Review of the Garmin Handheld 60C & 60CS GPSMAP GPS
A Bit of Marine Navigation History

GPS Shopping Resources, Global Positioning System Information,Garmin Handheld 60C & 60CS Review & Marine Navigation History

 

Recent electronic developments have made marine navigation easier and more reliable. The most popular navigation tool today is probably the GPS receiver. These little jewels use technology originally developed for the military to locate the receiver's position very accurately.

GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, is a radio navigation system that allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world. The capabilities of today’s system render other well-known navigation and positioning “technologies”—namely the magnetic compass, the sextant, the chronometer, and radio-based devices—impractical and obsolete. GPS is used to support a broad range of military, commercial, and consumer applications.

24 GPS satellites (21 active, 3 spare) are in orbit at 10,600 miles above the earth. The satellites are spaced so that from any point on earth, four satellites will be above the horizon. Each satellite contains a computer, an atomic clock, and a radio. With an understanding of its own orbit and the clock, the satellite continually broadcasts its changing position and time. (Once a day, each satellite checks its own sense of time and position with a ground station and makes any minor correction.) On the ground, any GPS receiver contains a computer that "triangulates" its own position by getting bearings from three of the four satellites. The result is provided in the form of a geographic position - longitude and latitude - to, for most receivers, within a few meters.

Once the GPS receiver knows its position, the next challenge is to present that information to the user. Generally, LCD screens are used to show maps, coordinates, speed, direction and other useful information. The NMEA standard is used to communicate between units such as radars, depth sounders and on-board instruments such as fuel flow sensors to present the information on user configured displays. Radar information can be shown as an overlay on a navigation chart and a virtual underwater 3-D picture can be shown using a NOAA data base, the GPS output and a laptop computer loaded with navigation software.

How does GPS Work ?

Global Positioning System satellites transmit signals to equipment on the ground. GPS receivers passively receive satellite signals; they do not transmit. GPS receivers require an unobstructed view of the sky, so they are used only outdoors and they often do not perform well within forested areas or near tall buildings. GPS operations depend on a very accurate time reference, which is provided by atomic clocks at the U.S. Naval Observatory. Each GPS satellite has atomic clocks on board.

Each GPS satellite transmits data that indicates its location and the current time. All GPS satellites synchronize operations so that these repeating signals are transmitted at the same instant. The signals, moving at the speed of light, arrive at a GPS receiver at slightly different times because some satellites are farther away than others. The distance to the GPS satellites can be determined by estimating the amount of time it takes for their signals to reach the receiver. When the receiver estimates the distance to at least four GPS satellites, it can calculate its position in three dimentions.

There are at least 24 operational GPS satellites at all times. The satellites, operated by the U.S. Air Force, orbit with a period of 12 hours. Ground stations are used to precisely track each satellite's orbit.

Determining Position
A GPS receiver "knows" the location of the satellites, because that information is included in satellite transmissions. By estimating how far away a satellite is, the receiver also "knows" it is located somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere centered at the satellite. It then determines the sizes of several spheres, one for each satellite. The receiver is located where these spheres intersect.

Global Positioning System Resources:

Covert GPS Vehicle Tracking Systems is the only tracking system that does not require a skyward pointing antenna. Antenna works while hidden up to 28" under the vehicle without sacrificing more than 10 percent efficiency when compared to a traditional roof mounted GPS antenna. This means quicker, more reliable covert installations. www.covert-gps-vehicle-tracking-systems.com

This is a huge list of online GPS dealers and price comparison sites. Be sure to ck Amazon--they are new to the sporting goods field and have unusually low prices to attract buyers.

Garmin,Magellan,Lowrance, Eagle, 3000+ brands. 50+ sports. One cart. Amazon's new Sporting Goods Store. www.amazon.com

GPS Explorer Marine Navigation
Buy marine navigation equipment. Free shipping. No tax. Order online or call us toll-free. www.gpsexplorer.com

Boat Electronics at Overton's
Overton's offers a wide selection of water sports products including boat electronics and more. Order online or call toll-free. Get great service and low prices. www.overtons.com

