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Glossary of GPS Terms

Look for underlined words such as GPS throughout our site, since you can just hover over them and see a pop-up definition from this glossary.
 

Altimeter
All GPSes can determine your elevation quite accurately from the same satellite signals that they use to determine your horizontal position. Some deluxe units also have a barometric sensor to use air pressure to provide an even more accurate reading.

ANT+Sport
A low power wireless system that Garmin and other vendors use to transmit data between fitness devices, for example, from a heart rate monitor to a GPS.

Bluetooth
A wireless standard frequently used by cell phones to connect to headsets. Also used to connect to compatible GPS units to use them as speakerphones and as a phone books.

cadence
Pedaling rate on a bicycle.

City Navigator
A Garmin® MapSource® series of street maps.

Compass
All GPSes can precisely determine your direction of motion from their satellite signals. When you are stopped however they do not know in which direction you are holding the GPS and so cannot update the display accordingly. Some deluxe models include a magnetic sensor that allow them to show a compass display while stationary.

FM transmitter
Transmits audio (turn by turn directions, MP3 music, etc) on a low power radio signal that you can pick up on your standard car radio to listen to through your normal stereo speakers.

Foot Pod
Attaches to your foot while running on a treadmill, and transmits wirelessly to a compatible GPS to allow it to show speed/distance information as if you were running outside.

Garmin Connect
A new website that allows you to upload, analyze, view, and share your workouts and fitness statistics.

GPS
Global Positioning System, a satellite navigation system operated by the US government but available for use worldwide at no charge.

heart rate monitor
A heart rate monitor or HRM is a strap that you put around your chest. It transmits your heart beat information wirelessly and you can view it on the screen of a compatible GPS.

HRM
A heart rate monitor or HRM is a strap that you put around your chest. It transmits your heart beat information wirelessly and you can view it on the screen of a compatible GPS.

IPX7
According to Garmin "An IPX7 designation means the GPS case can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes."

li-polymer
A lightweight, high capacity, rechargeable battery type. Similar to lithium-ion, but the battery chemicals are embedded into a solid that can be easily formed into flat shapes.

lithium-ion
A lightweight, high capacity, rechargeable battery type.

MapSource
A series of digital maps published by Garmin for their GPSes.

microSD
A high capacity memory card about the size of a fingernail. Can be used in SD card slots with a common adapter.

MotionBased
www.motionbased.com is a website that allows you to upload, analyze, view, and share your workouts and fitness statistics.

Mountain Dynamics
The leading developer of digital GPS trail maps for ski resorts. It publishes maps for Magellan and Garmin handheld GPSes under the SnowRanger brand, and licenses its resort mapping data to developers for other platforms. It also develops custom GPS maps and solutions for its development partners.

NiMh
A high capacity, rechargeable battery type, available in AA and other standard sizes.

RS-232
An older type of cable connection that some older GPS models use to connect to a PC. Not all current PCs have an RS-232 connection, though USB to RS-232 converters are available.

satellites
A set of 24 satellites orbiting the Earth providing the precisely calibrated radio signals that allow a GPS receiver to accurately show you your position.

SD
A high capacity memory card about the size of a postage stamp.

SnowRanger
A series of GPS ski resort maps for North America and Europe published by Mountain Dynamics.

speed/cadence sensor
A sensor that attaches to your bicycle near the back wheel. It measures both your cadence (pedaling rate) and the speed of the wheel. As well as being able to monitor your cadence inside or outside, this sensor lets you monitor your speed on an indoor "turbo" or wind trainer.

USB
A modern and very widely supported type of cable connection between a PC and a variety of accessories, including nearly all recent GPS models. All current PCs have one or more USB ports.

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