GPS is a mobile electronic device that guides users to a specific point or tells them what their geographical location is, by means of a satellite tracking system.
GPS is used for several areas, but the best known is for driving, where users use this device as a guide to help them reach a specific destination. Drivers enter their desired destination into the device and the GPS, in a matter of seconds, calculates the fastest route, the distance to travel and the approximate time it will take to arrive at that destination.
As well as for driving, this kind of device is being used increasingly for sport. For outdoor sports and long distances, especially in mountainous areas, GPS is very useful to avoid athletes from going offtrack or if they do get lost, to help them orient themselves and guide them back.
GPS used for sport are more compact than those used for other areas. In this way, portability is easier and they do not get in the way of physical activity. There are two major types of sports GPS:
- Portable GPS . These are traditional GPS devices but smaller and specially designed for sports use. They include precise maps, compass, altimeter and barometer, among other functions. Their smaller dimensions make portability much more comfortable and simple. In addition, most can be fixed to supports that attach to the body of the athlete or vehicle, such as the bicycle.
- GPS watch . These are watches with an integrated GPS system. They usually feature general maps, which are easy to read so they can be used in any sport. However, those designed for the practice of golf stand out because of their receptor function, which provides users with information about the distance between the point where they are and the front, centre and back of the course.
For cyclists, there are specific GPS devices specially designed for the practice of this sport. They include mounts to fix them to the bicycle and advanced functions for both training and navigation.
Popular GPS brands: