GPS Tracking Glossary
Active GPS: A device that transmits live locational data that can then be accessed remotely. Also known as a real-time GPS tracker. This form of vehicle monitoring is popular among businesses seeking to improve fleet management, families interested in monitoring an elderly or teen driver, and people looking for an auto-theft prevention tool.
A-GPS: (Assisted GPS) Refers to a device using a combination of both cellular and GPS locational technology. Most consumer and business real-time GPS trackers use A-GPS, meaning the tracking device acquires signals from satellites orbiting the Earth. This signal acquisition leads to the calculation of speed, time, altitude, and various other locational information common among GPS devices. This data is then transmitted through the assistance of cellular technology that allows users of the GPS tracking device to access the live locational data remotely from a computer or smartphone. This is the reason they real-time GPS trackers require a monthly data plan.
Alkaline Battery: A battery that can be purchased at most retail locations, alkaline batteries are widely known for being rated as a quality power source, and having a long shelf-life.
Atomic Clock: The most precise method of measuring time through a process of using the movements of atoms, atomic clocks are utilized in both GPS navigation and GPS tracking devices to assist in the calculation of determining GPS location.
Business Tracking: Using GPS monitoring devices and other surveillance tools such as keystroke loggers and hidden camera systems to observe employee activity. Business tracking helps reduce excessive fuel consumption and other social activities that can weaken employee performance while on the clock.
CDM: Cellular Data Module, or CDM, is a component used in real-time GPS trackers to transmit locational data using cellular networks.
Covert Monitoring: The process of secretly observing the activity of a person, place, or object. Covert monitoring often refers to using Spyware to observe activities conducted online, or GPS tracking devices to observe driving activities.
Data Plan: A monthly service obligation is required due to the cost of transmitting data using telecommunications and cellular networks. All mobile communication devices (cell phones) and real-time GPS trackers require a data plan for the device to be operational. The data plan cost will vary depending on how much information the user transmits.
Drivers: The term drivers refers to an internal computer system that is the controlling force behind a particular technological device.
Driving Activity: The collection of information related to driving that includes how long a motorist stopped at a location, how fast they drove, the total mileage driver for a particular day, the number of locations a driver stopped at per day, and more. By observing driving activity, businesses can gauge whether a company employee is working at a satisfactory level while out in the field.
Employee Monitoring: Using technological tools such as GPS tracking devices to ensure staff is not misusing resources or company time.
Fleet Tracking: Also known as fleet management, fleet tracking refers to the ability businesses have of overseeing and controlling the activity of mobile assets and employees working out in the field. The most common tool used for fleet tracking and management is the GPS tracker, which gives fleet supervisors the tools required to observe an entire fleet of vehicles within seconds through real-time tracking.
Geo-Fence: A feature common among real-time tracking devices that allows the user to create essentially a virtual boundary around a vehicle or location. When the vehicle breaches that pre-determined perimeter, an alert notification is sent to the user by either text message or email.
Global Positioning System: The network of satellites that rotate around the Earth, and transmit low-level radio frequencies that help GPS tracking and navigation devices determine locational information. The Global Positioning System was originally developed by the Department of Defense for military applications.
Google Earth: Satellite image program that offers 2D & 3D methods of viewing locational information. Google Earth also offers a popular feature known as “Street View” that provides an intimate view of almost any location in the world. Google Earth is the primary satellite imaging program for many GPS trackers.
Google Maps: Web-mapping service program that is commonly used on smartphones to retrieve directions to and from a particular location. Many GPS tracking device programs will incorporate Google Maps either as a routing utility feature, or a method of showcasing addresses that arrived/departed.
GPS Data Logger: GPS system that records the historical record of travel onto internal memory for future review when the GPS tracking data is downloaded manually. This form of tracker requires the user to connect the GPS device to a computer in order to access the tracking information and is popular among consumers and businesses because it does not require any monthly service fees.
GPS Tracker Shop: Leading provider of real-time GPS trackers, GPS data loggers and personal GPS tracking solutions for families, companies, and police agencies!
GPS Tracking Bracelet: A real-time tracking device that is used for applications related to monitoring seniors battling memory illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or children with mental disabilities that tend to wander. The GPS bracelet is a lightweight solution that features a panic button and sends out alerts.
GSM: GSM, or Global System for Mobile Communications, is basically a digital telecommunications device that was created to be an alternative to the solution to analog. GSM is the international standard and the only form of telecommunications used in Europe. GSM is also oftentimes referred to as SIM card technology.
