Six innovative uses for GPS during your business day

With a very broad definition of a business day, John Brandon puts GPS devices to use on the golf course, fishing spot, bike and more

1 2 3 Page 2
Page 2 of 3
There's nothing quite like using a GPS when fishing -- it even beats a depth finder or fish finder because you can find fishing spots that other people rave about.
 
There's nothing quite like using a GPS when fishing -- it even beats a depth finder or fish finder because you can find fishing spots that other people rave about.

2. Catch more fish than the next guy

Fishing is another sport where persistence and fundamentals pay off, but a GPS provides several fishing perks beyond the basics. Garmin makes a fishing-friendly GPS, the 76CSx, that includes fishing and hunting schedules for the best days and times to fish and which species are in season. There's also a barometric altimeter -- which determines your altitude based on atmospheric pressure -- which can help you determine the best times for fishing.

For planning a corporate event, you can use a GPS to set a waypoint marker for all attendees, not only for the lake itself but for the best fishing spots on the lake. There's also sunrise and sunset information, moon phases for judging how much light you will have for nighttime outings and tide tables for those who fish on the ocean. One last perk for fishing with a GPS: Most recent models use a highly sensitive electronic compass that works even when you are motionless -- unlike the analog compasses used in earlier devices.

Geocaching involves using a GPS that you load with coordinates, and then finding a buried treasure in parks and other public places.
 
Geocaching involves using a GPS that you load with coordinates, and then finding a buried treasure in parks and other public places.

3. Hunt for buried treasure with your co-workers

One idea for a corporate event or after-work activity is to go geocaching. Sites such as Geocaching.com provide a list of downloadable waypoint markers for hidden treasures scattered all across the U.S., often in public parks. Once you load the geocache on your GPS, you can then head to that location using the features on the GPS (such as the compass or street maps).

Once you are there, you'll typically find a coffee can or a shoe box that contains trinkets and coins, or possibly something a bit more valuable -- such as a watch or bracelet. The idea is that, if you find a geocache and take something, it's a good idea to leave some other trinket behind. The Magellan eXplorist XL works well for geocaching: It has a large color screen, and has one screen that lists all the geocaches you have loaded on the device so they are easy to find.

Geocaching has become a corporate "urban game" activity on a large scale. Microsoft recently hosted an event through GeoTeaming where each employee used a GPS device.

"We did a GPS-based scavenger hunt for 300 people in Disneyworld's Epcot Center," says Hal Howard, general manager of ERP product development. "It was a fantastic event that required teamwork and planning to get done. GeoTeaming tailored the hunt to be about our business objectives and the strategies in the game reflected potential real-world strategies. It was motivational and educational for all."

4. Find coffee shops, Wi-Fi hot spots, libraries or just about any public place

If you aren't interested in hunting for buried treasure, you might like hunting for dark roast coffee instead. Waymarking.com let's you search for just about any public place and then load the waypoint in your GPS. Loading a waypoint is just a matter of connecting your GPS with a USB cable, and then using the software included with the GPS to transfer waypoint markers.

There's a marker for just about any taste: All of the historical markers in the state of Texas, coffee shops with high-speed wireless access, the birthplace location of famous people, the best restaurants in small towns, pizza places located close to shopping malls and church listing by denomination, for examples.

1 2 3 Page 2
Page 2 of 3
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon