GPS logger – What are the advantages and disadvantages of a logger?

Modern technologies support us in our everyday lives and give us more freedom in unfamiliar areas than before. GPS-supported gadgets with or without an app are particularly popular on hikes and walks, as they not only determine the distance traveled, but also the speed. A slimmed-down version is the gpslogger, which also records location coordinates and can display them.

What is a Gpslogger?

The basic function of GPS loggers is similar to that of the familiar GPS trackers; they store routes traveled and GPS coordinates over a certain period of time and at certain intervals, thus creating several points of view that reconstruct the route in retrospect. After the hike or walk, the entire route can be evaluated and retraced. Due to their small size, these GPS receivers are easy to carry and do not get in the way on excursions.

GPS logger function

Data loggers serve as receivers of satellite signals, which are transmitted by GPS satellites and can be received worldwide. Loggers store the recorded signals from the satellites internally, which must then be read out using an external device, such as a computer.

The fact that loggers do not have their own user interface or connected app makes them particularly energy-efficient and eliminates the need for constant forwarding of received position data. This benefits the battery life and it is possible to record data for several days at a time without recharging in between. Data loggers do not require an additional SIM card, the data is not immediately sent to another device, so they are not dependent on a good mobile network .

Recording with SD card

To record the GPS signals received, GPS loggers require an SD card, which is located inside the device and stores the GPS information received. Afterwards, the user has the option of transferring this information to the computer using a data cable; depending on the model, the SD memory card can also be removed. Modern devices send the logger data via Bluetooth to the PC, where the information is processed and edited using special software .

Differences between GPS loggers and GPS trackers

GPS loggers are very similar to GPS trackers in comparison, both use the GPS system to locate themselves. Satellite signals are received and your own position and speed can be calculated based on the duration. GPS trackers send these calculations immediately to the connected end device, while loggers save them on the internal SD memory card and must be read out manually later.

The route covered can be called up directly with a GPS tracker, with a GPS logger this is only possible after the tour, the logger alone is not sufficient for reading out this data. Thanks to the integrated SIM card, the GPS tracker sends the information directly to the connected end device, usually a smartphone or tablet, via the available mobile network. The position data is immediately processed and visualized for the user. The current position can be called up in real time at any time with a GPS tracker, but this is not possible with a logger. The GPS tracker provides data, location and other functions directly if there is a good mobile network connection.

Location and route planning via app

It is not possible to spontaneously plan a route with a GPS logger; this must always be done in advance. Data already collected from previous tours can be read out and visualized on a virtual map using the software. The next route can be planned on the basis of this evaluation , but it cannot be changed or adapted en route. If you want to locate or plan via an app and adjust it spontaneously, a GPS tracker is the better choice. These always have an associated app in which all recorded data is collected and evaluated. This information can be used to plan routes and measure distances in the app.

Advantages of GPS loggers

GPS loggers work independently when traveling and hiking, they do not need any other devices to pass on the stored information, this is done afterwards. These products therefore work without data transmission, independently of the mobile network and function entirely without an app. The location coordinates are stored internally and these recordings from the device are later read out and evaluated.

GPS loggers are mainly used when the rough route is already known and no general orientation is required. Due to their long battery life , they are particularly suitable for longer trips, in contrast to GPS trackers, which require considerably more battery power due to the constant transmission of location coordinates and need to be recharged more frequently.

Disadvantages of GPS loggers

Due to the late reading of the coordinates, no spontaneous changes can be made to the planned route if you are not familiar with the area. They are not connected to an app , so no details of the location can be displayed on site.

Gpslogger via app

If you want to do without a physical device, you can alternatively use a GPS logger app, which offers the same benefits without having to carry a GPS module – all you need is your smartphone. This app runs in the background, without alarms or notifications.

Such an app also records waypoints and can forward them to external devices, such as a computer. With the help of a suitable program, the waypoints can be linked to form a route and the route travelled can be visualized for the user. Depending on the app, it is also possible to send the recorded files by e-mail or directly to Openstreetmap, in which the files are then visualized and displayed on a map.

Conclusion GPS logger

The Gpslogger is the best solution for those who like to go out into nature undisturbed and without much technology, but want to record their routes, as it can remain completely silent in the rucksack when in use. However, as it does not have any additional alarms, it is not suitable for orientation or when traveling. Gpsloggers rarely incur additional costs, no subscription is necessary as no data is stored on a provider’s server , which also protects the user’s privacy . However, the program required to process the files may incur additional costs, depending on their size.

A tracker is also suitable, depending on the application . In its menu , it offers many setting options and can also determine and forward the current location at any time. However, such a device rarely works only in the background; it sends a message to the user every time an alarm is triggered. In order to use the tracker to its full extent, an additional subscription is required, which incurs monthly costs but provides access to all measured values at all times. Due to their many features, they often reach their limits in terms of battery life; the constant sending and receiving of information can quickly drain the battery.

Depending on the application and the user’s plans, it is important to check which device is best suited for private use before making a purchase. A GPS tracker test will help you to find the right device for you.

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