPS tracker. This is the type frequently seen in mobile phones and vehicles. They rely on a GPS satellite to continuously transmit data to a server. The benefit of such software is that, in case of an emergency, the authorities can obtain immediate data on the individual’s location. This is the most expensive and sophisticated type of GPS tracking software.