MapWorld's Frequently Asked GPS Questions

How does a GPS work?
GPS units are dependent on signals from the sky, so wonít work underground, underwater or inside most buildings. They work fine in rough terrain and most of the time in the forest. Donít expect a fix in a steep gully under heavy bush canopy. They will work in your car.

What power does a GPS need?
GPS needs power to work. If you depend on field GPS take spare and emergency batteries. Keep the GPS warm when in sub-zero conditions, and if it's very cold consider using lithium batteries, for better battery life.

How tough is a GPS?
GPS units are built tough and have proven robust in field service. However, like any electronic equipment, they can fail. We suggest having an alternative means of navigating.

Are GPS waterproof?
Most models are water resistant. We suggest operating your GPS inside a waterproof case for all wet sports and offer a range of waterproof accessories.

Does a GPS have a compass?
A standard GPS unit acts as a moving compass, but standing still it canít tell you which way is North. Several models have a built-in electronic version of a magnetic compass to cover this. Always carry a magnetic compass. (back...)

How accurate is a GPS?
Think of your GPS as accurate to 10m. This exceeds the resolution of our topo maps and charts to which you will be referencing your location. While GPS receivers are smart they don't tell you about hazards on your route (unless you have built-in mapping or have told it first).

Is a GPS easy to use?
A GPS is a tool - a navigational tool, and like any tools, you will need to spend some time familiarising yourself with its features. Use your GPS before you need it. Test it out in the local park and get familiar with basic navigation concepts. Read a book, do one of our courses and read the manual.

Will a GPS tell someone else where I am?
Your GPS unit is a receiver, not a transmitter, and cannot summon help. An emergency beacon does this, and is something you might like to consider. (back...)