We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
79,629 News Articles

Six cool ways to use your GPS satnav

Golf, drink and be merry with your GPS

No, finding a Little Chef on the A1 is not one of the six coolest ways to use your GPS. And we're not about to tell you that avoiding speed cameras is cool. But there are ways to get more out of your satnav than simple road navigation - as PC Advisor contributor John Brandon explains:

"You're never going to make that shot."

"Care to make a bet on that?" I countered.

I was playing golf at the Lincoln Park Golf Club near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, with my friend Erik. It was a cool mid-May morning with only a slight breeze coming off the ocean.

I was out to prove that technology can give you an edge over simple intuition, especially when your golf game is slightly less than spectacular (like mine).

Eventually, I decided on a 3 iron and lined up the shot. Thwack. With a low but powerful arc, my thunderous drive split the fairway and landed softly just a few yards from the green.

As any trainer can tell you, golf requires good fundamentals and sound judgment. If you know how far you can hit each driver or iron, you can easily shave a few strokes off each round. And yet, my trick is not that mysterious... and it's legal for even a touring pro - according to a PGA ruling from early last year.

I use a Magellan eXplorist XL to check the exact distance to the pin. The GPS device is accurate within a 1m or so, the screen is big enough to see course maps, and it's ruggedised with side grips and a thick plastic shell.

I've dropped it many times - on the golf course, during hiking trips with my kids and even over the side of a fishing boat - but it keeps right on working.

For corporate events, business trips or just a daily commute through rush-hour traffic, a GPS device is an indispensable ally. The GPS uses 24 satellites that follow precise orbiting patterns about 12,000 miles up in the sky. The handheld device typically locks onto three or four satellites at one time to find your exact position.

Once you have found an easy route through traffic - thanks to clear and accurate voice prompts - or hiked from one campsite to another without getting lost, there's no going back to maps or handwritten directions.

Here are six innovative uses for a GPS device during your day.

Continues on next page >>


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review: The best iPad mini and Nexus 7 rival tablet around

IDG UK Sites

Which Mac? Complete Apple Mac buyers guide for 2014

IDG UK Sites

Mobile email is powerful and useful - but also hopelessly intrusive

IDG UK Sites

Samsung lights up London skyline with Midnight Rainbow