Glossary of Terms

Below are some helpful descriptions of terms commonly associated and used with regards to GPS tracking technology. For specific questions on how LandAirSea's GPS tracking systems work, please contact one of our knowledgable sales associates.

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Assisted GPS. A communications and locations protocol popular on smartphones, combining a cellular wireless network and GPS satellite technology.


Alkaline battery

A better-quality battery known for its long shelf life and high performance.


Atomic clock

A way of telling time by the periodic movements or oscillation of atoms. Said to be so precise it would not lose a second of accuracy in hundreds, if not millions of years. Global Positioning System devices use atomic clockwork as a timing mechanism to calculate GPS position.


Auxiliary power

A secondary source of power for an electronic device.


Covert surveillance

The act of observing and/or recording the activities of another in a secret manner.



A computer program that controls a device. Loading new drivers may be necessary when a GPS tracking device is connected to your computer.


External GPS antenna

A hardware component used to capture radio signals, that is separate and independent from the GPS unit. Benefit is versatility of placement where reception is limited.


Fleet management

The ability to supervise and control the operation of a series of vehicles or other equipment belonging to a single company.



The European equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System. Formally, the European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Would allow users to determine precise position on Earth, based on the signals from satellites. Should be fully operational by 2013. Name pays homage to the ancient Italian astronomer and mathematician.



A virtual boundary or fence that is programmed into a GPS system. When the tracked object breaches the boundary, the user or product owner is electronically notified.



Linking or tagging media such as photos, video, websites and RSS feeds with specific geographic information (latitude, longitude) attained through GPS locating. Also called geocoding.


Global Positioning System (GPS)

The set of U.S. Department of the Defense satellites orbiting the earth. GPS tracking and navigation are based on readings from these satellites.



The Global Navigation Satellite System is the Russian version of the U.S. Global Positioning System, managed by the country's defense department. Users can determine their exact location and speed of travel in real time, by reading the coded signals from a constellation of satellites. Designed for military and civilian use. Due to limited operation, coverage is best in northern latitudes.


Google Earth

A computer information program for satellite mapping imagery, used to review tracking data in many GPS systems.



General Packet Radio Services is a radio technology for mobile phone networks that allows data transfer, as opposed to voice connect.


GPS Navigation System

An on-board electrical system that receives GPS satellite signals to determine the vehicle's location. The systems then use Internet mapping programs to assist drivers with routing and directions.


GPS Tracking System

An electrical system that uses GPS satellite readings to determine an object's exact position. A GPS receiver is placed on the object, for instance, in a vehicle. The location data is stored and/or transferred onto a server, so that the object can be monitored from a remote computer.


GPX Format

A data format that lets GPS users share files, even if their devices are supported by different programs and software. The format allows users to write, read and download waypoints, tracks or routes.



Global System for Mobile Communications: a digital mobile telecommunications system developed as an alternative to analog that is an international standard. The only type of cellular service available in Europe.



Connection by electrical wires or cables direct to the circuit, as opposed to a plug in an outlet, or battery power.



A device, system or connection that allows independent objects to communicate with one another.


Internal antenna

A component used to aid in signal reception that is incorporated into the device itself.


Latitude and longitude

Two numbers that, when coupled, tell an object's exact position on the planet. Latitude is a measurement of north-south placement and longitude is east-west. Unlike addresses, which can change or fall out of succession, latitude and longitude are constant and universal.


Lithium battery

The newest technology in batteries with long-lasting power, ideal for high-tech devices. Weigh less than alkaline batteries, are leak resistant and have a very long shelf life.


Location Based Services (LBS)

An application available on mobile devices that provides the user with answers to geographical questions. Can locate restaurants, friends and deliver marketing information based on the device's location.



A standard measurement of length or distance equal to 3.28 feet, or about 1 yard.


NiMH battery

Nickel metal hydride batteries are consumer-grade batteries considered environmentally friendly because they can be recharged hundreds of times.



National Marine Electronics Association industry format. A file extension format used as an industry standard with GPS systems. A communications protocol that defines how data is transmitted from one user to another. It started in 1983 for marine electronic equipment.


Operating system

The type of software that manages the programs and users of a computer system (e.g. Windows, iOS and Linux).


Passive tracking device

Also referred to as data loggers, passive GPS trackers record location at regular intervals and store it in an internal memory. The tracking data can then be downloaded later by the user for viewing.


Radio frequency identification (RFID)

Technology that uses devices such as radio frequency tags attached to objects, that transmit data to a receiver. Similar to bar code identification.


Real-time tracking device

Also known as active of live GPS trackers, real-time GPS tracking systems collect location data and transmit it live via a cellular or satellite network to a server, so that it can be viewed immediately on the Internet. The live tracking data can be viewed on a browser.


Sampling rate

The frequency of position updates that are captured and recorded by a GPS receiver (also known as breadcrumbs). In many GSP tracking units, the sampling rate can be adjusted by the user.



An object that revolves around another object in a regular path, called an orbit. They can be naturally-occurring, like the planets circling the sun, or man-made, like a space probe.



An image captured by a computer software program or the operating system - recording the visual elements on a screen.


Short Message Service (SMS)

A technology for sending short text messages electronically to mobile devices. Similar to paging, but limited by number of characters.



The integration of computer and wireless, mobile communications systems for data and voice communications. Synonymous with telemetry. More narrowly refers to the use of GPS for vehicle tracking and navigation or the diagnosis of automotive mechanical systems.



A mathematical process that determines the location of a GPS receiver on Earth by measuring its distance relative to three satellites in space.


Universal Serial Bus (USB) port

A standardized electrical connection point on a computer that allows its interface with hundreds of other devices including the mouse, printers, scanners, cameras, iPods and vehicle tracking devices.



Wide Area Augmentation Services. A system, established in 1994 by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, that enhances the accuracy and availability of GPS location and navigation data. Initially developed for aircraft in landing and navigation. Strategically-placed ground stations monitor satellite signals and account for and correct any minute errors or gaps in service. WAAS-enabled GPS receivers have superior position accuracy.


Water resistant

Refers to a limited ability of the device to keep out water and moisture, when taking reasonable precautions.



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