Sperry Marine Integrated Navigation and Bridge Systems
Sperry Marine (part of the Northrop Grumman Corporation is the worldwide marine market's preferred partner for smart navigation and ship control solutions. www.sperry-marine.com
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Coast Marine--Discount Marine Electronics
Boat Electronics from Furuno, Garmin, Lowrance, Raymarine and many more. GPS, VHF Radios, Radar, Epirbs and Fishfinders. Low prices and fast delivery with after the sale support. www.coast-marine.com

GPS Tools--Discount GPS with Free Overnight FedEx
GPS equipment from Garmin as well as memory carts, software, cables, mounting brackets, power cords, accessories and more. Free shipping on everything. www.gpstools.com 


NauticalCharts.com
Easy click selection of NOAA charts, waterproof charts, ChartKits, C-Map electronic charts and nautical books. www.nauticalcharts.com

Garmin GPS Devices at BoatersWorld.com
Buy now. At BoatersWorld.com, your order is tax-free and includes free shipping when you spend 00 or more. Orders are protected by our low price guarantee. Over 0,000 products; shop now. www.boatersworld.com

Bluewater Books and Marine Charts
Complete selection of up-to-date Charts, E-Charts, & Boating Guides; whether you are cruising a lake or around the world, we have what you need. www.bluewaterweb.com

NavStore--Buy Digital Marine Charts Online
Buy digital charts from one of the world's most experienced marine computer integrators. www.navstore.com

AtlanticRT Marine Electronic Superstore
Atlantic RadioTelephone has been serving the marine industry since 1973 with sales, service and installation of high quality marine electronics. Quality guaranteed at our official site. www.atlanticrt.com

Boat Store USA--Find Affordable Boat Electronics
Boatstoreusa.com offers a complete line of affordable boat accessories, parts and equipment. Products include anchors, dock lines, safety equipment, engine parts and much more. Order now. www.boatstoreusa.com
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GPS Megastore --Free Overnight Shipping on GPS Products
New lower prices and free shipping for the holidays on Garmin, Magellan, Cobra, TomTom and Navman GPS. Check out our resale program for your old GPS. www.gpsmegastore.com

GPS World Supply--Garmin GPS Marine GPS -
New and overhauled Garmin GPS units and accessories in stock at GPS World Supply. Call-toll free, speak to a live person.
www.gpsworldsupply.com 

GPS Equipment: GPS Mania
Try the GPS Mania wizard. You can save up to 25% by going through the wizard. Until Dec 23rd it is $4 overnight shipping on eveything. Price match: find it lower and see if we can beat it. www.gps-mania.com

The GPS Store--
The GPS Store offers a large selection of GPS units, including Garmin, Magellan, DeLorme and more at low discount prices. We offer fast worldwide shipping and great service. www.thegpsstore.com

Gps Tracking System
Specializing in Gps vehicle tracking and fleet management systems. www.gpstracking.us

Anchor Express---They Have Marine GPS Items at Low Prices
Flat rate overnight shipping. Anchor Express offers low-price guarantees on thousands of name-brand GPS and marine electronics products. www.anchorexpress.com

Go Mobile Now--GPS Equipment - Very Low Prices
They offer Garmin, Magellan, Delorme, Pharos, Travroute and more. www.gomobilenow.com

GPS Now--Buy GPS Equipment
Have it tomorrow from GPS NOW - BBB and BizRate certified. Full line of accessories in stock. Fast, easy-to-navigate Web site. Easy-to-understand comparisons of popular GPS receivers and compatible GPS mapping software.Detailed product information, pictures and comparisons. www.gpsnow.com

Coastal Marine Gps at Discount Prices
Low prices. Thousands of items in stock. Shop with one of America's discount marine suppliers. www.coastalmarineonline.com

Spectra Precison--GPS Equipment Online
Spectra Precision provides an extensive catalog of optical devices, lasers, machine control systems, software and more, as well as innovative Trimble GPS component products. Shop online. www.spectralasers.com

GPS Signal--Marine GPS Units -Discount prices and free FedEx shipping. Garmin GPS for automotive, marine, recreational and aviation. Shop online direct or call toll-free. www.gpssignal.com

The GPS Store has Marine GPS equipment. The GPS Store offers a large selection of GPS units, including Garmin, Magellan, DeLorme and more at low discount prices. We offer fast worldwide shipping and great service. www.thegpsstore.com

Argonaut Computer, Inc. - Marine PCs
Argonaut®'s high-performance marine electronics technology provides reliable navigation operations to the marine and military industry. www.argonautcomputer.com

