GPS: It’s Not Just For Directions

Navigation Updates GPSGlobal Positioning Systems (GPS) is a term that brings up images of auto navigation systems, satellite technology, or interactive maps. However, there are many more applications of Global Positioning Systems beyond vehicle tracking or map navigation that everyday people can use for entertainment.

It’s Spring and time to get out of the house and enjoy some fun activities.  With a bit of creativity, and purpose, use your GPS in a way that is intriguing and fun.  Here are a few favorite ideas.

Easter Egg Hunt – New high-tech Easter Egg Hunts are cropping up around the country.  At these events instead of hoards of kids running across a lawn picking up scattered colored eggs,  the kids use GPS devices to hunt down stashes of hidden treats.

Road Rally – Driving through the countryside is an enjoyable Sunday afternoon activity.  Now add a bit of competition or purpose to that drive, and you have a road rally.  Local car clubs often sponsor road rallies.  These rallies can take many forms.  Some rallies are a driving course with checkpoints and participants are timed driving from checkpoint to checkpoint – best time wins (without going over the speed limit).  Other rallies have a list of sights or items the participants take pictures of during the drive.  And some rallies require participants to buy things along the way (one item per stop) that are then donated to a charity at the finish line.

Scavenger Hunt –  We all remember those scavenger hunts – a list of items to be collected in a specified amount of time.  A fun version is to do a photo scavenger hunt.  Have a list of locations where participants have to submit a picture of something at each sight (i.e., example a photo of a team member sitting a log at a park or take a photo of the giant chicken outside a shop).  Shuffle the order of the locations, so not all participants are at the same place at the same time.

Geocaching –  This is a worldwide “treasure hunt.”  Geocaches are items hidden by other geocachers in locations all over the world.  A cache may be a scroll of paper or a waterproof box full of trinkets.  After each find, the geocacher records online the date and time of the “treasure” discovery.   If a trinket was taken from a box it is expected that it be placed in a future box, the trinkets can be tracked from place to place.   To get started go to

Get out in the fresh air and have fun using your GPS.  Before heading out to participate be sure to update your GPS, so any road changes and points of interest are up-to-date.  Happy hunting!

For more information on updating your GPS check out Navigation Updates.

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