1. Mobile Phones That Show You the WayMost of the major carriers offer navigation services for an additional monthly (generally about $10 per month) or per-day fee. Some newer phone models have GPS capability built in, while others must be linked to a separate GPS device. Dedicated GPS devices still provide larger screens, better maps, and an overall higher level of functionality than GPS-enabled mobile phones. But mobile phone navigation will continue to improve, and can meet the needs of the occasional user.
2. Internet Services: Photo Mapping and Sharing
Some online digital photo services, such as Flickr
, let you attach GPS location data to your photos. These "geotagged" photos are keyed to a map. You may then create an image gallery that allows users to click on a tagged map to see photos from tagged locations. It's a fun and impressive way to show off those vacation pictures, and has many practical business uses as well. You may geotag photos by using a high-end camera with GPS built in, or a model that may be linked to a dedicated GPS receiver. Another option is to simply carry a handheld GPS receiver with you and note coordinates as you shoot.
3. Internet Services: Route Mapping and Sharing
Have a favorite run, hike, or bike ride you'd like to share with friends, or the world? There are a number of ways to do that. Sites such as Garmin Connect
and Allsport GPS
accept direct route data downloads from your GPS device. The resulting route map, with elevation profile, speed, and other data may then be shared or stored for reference.
4. Google Earth
Google Earth is an amazing point-and-click online map of the globe that includes satellite photos, detailed street maps, 3D views, zoom feature and more. It is an excellent companion to GPS devices. One example of how it may be used: explore satellite images of a state park in Google Earth
, locating what looks like a great spot to hike, camp, or fish. Take note of the exact coordinates as noted by the pointer, enter the coordinates into your GPS device as a waypoint, and your GPS will lead you to that exact spot.
5. MusicSome in-car GPS receivers, and even some handheld units can store and play digital music in the MP3 format. In-car GPS receivers usually transmit music to your car's FM radio via a built-in FM transmitter, while handhelds generally have headphone jacks. These players aren't nearly good enough to make you give up your iPod, but GPS makers will continue to experiment with integrating music and improving the music interface.