Garmin Products at Backcountry.com
Backcountry.com carries Garmin, a leader in GPS technology and an innovator in consumer electronics. Plus fast and free shipping. Backcountry.com. We use the gear we sell. www.backcountry.com
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Marine GPS Unit at Circuitcity.com
Official Site. Check out our great prices on the cool electronics. Buy online and pick it up at any Circuit City store, or get free shipping on orders and up. www.circuitcity.com
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Landfall Navigation® Marine Navigation
The source for offshore safety and navigation equipment for serious sailors and navigators, including GPS systems, strobes, weather equipment, charting and plotting tools, clothing and more. www.landfallnavigation.com

Get a GPS - Marine GPS Products
Low prices and services for all your GPS needs. Garmin and Magellan units and accesories. Garmin Products
Great prices for Garmin Magellan unit and accessories. www.getagps.com


Waterproof Marine GPS at Hammacher.com
Navigate and store waterway routes with this waterproof marine GPS unit from Hammacher Schlemmer. Backed by a free lifetime guarantee. Offering fine products and gifts since 1848.These people are not cheap, but have some very cool items.  www.hammacherschlemmer.com

A M Nautical--Marine Charts-Interactive Chart Catalog
American Nautical Services, world-class nautical chart agent for British Admiralty, Noaa and Nima charts. Try out our on line chart catalogs for easy chart selection. www.amnautical.com
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123-GPS.com Marine Navigation offers a large selection of Magellan, Lowrance, Garmin and Eagle GPS from handheld to marine. Marine GPS . Whether you are hunting, hiking, boating or mountain climbing, we have it. www.123-gps.com
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NauticalCharts.com
Easy click selection of NOAA charts, waterproof charts, ChartKits, C-Map electronic charts and nautical books. www.nauticalcharts.com
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Calibrex--Marine Navigation -  Before you buy, compare prices at Calibex. They have a complete selection of computers, electronics, video games and office products from online stores. www.calibex.com
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Outdoor Super Store--Buy Marine GPS Systems Online
Find a large array of marine products. OutdoorSuperStore.com carries all the latest in marine supplies and equipment. Outdoorsuperstore.com is your source for electronic boat gear. They offer 70,000 products and accessories for marine, camping, archery, freshwater fishing and other outdoor activities. Shop online or request a free catalog. www.outdoorsuperstore.com

Garmin at Bass Pro
Find all your outdoor needs at Basspro.com. We has quality marine electronics, clothing and outdoor accessories for the whole family, perfect for hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. www.basspro.com

W M J Marine--Marine Navigation
A large selection of tools including GPS, marine chart, compass, mapsource and more. Marine GPS system from all major brands. Deeply discounted price. Huge selection of marine charts from C-Map and Navionics at great prices. They ship worldwide. www.store.wmjmarine.com


Marine Navigation at AhoyCaptain.com
Our Nx Navigation system from Comnav - a comprehensive series of analogue and digital instruments for navigation at sea. www.ahoycaptain.com


Marine GPS from Adventure GPS
Adventure GPS has the Garmin or Lowrance GPS or fishfinder that you need. Great selection and prices. Plus Maptech marine software. Garmin GPS - New Quest  in stock - pocket sized and powerful. StreetPilot  available. Foretrex , Forerunner , CS, Vista C, Legend C. Great prices. Rebates on GPSMAP models. www.gpsfun.com


School of Ocean Sailing offers live onboard sail training in Ocean Sailing & Advanced Navigation, Celestial Navigation and Offshore Passage Making; available in both Maine and the Caribbean. www.sailingschool.com

Landfall Navigation® Marine Chart
Noaa, Nima (DMA), Usace, Imray, NDI/CHS, Maptech, Richardsons', C-Map, Waterproof, Navionics, Garmin, Nobeltec and more. All marine charts in stock and up to date. Chart experts. www.landfallnavigation.com

Discount Garmin - GPS World Supply
New and overhauled Garmin GPS, full line and accessories. Talk to a real person toll-free. www.gpsworldsupply.com

Marine GPS at Marisafe
Marisafe offers a quality selection of gps units and marine electronics backed by knock your socks off service designed to make you safe, smart and secure. Marisafe offers a quality selection of on-line nautical charts including marinas and dive sites as well as paper charts and cruising guides. www.marisafe.com


