Monitoring Through GPS Tracking System
Modern technologies allow you to monitor a person using a small satellite signal transmitter built into a phone, car or tablet. There are also portable devices that can go unnoticed by users themselves.
As a means of tracking a person, you can use a regular smartphone equipped with a GPS navigation module, for example.
The main purpose of GPS trackers is to determine the coordinates of the object and transmit them to the observer. These devices are suitable for various tasks. For example, if you need to establish remote control over property, or you want to always be aware of where your loved ones are.
Let’s tell you in more detail how a GPS tracker works, what technologies are used to track the location, and what devices are available for such tasks.
Did you know that Google constantly monitors your online actions? Read more here.
How GPS tracking works?
A GPS tracker is an electronic device that determines the coordinates of an object. But in order for the location to be viewed on the map, it is needed a special software. The GPS monitoring system receives, processes and shows coordinates.
GPS trackers calculate the position of the object using satellite signals from global GPS systems, as well as from cellular base stations in places where the satellite signal is not available. Many trackers use a high-precision A-GPS (Assisted GPS) technology with a fast cold start. It helps to get the coordinates of the object even faster than the usual GPS.
Technically, the GPS tracker combines a GNSS receiver and a GSM module. This means that the device can determine the coordinates, the speed of movement and transmit this data via a GPRS cellular communication channel. To do this, use the SIM card that comes with the tracker.
What types of GPS devices are there?
The two main GPS devices are a tracker and a bug. The difference is that the GPS tracker does this in real time, as a result, you will know every minute where your child, employee or car is. A GPS bug transmits coordinates with a given frequency, for example, two or three times a day. It is used when there is no need for continuous monitoring. For example, to control the movement of goods, protect against theft of equipment, etc.
GPS trackers monitor a person’s location 24 hours a day. They are able to perform many additional functions. The route is shown as a solid line on the map. You can receive the signal using a mobile phone or any other device with an Internet connection.
Most often, GPS trackers are connected to the vehicle’s on-board network. Their rich functionality allows you to monitor the amount of fuel spent, speed, engine speed, and so on.
Fully autonomous tracking systems are called GPS bugs. They are so tiny that they can easily be put into a person’s coat pocket or attached to a collar if you want to track the location of the animal.
The system works according to this principle: throughout the time it is in sleep mode to save energy, but as soon as it becomes necessary, it signals its current location. The duration of the bug in this mode can be 8-10 months. The most advanced GPS beacons can perform the listening function.
Fine-tuning helps to set the restriction zone. If a person leaves it, the owner of the device will receive an SMS or email. The message will contain information with the coordinates of the bug.
The most advanced models have the function of listening to the audio medium. You can call the GPS bug and find out what’s going on around.
How the GPS tracker works: continuous monitoring mode
The device captures the movement in as much detail as possible. The trip points are collected every few seconds and form a detailed track. Ideal for monitoring transport and field employees, you can count the mileage by GPS.
How the GPS bug works: interval monitoring mode
The GPS bug transmits data at a user-defined time interval, usually several hours. The track will not be detailed, but the device can work without recharging for up to several years. Some models work only in one mode, while others can be flexibly configured according to the tasks.
GPS tracker selection criteria
- Tracking accuracy. The tracking device must provide the most accurate information.
- Tracking sensitivity. Such systems are usually used covertly, so an ideal tracking unit should be able to transmit data even if the object is out of sight.
- Frequency of data collection. Passive devices store information such as position, time and speed every second. The user gets access to this information once a minute, 5, 30, or up to 120 minutes. The frequency of data collection is also crucial.
- Battery life. The device can be connected to the vehicle system, which will give it an unlimited power supply; however, its mobility will be affected, which is not ideal, since many users prefer portable GPS trackers. Frequent use in an area with very limited network coverage will drain the battery faster than usual.
When does a GPS tracker the best choice?
Many people do not understand why a tracker is needed if modern phones can track geolocation anyway. But in addition to the above technologies, which are not supported by every smartphone, GPS tracker has a number of advantages. They are constantly at the facility, consumes the charge many times more economically, and the presence of a person and even a cellular connection is not always necessary for his work.
Here are examples of several tasks that a GPS tracker can handle better than a phone.
- Transport control: you can monitor the route and indicators of hired and personal vehicles — trucks and passenger cars in real time. Read about effective fleet management in our detailed guide.
- Safety of loved ones: always be aware of the whereabouts of children and other family members.
- Cargo safety: track the movement and compliance with the conditions of transportation by attaching a beacon directly to the cargo or to the car.
- Safety of equipment: remotely monitor the mode of operation of equipment.
- Animal control: View the location of farm animals and pets.
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