Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Tech Tip
by Brad Appleby
Appleby Arts

Global Positioning System

When people talk about a “GPS,” they usually mean a GPS receiver. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is actually a constellation of 27 Earth-orbiting satellites (24 in operation and three extras in case one fails). The U.S. military developed and implemented this satellite network as a military navigation system, but soon opened it up to everybody else.

Each of these 3,000- to 4,000-pound solar-powered satellites circles the globe at about 12,000 miles, making two complete rotations each day. The orbits are arranged so that at any time, anywhere on Earth, there are at least four satellites “visible” in the sky.

A standard GPS receiver will not only place you on a map at any particular location, but will also trace your path across a map as you move. If you leave your receiver on, it can stay in constant communication with GPS satellites to see how your location is changing. With this information and its built-in clock, the receiver can give you several pieces of valuable information like how far, long, to where and what speed you’ve traveled. And the estimated time of arrival at your destination.

The big question is, do I need one? If you get lost a lot or travel to new areas they are great. The newer GPS receivers will allow you to search by categories or just type in the name or address.

If you never want to hear the words “Are we there yet” again, pick up a GPS receiver.

You can also type in restrooms and restaurants and a list of locations will show up and show you how many miles or feet away you are from the location. They make great food and store finders. Type in your favorites and the GPS receiver will show and tell you the way.

Check out all the information before you buy. There is a reason the price range is from $100 - $1000. But all in all, they are fun to use.

If you have any topics that you would like to find out more about, or a topic for my article, just e-mail me:, or call me at (702) 294-1392. Visit my web site at

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