Autonav.com - Marine Electronics
A full range of marine electronics, navigation and communications systems including automatic pilots and voyage recorders form the basis of intelligent Autonav network systems. www.autonav.com


G-NET In-Vehicle Computing
Rugged Windows based in-vehicle computers and VGA LCD monitors for automotive, RV, marine, police and industrial applications. Systems support digital media, GPS, DVD and wireless Internet. www.gnetcanada.com

Marine GPS Sale Now at iboats.com
Marine GPS and , other boating products. Marine Charts and GPS
Garmin G-Charts and GPS receivers. Products from all the top brands including Garmin, Raytheon, Furuno, and Magellan: receivers, instructional videos, color chart plotters, adapters, maps, and more. Order online or call. www.iboats.com

QuaTech--GPS Receivers for Mobile PCs and PDAs
GPS receivers for Bluetooth, CompactFlash and USB provide highly accurate positioning data for marine applications. Ultra low power. PocketPC, Windows 98/2000/XP. GPS Software included. www.quatech.com

GPS On Sale--Fish Finders from Garmin and Others
Full-line of fish finders and accessories. GPS plotters with sounders down to the basic. Same day shipping weekdays. www.gpsonsale.com

Marine GPS systems at Boatersland
This site sells name-brand marine GPS systems and a full line of marine electronics. www.boatersland.com


Big Boys Travel Toys offers mobile video equipment, binoculars, car top carriers, GPS and other travel accessories. Buy brand name products online. Free shipping on orders over $200. www.bigboystraveltoys.com

GPS Equipment at BestPriceGPS
At BestPriceGPS, you can get great service and high quality merchandise without waiting. All of our product is new and sold for big savings. Browse our store today. www.bestpricegps.com

Stahly--GPS Precision Agriculture Equipment
Save on Raven, Mid-Tech and Trimble GPS agriculture products including receivers, mapping programs, and light bars for accurate distribution of various agriculture needs. www.stahly.com

GPS Systems: Free Shipping on all GPS. Garmin, Magellan and Whistler. Great prices and selection. www.camping-gear-outlet.com

Discount Marine GPS at Sears
Guaranteed low prices on a wide selection of GPS systems from Earthmate, Magellan and more. Sears will match any price on identical items, plus 10%. www.sears.com 

Marine GPS Online at Wal-Mart
Shop Wal-Mart online for GPS, navigation, vision equipment and more. Large selection, everyday low prices. www.walmart.com


Anchor Express has Marine GPS Items at Low Prices
$12.99 flat rate overnight shipping. Anchor Express offers low-price guarantees on thousands of name-brand GPS and marine electronics products. www.anchorexpress.com

PCD GPS Tracking GPS Vehicle Tracking System
Protect your vehicle against theft with Millennium Plus from PCDGPSTracking.com. It can be used for applications such as remote engine starting, vehicle recovery and more. Great prices. www.pcdgpstracking.com

Great prices on GPS systems marine use, Marine GPS.  Great prices on GPS Global Positioning Systems from Garmin, Magellan, Navman, etc.
www.salestores1.com

GPS Equipment at Circuitbreakerz
Circuitbreakerz: huge variety of state-of-the-art consumer electronics at great prices. All the renowned brands in laptops, monitors, plasma TVs, PDAs, GPS gear, projectors and much more. www.circuitbreakerz.com

Marine GPS at SouthCoast
Next day shipping $12.99 until December 23 and free tech support at SouthCoast. www.southcoastind.com

Marine GPS at Shopping.com
Find, compare and buy products in categories ranging from GPS devices to sports equipment. Read product reviews and compare prices with tax and shipping from thousands of online stores. www.shopping.com

GPS, Marine: Compare Prices at PriceGrabber
Compare prices including tax and shipping on electronics, accessories and more, plus read reviews and find store ratings. Find your bargain deal at PriceGrabber.com. www.pricegrabber.com

Boat Electronics etc is your one-stop shop for great selection, service and prices on marine electronics. Choose from names like Garmin, Eagle, Furuno and more. Visit us today. www.storesonline.com 

Who knows, you might just find it on eBay ! Marine Gps on eBay
With over 5 million items for sale every day, you'll find all kinds of unique things on eBay - the World's Online Marketplace. www.ebay.com  

