Saturday, October 8, 2011

GPS for small businesses


Global Positioning System (GPS) hardware and software are cost effective for small businesses. The GPS units have evolved into amazing units as prices continue to fall. We would like to tell you how one small business has incorporated a Garmin C350 GPS unit and some software into their logistics systems
Garmin has about 50% of the GPS market. Their C350 unit has a unique software feature for small businesses. It lets the user declare the type of vehicle they are driving. If that vehicle is a truck, the unit will not route you onto a route that is for passenger vehicles only. Mapquest and Google maps can not do this.
Each week the office staff sets up the routes for the coming week. The coordinates for each delivery are looked up and recorded in a GPX file which can be transferred to the companies multiple GPS units. All units have the same information in them. The drive selects the Point of Interest (POI) for that delivery location and follows the verbal directions. Should the driver make a wrong turn, the unit will alert him and update the route. It is pretty hard to get lost
This company uses Street Atlas USA to look up coordinates, enter POI descriptions and generate GPX file.

This file can be loaded directly to the Garmin unit using their POIloader. You can also use this file to draw Google maps showing your points of interest. This is the best site for GPS tasks such as drawing maps from GPX files and translating one file format into another.
This is a Free Program from Garmin for loading Points of Interest into their GPS units.

These are screen captures of Garmin Atlas 2009 in use

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