Hard-Wire: Hard-wire connection refers to the permanent installation of a GPS vehicle tracker to the electrical 12-volt system of an automobile. Hard-wiring a GPS tracking device to an automobile allows the user to never have to worry about battery life, as the GPS device will pull power directly from the car battery.
Internal Antenna: Internal antennas are components used in GPS tracking devices that assist in the unit receiving GPS signals from the Global Positioning System orbiting the Earth. Internal antennas result in a navigation or tracking device that is more compact, keeping the footprint of the device much smaller. When engineered correctly, internal antennas on GPS trackers can actually acquire signals even when the device is placed underneath a target vehicle, as the antenna picks up GPS signals reflected off the ground!
Lithium-Ion Battery Pack: One of the newest forms of the battery system, lithium-ion battery packs are commonly used in mobile communication devices and real-time GPS trackers. What makes lithium-ion battery packs advantageous is that they are more leak resistant than alkaline batteries, have a tremendous shelf-life and are ideal for technological and electrical consumer product
Meter: (Metric System)The most common form of measurement, a meter is a measure of distance that is equal to 3.28 feet.
Operating System: A form of software that is used for managing various programs of a particular computing device.
Passive GPS: A device that records the historical activity of a person, vehicle, or asset. GPS devices that are classified as passive are also called GPS data loggers.
Personal GPS Tracker: Devices used for boosting the safety of an individual or group of individuals. Personal GPS trackers are used for monitoring seniors with memory-related illnesses, children with cognitive disabilities, or criminals under surveillance among law enforcement agencies.
Real-Time GPS Tracker: Device that allows users to access locational data live from a remote location. This type of GPS tracking solution is popular among those wanting to enhance automotive security, fleet management, surveillance, and driver safety.
Refresh Rate: Also referred to as a sampling rate, the refresh rate is the frequency of locational positions that are updated and stored by a GPS receiver. Occasionally thought of as “bread crumb trails” or “pings”, the refresh rate can vary on the type of GPS tracking device the user is operating. For example, GPS Tracking Key has a refresh rate of every second, while the SilverCloud GPS refresh rate depends on the data plan the user selected (3 seconds-5 minutes).
SilverCloud GPS: Real-time GPS tracker engineered by LandAirSea Systems for fleet management, personal tracking and vehicle surveillance. SilverCloud is viewed by many GPS enthusiasts and industry insiders as the most reliable and accurate live monitoring device.
SilverCloud Sync: GPS tracking product that connects directly to the on-board diagnostic port of any vehicle. SilverCloud Sync monitors a wide range of information such as hard braking, vehicle idling, aggressive acceleration, and more.
Teen Tracking: The process of observing the driving habits of a teenage driver through the use of a GPS monitoring device. By calling upon a GPS vehicle tracker, parents can identify whether a teen is driving aggressively or going to locations that are “off-limits”.
Telematics: The integration of wireless, computer, and mobile devices for information and other communications. Telematics provides the ability for real-time tracking devices to effectively transmit data, allowing users to obtain remote access to locational data.
USB Port: Electrical connection point on a personal computer or Mac system that provides an interface with various technological gadgets, including, MP3 players, mobile communication devices, iPhones, desktop printers and some GPS trackers such as the GPS Tracking Key (GPS Tracking Key was engineered with a USB drive that allows the user to connect the unit directly to the USB port of a computer for manual download of historical driving activity).
Virtual Boundary: Also referred to as a “Geo-fence”, virtual boundary alerts are a common feature among real-time GPS monitoring devices that allow the user to set a boundary over a satellite mapping program such as Google Earth. When a driver enters or exits this set virtual boundary, the user is sent an alert via text message and/or email. This tool is helpful for notifying businesses when employees arrive/depart from a particular job site, or parents wanting to know the moment their teenage driver gets home.
Waterproof: The ability to keep all water and moisture outside of the internal workings of a device. In order to ensure complete water protection for those intending on using a GPS tracker outside of a vehicle, most GPS tracking companies will recommend consumers invest in a waterproof casing accessory.
Water Resistant: Devices or products that are classified as “water-resistant” often can continue to operate without interruption when faced with a very light splashing or misting of water. Although products such as GPS tracking devices are often described as having water-resistant capabilities, the limited ability to keep moisture out of the device should be something users pay close attention to. That is because using a GPS vehicle tracker outside of an automobile exposes the device to a wide range of elemental conditions, and can cause damage to the product. Most companies do not offer warranty protection to devices that are water damaged.
Sage is a freelance writer with a background in information technology.