GPS Vehicle Tracking System: DirectTrack
Gpsautotrackingusa.com offers DirectTrack - an automobile tracking device. Interface with your vehicle anytime through Internet, e-mail, cell phone or pager. Great prices. Order online. www.gpsautotrackingusa.com

A review of one of our favorites--The new handheld Garmin 60C and Garmin 60Cs GPS
Garmin GPSMAP 60C Handheld GPS


The GPSMAP® 60C is a new all-purpose unit—loaded with exciting new features and showing you everything in bright colors. It is lightweight, rugged, and waterproof. The Garmin 60C has 256-color and highly reflective display for easy viewing in almost any lighting condition, including bright sunny days. Transreflective TFT technology provides excellent viewing and gives longer battery life.

The Garmin 60C GPS is packed with extra features, including fast automatic routing calculations, an integrated outdoor calendar, a dedicated geocaching mode, and GPS games.

The GPS-60C appears to us to be the new "GPS for all". Street Prices are approximately $415US, but we have found some authorised dealers that can offer you lower prices if you place the order by phone, ask for the best possible price when you call. They just cannot advertise the low prices online.

These small handheld GPS do not come with maps installed, you choose what you need for your own personal use . Every previous Garmin model seem to be many people's favorite, and this new model will probably be a best seller.

Previously, Garmin has divided the GPS market into Outdoor, Marine, Car Navigator, and Aviation. The G-60C does a good job at street navigation and outdoor applications. It can be used for marine navigation and aviation, so this model is goning to fit many folks needs.

The Garmin 60C or 60CS has many different user screen options. The Menu gives you control over which screens are displayed.

The 256-color transreflective TFT display can actually be read in sunlight and Garmin's claim of up to 30 hrs of battery life is close to accurate for us. Since it uses regular AA batteries, you can keep rechargables in rotation or even pick up regular AA's just about anywhere in a jam. You won't need to use the backlight to make it readable in sunlight and this saves big-time on battery life.

This model is a good unit for the average person who may not have GPS experience. It doesn't have the aviation database but a techie person can get it at no cost, the marine database is probably around $200 and it depends on how much geographical area you need in your GPS.

Some of the speical features of the Garmin GPSMAP 60C Handheld GPS are auto-routing, alarm clock, geogames, hunting and fishing cycles, lunar stage reporting, when to look for certain celestial bodies for an 'event', night mode screen type change, and it is submergable to something like 10 meters for 30 minutes. This GPS even auto- changes to night mode based on daily sunset patterns. It can caluclate the tides wherever you go and and at any time and is WAAS compatable (wide area augmentation system) an dit is DGPS compatable. The 60Cand 60cs are accurate to the centimeter, which is weapons grade accuracy, differential GPS.  It is the first GPS to court the GeoCachers with built in geo cache features. It you are not famliar with this popular and fun outdoor hobby, go to www.geocaching.com . The Garmin 60CS model has barometric pressure transducer, and internal electronic compass. All these features and this one will do what only about 3 current models on the market will do, give you turn by turn on the fly auto-routing without needing a laptop. This is what people pay something like 3 to 5 grand extra for in the pricey cars.

The new twisted active antenna has a 12 channel lock and is aware of up to 50 satalites and locks in on 12 at a time. The screen size is large compared to the overall size of the unit.

Garmin is really good about updating the softwre for all it's models over time and supports even older models really well. Garmin will buy back your older models at just under half price if you decide to move up to a newer model. Garmin tens to have dealers that specialize in a particular use of the GPS product, like marine navigation, aviation, hiking, etc...and sometimes these dealers only really know the ins and outs of using the GPS for their typical functions. We found a dealer that began as a hiking focused dealer but now sells a whole lot of units to everyone. Call to get the real good, over the phone price. www.TVNAV.com

Software,
The G-60C does not come with any mapping software in the standard package. It comes with a POI CD and software which allows upload and download of waypoints, routes and tracks. This model gps is designed to work with "CitySelect 5" (NavTech-based maps) but it will work with CityNavigator, Garmin TOPO maps, MetroGuide 4 and 5, World Map and various Garmin Marine maps.  Garmin recommends the MapSource CitySelect maps for this product. Garmin recommends their 24K Topo product for use in OffRoad activities.

