Trail cameras are relatively low-risk, with few crimes committed against them. However, there are some exceptions. One exception is the threat of robbery. Thieves will often target valuable items hidden in the woods because they know that owners won't be able to retrieve or identify the items without a lot of effort. With GPS connectivity in trail cameras, it is possible to recover high-value property from thieves and take a step toward protecting your camera from theft.

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System, also known as the Global Satellite Positioning System, is a system composed of 31 navigation satellites orbiting the Earth. It can provide accurate positioning, navigation, and timing services for 98% of the world. At least 4 satellites are needed to quickly determine the location and altitude of the user terminal on earth. The more satellite signals that can be received, the more accurate the decoded location will be.

Three Elements of GPS

  • Satellite (space segment): A satellite that orbits the Earth and primarily transmits signals to users about geographic location and time.
  • Ground station (control part): It consists of a ground monitoring station, a main control station, and a ground antenna, and is mainly used to track and operate satellite conditions and monitor transmissions in space.
  • Receiver (user part): That is, the GPS receiver and transmitter, mainly used for the user to receive signals to determine the location, etc.
GPS in Cellular Trail Camera: Protect From Theft

How Does GPS Work?

The Global Positioning System has 31 satellites orbiting the Earth. The atomic clocks carried by these satellites keep very precise times, and the GPS satellites transmit this time to receivers on Earth. The distance between the receiver and the GPS satellites can be calculated by comparing the difference between the time at the receiver and the time of the satellite transmission and multiplying this difference by the speed of light. Your location is determined when the receiver calculates the distance to four or more GPS satellites.

How Does GPS Technology Work?

GPS works by trilateration technology. Trilateration technology mainly collects satellite signals by measuring speed, position, and altitude to output position information to the receiver.

Satellites orbiting the Earth transmit signals, which are then read and interpreted by GPS devices located on or near the Earth's surface. To calculate the position signal more accurately, the GPS device must read the signals transmitted by at least four satellites.

When a satellite sends a signal, it creates a circle with a radius from the GPS device to the satellite, when we add a second satellite, it creates a second circle, and the position shrinks to between the two points where the circle intersects one. When the third satellite passes, the location of the device can be finally determined because it is at the intersection of all three circles.

GPS in Cellular Trail Camera: Protect From Theft

As the GPS device moves, the distance from the radius to the satellites changes. When the radius changes, new spheres are generated, giving us a new position. From this, we can use this data combined with satellite time to determine speed, calculate the distance to the destination and estimate the time of arrival.

The Main Purpose of GPS

  • Navigation
  • Weapons Guidance: Precision Guided Missiles and Cruise Missiles
  • Vehicle Navigation: Vehicle Dispatch and Monitoring System
  • Ship navigation: ocean navigation, port inland water diversion, etc.
  • Aircraft navigation: route navigation for required flight, approach, and landing control
  • Interplanetary Navigation: Satellite Orbit Positioning
  • Personal Navigation: Personal Travel and Backcountry Adventures
  • Position
  • vehicle anti-theft system
  • Mobile phone positioning system and electronic map
  • Anti-lost system for children or special groups
  • Autopilot Positioning System
  • Precise Timing: widely used in observatories, communication system base stations, TV stations, and other places
  • Exploration and Mapping: field exploration and urban planning, etc.
  • Engineering Construction: used for engineering surveys such as land surveys during construction excavations
  • Provide Time Data: provide a synchronous clock source for telecommunication base stations, TV transmitting stations, etc.

The Benefits of GPS in Trail Cameras

Prevent Theft
When a GPS-enabled cellular tracking camera is shooting in the wild, a mobile app can be activated to get the precise location of the camera, in case the camera is taken by someone or a curious animal.
Information Strip
When GPS is integrated into the camera hardware, the northing and easting coordinates are automatically populated in the information bar of each picture and video, eliminating the need for you to manually enter information.
Accurate Positioning
When the camera has a GPS function, the main range of wild animals' regular activities can be deduced through the animal pictures and videos taken by the camera, which is very helpful for researchers and hunters.

GPS in Cellular Trail Camera: Protect From Theft

How to Choose a Trail Camera with GPS

When purchasing an outdoor hunting camera, it is important to consider the specific features and capabilities and take appropriate steps to protect the camera from theft or damage.

GPS-enabled tracking cameras can be tracked using GPS technology. Because these cameras are equipped with GPS receivers, the location data of the cameras can be transmitted to a central server or mobile device. Make sure hunters and wildlife lovers can easily track the movements of wild animals and monitor how they behave.

Common GPS tracking cameras generally have functions such as real-time tracking, motion monitoring, and remote access. When these cameras are used in practice, they can push email notifications to mobile devices based on detected activities or captured pictures and videos, allowing users to remotely monitor hunting places and habitats.

However, it should be noted that not all hunting cameras on the market have GPS functions. Users need to know that traditional tracking cameras without GPS receivers cannot use GPS technology for tracking when choosing a camera. These traditional cameras can only capture pictures and videos based on motion detection and infrared sensors.

The Future of GPS

  • GNSS receivers will become smaller, more accurate, and more efficient in the future, and gradually penetrate GNSS technology into the most cost-sensitive GPS applications.
  • Researchers are exploring new ways to prevent and analyze natural disasters such as earthquakes, fire outbreaks, and avalanches through GPS technology, to reduce the destructiveness of disasters.
  • Future GPS satellites will incorporate better signal protection, reduced susceptibility to signal jamming, and higher mobility in coverage holes.
  • Provide better time consistency for future spaceflight.