How to Use GPS Tracking Devices to Track Someone’s Movement

GPS Tracking Devices for Monitoring a Person's Location and Movement
Learn how GPS tracking devices are used to track location and movement.

What is GPS?

GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System, which is a system of satellites and receiving devices used to compute positions on the Earth. Three people were given credit for inventing the technology for the United States Department of Defense: Ivan A. Getting, Bradford Parkinson and Roger L. Easton. Initially, they developed the technology to help military personnel. Now, the technology is used in everything from vehicles to mobile devices. GPS Tracking Devices leverage GPS technology to monitor the movements of a person or a vehicle, their location and movement.

How do GPS Tracking Devices Work?

GPS technology is used in navigation, and its precision supports surveying. The technology uses transmitted signals and mathematical triangulation to pinpoint location.

GPS tracking devices uses the information from orbiting satellites to determine the exact longitude and latitude of the device. The tracking equipment can be used by private investigators to monitor the travel activities of subject’s vehicles. GPS device tracking capabilities are not limited to tracking vehicles, as they can even be used to track the subject themselves.

iTrail GPS Logger

The iTrail GPS Logger is a compact and affordable data logger for covert location tracking. The battery lasts up to 120 hours on a single charge. The device provides a tiny, hidden way to track what matters most. The device can be hidden in a car or in a bag and, once recovered, will give you a detailed history of where it has been. All you have to do is connect the product to your computer via the included transfer cable to see its travel history.

The iTrail is motion-activated, so you’ll get detailed information only when the device moves, which not only conserves battery power, but also ensures you only get the information you need. And, with no service fees, the iTrail is a great low-cost way to track movement of just about anything. The software works in conjunction with Google Maps, and provides multiple views from 3D and satellite to Street View. Pinpoint an exact address of where the device has been.

Trackstick Mini GPS Logger

This tiny, super-accurate GPS logger runs for 80 hours on a rechargeable battery. Transfers data easily to a PC via USB.

The Trackstick Mini is a palm-sized electronic data logger that connects easily to a computer via USB. Track for 80 hours of normal use (about 14 days) on a single charge, then recover the device to see where the person or vehicle you’re tracking has been. With its rechargeable battery, all you have to do is plug the Trackstick into your computer and, about an hour later, it’s fully charged and ready to go.

Installation of Trackstick’s exclusive software is free and easy; setup only takes a couple of minutes. This logger works with Google Maps, which gives you multiple ways to view the device’s location history, including 3D and street views. And, with no monthly service fees and incredibly accurate tracking, the Trackstick Mini is perfect for monitoring where your teen driver, your partner, or your employees have been.

TrackPort GPS Vehicle Tracker

Always know for sure exactly where your vehicle is. The TrackPort is the easiest way to track a car or truck without worrying about battery life. Just plug the device into your car’s OBD-II (On Board Diagnostic) port. Normally located under the driver’s side dash, this port has been standard on all vehicles sold in the United States since 1996. Use your vehicle’s existing port to supply uninterrupted power to your tracking device. Switching cars? Unlike traditional hardwired tracking devices, an OBD GPS tracker can be easily moved from one vehicle to another with no tools and no effort. It’s completely “plug and play.”

The platform delivers real-time updates, every 10 seconds. Know where the TrackPort is at any time, view where it’s been, and run reports on the vehicle’s behavior from anywhere you have a web connection. Set up geofences to receive alerts via text message or email when your vehicle enters or exits specific areas you choose. Access everything directly from your PC or any smartphone; there are no apps to download.

International Spark Nano 6 Month GPS Tracker

Smaller than a cell phone, this electronic tracking device is ideal for international travelers. And with its 6-month extended battery, you’ll never worry about running out of power.Loaded with features, this battery-powered tracker gives you real-time location viewing from the comfort of your computer or smartphone; and there are no expensive apps to download.

The Nano’s fully rechargeable battery can run for three weeks or more under normal use (~1 hour a day), and with motion-activated tracking, you won’t waste any battery life when your target isn’t moving. The device’s new-and-improved weather-resistant body makes it more versatile than comparable trackers.

Includes an exclusive and easy-to-use online tracking platform gives you detailed reports of all the Nano’s activity. Get text or email alerts to your computer or smartphone if a vehicle exceeds a user-defined speed. Or set up a geofence and get instant alerts when a person or vehicle moves into or out of a “safe” area you’ve designated.

Get unlimited tracking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for one low monthly fee. The tracking subscription will automatically be added to your shopping cart when you make your purchase, and billing will begin after 7 days.

What do Private Investigators Need to Know?

Full service private investigation agencies will often receive inquiries regarding the use of GPS tracking devices their clients and prospects. It is a good idea to have at least one investigator on staff that is familiar with how the devices are used and the laws that apply in your state. Proper use include locating the subject’s vehicle and placing the device in a hidden area, such that it won’t be discovered or fall off when the vehicle starts moving. In addition, it is important to be skilled at retrieving the device and interpreting the data and results once retrieved.

If you have any questions about GPS Tracking Devices, please leave a comment below. See also, our review of Bluetooth Tracking Devices, such as the best-selling Bluetooth item tracker, Tile.


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