If you use the optional CitySelect 5 maps, you can install all or portions of   USA regions and available Canada maps into a PC computer. Then you select which map subsections to load into the G-60C's 56 MB of available map memory space. If you already own The MetroGuide USA maps you can use them for auto-route on the 60C, although Garmin says "they don't support them".  The latest MG5 maps do not have autoroute capability.

We have found the MapSourse and NavTech to work equally well in most situations but to have slightly different little  gravel roads in rural South Carolina--some different on each version. Some named with old names, some with names no locals ever heard of. SO if you are going to be hiking, biking, or looking for a glider plane and pilot who landed "out"  in way-rural areas, talk to other folks in that field of interest about what GPS software they like best.

Automatically Generating Routes,
The G-60C has the ability to generate an automatic route for you from your current location to another. The destination point can be  an address, waypoint, road intersection, city or town, highway exit, Point of Interest from the internal list, or Recently Found Places.  This user-friendly system is easy to learn and works well. The performance in this capacity  is equal to the best current model autonavigators people say.

Tide Tables,
The 60C can display them. They are available online as a 5.13 MB download. As long as you have MapSource installed, you can install this software and it will get added to your list of available map products in MapSource as "GPSMAP 162/168 Tide Points".  Here is a link to the Garmin Tide Free GPS Software. Then you upload the Tide Points just like any other map upload from MapSource. Select the map sets and maps you want, including the Tide Points you want, and proceed with the upload. And one handy point, is that the cable to use from PC to the Garmin 60C is the same one used by many digital cameras, so you may have the right one already plugged in to a USB port and waiting if you use your camera a lot.
Once you have done these steps, your "Find" screen will have an option for "Marine".  Select Marine, and it tol see an icon for "Tide Station".

Basemap,
The basemap in the G-60C comes in multiple versions depending on the part of the world the G-60C is sold in. The base map CANNOT be changed and so if you buy a unit in the USA and use it in Europe, you will have to load CitySelect maps into the G-60C for all areas you intend to navigate as the USA version basemap doesn't have much detail for any part of the world except the States and Canada.

Garmin is also good about giving free downloads and software upgrades from the Garmin tent at events like Sun N Fun and the big aviation Fly-In at Oshkosh every year. Maybe they do that at big marine and camping / hiking events too.

Memory in the 60C or 60CS is not expandable. You can't use  memory storage chips. You can load chunks of maps that do not touch one another geographically, so focus on the towns and cities and skip the ones that are just plain highway.

We think the Garmin bean bag mount for the 60C is really handy for automobile dash and especially if you use rental cars. You might want the cigarette lighter plus too. The aviation yoke mount is a bit heavy and could be in the way on a long flight. For bicyclers there is a handlebar mount available. I want one !

Other Manufacturers:
Trimble is sorta the GPS of the 'old school' we think, all the older people know and will lean toward Trimble, especially ones who got used to panel  mounted marine Trimble GPS's.  Trimble has a strong reputation with the military and in marine navigation situations. Magellan offers hand held GPSes and may be lower priced than a Garmin unit, but you get what you pay for. Magellan does not offer as many layers of database information to switch back and forth between.

If you are interested in buying a Garmin 60C or 60CS, try some of the links on the Google AdSense bar at the top of this page.

GPS Accuracy
The accuracy of a position determined with GPS depends on the type of receiver. Most hand-held GPS units have about 10-20 meter accuracy. Other types of receivers use a method called Differential GPS (DGPS) to obtain much higher accuracy. DGPS requires an additional receiver fixed at a known location nearby. Observations made by the stationary receiver are used to correct positions recorded by the roving units, producing an accuracy greater than 1 meter.

When the system was created, timing errors were inserted into GPS transmissions to limit the accuracy of non-military GPS receivers to about 100 meters. This part of GPS operations, called Selective Availability, was eliminated in May 2000.

GPS is a powerful tool that can save a ship's navigator hours of celestial observation and calculation. GPS has improved efficient routing of vessels and enhanced safety at sea by making it possible to report a precise position to rescuers when disaster strikes.
GPS improves efficiency on land as well. Delivery trucks can receive GPS signals and instantly transmit their position to a central dispatcher. Police and fire departments can use GPS to dispatch their vehicles efficiently, reducing response time. GPS helps motorists find their way by showing their position and intended route on dashboard displays. Railroads are using GPS technology to replace older, maintenance-intensive mechanical signals.

Nautical Chart Errors have been  corrected since GPS came along.
The data collected from satellite navigation systems provide more accurate information for maps and nautical and aeronautical charts. This is important and charts are updated to prevent marine navigational mishaps.

This list includes well known gps  manufactuters and brand names:

  • magellan
  • pedometer
  • lowrance
  • garman
  • navigational
  • streetpilot
  • mapsend
  • navtech
  •  

A bit of Marine Navigation History

From the times of early sailing vessels powered by oars to the era of steam propelled ships, there was very little change in the technology used on ships. Most changes had to do with sail design. Navigational instruments and methods also experienced very slow changes just as ship designs had. The magnetic compass has it's origins in the 13th Century. Columbus used dead reckoning and a quadrant on his trans-Atlantic crossings. At that time, sailors crossing the Atlantic sailed to a known line of latitude, then went either east or west, staying as close to that parallel as possible. The marine sextant came along in 1731 and today's sextants are surprisingly similar to the early versions.

In the middle of the 1700s John Henry Harrison invented the accurate and practical chronometer. In early 1800s, the Sumner method of plotting celestial position lines was introduced. Until about 1930, these were all the marine navigational methods used. Then came a 'big name' in marine navigation--Captain Phillip Weems. Weems lived from 1889 to 1979. He was successful in
making navigation simpler and more practical for both marine applications and aviation. Weems lived during a time when huge leaps were made in human transportation technology. His career
spanned serving on the last cruise of the USS Hartford, a square-rigged sailing vessel in 1908 to assisting famous pilots like Charles Lindbergh and Douglas Corrigan (Wrong-Way Corrigan).
After Weems retired in 1961, the U.S. Navy asked him to come back and assist in developing a system of navigation for space travel.

Phillip Van Horm Weems was born on a small farm in Tennessee and was forced to look after himself and his siblings after his parents both died. He went off to the US Naval Academy and graduated in 1912. In 1919 Lt. Commander Weems was assigned to one of the station
tracking ships in the North Atlantic that was positioned to aid three small airplanes as they attempted to make the first transAtlantic flight. When he saw all their time and energy being used to aid these planes in navigation, he felt that there had to be a better way.

Weems began to purchase and modify existing instruments and design them from scratch. One of these devices was the bubble sextant proven practical by a Portuguese aviator because it could be
used even when one could not see the horizon which was often the case in aviation. Weems invented the 'second setting watch' which is a timepiece who's face can be turned to align precisely above the second hand to synchronize the timepiece, a ship's chronometer and later , the Weems plotter which combined a protractor, straight edge, and parallel ruler in one device. Over the next few years he remained focused on navigation and published many books and articles and began teaching navigation at the Naval Academy. In 1928, Weems opened his own navigation school in California where he was stationed. He taught the 'Weems System of Navigation' and sold instruments and publications concerned with marine navigation.

Every year, Weems perfected new and simpler means of navigation. He expanded his business and came to know most of the famous adventurers of his day. He had as students, Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Charles Lindbergh.

In 1945 Weems was a co-founder of The United States Institute of Navigation.

The German business, C. Plath Navigation was crushed by WWII. C. Plath's headquarters were destroyed in Hamburg. Having been in business for over one hundred years, they weren't ready to give up. By 1952, Plath was an internationally recognized navigational company and was wanting to expand to more countries. Weems became Plath's sextant vendor inthe U.S. The name Weems & Plath came to be know as the supplier of the best quality instruments and guides in the world of navigation.

At the age of 71, Weems sold his business in 1961 and later it was owned by various companies. At that time he began working with scientists to develop a navigation system suitable for space travel. Additionally, Weems was a multi- talented man. He was on the Olympic wrestling team and an All-American center on the Navy football team. He won the South Atlantic amateur light-heavyweight wrestling championship in 1925. Weems was a proficient skin-diver and in 1959 he joined an exploration expedition in Jamacia at the former location of a pirate headquarters two centuries ago. Captain Weems had several personal losses. He survived the death of both of
his sons, one lost in WWII and one in a test pilot crash. In memory and honor of Captain Weems' significant contributions to navigation, The Institute of Navigation established an award given annually to an individual for "Continuing Contributions to the Art and Science of Navigation".

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