skip to Main Content

How a TomTom GPS System Really Works

Although you might understand the basic functionality, you may still be curious to know what makes your TomTom GPS device tick. Whether you own a TomTom 940 or XL, each device consists of two major components: hardware and software. There is small computer in your sat nav receiver that makes sure the software runs efficiently. Depending on your TomTom model (if you don’t have one yet, choose your sat nav here), the software is either located on the hard disk or an SD card. With most devices, the hard disk itself has a capacity of at least 20 GB.
How a TomTom GPS System Really Works

A boot loader searches the hard disk or SD card for the software and map data. Once they have been located, it transfers the software to the internal memory of your TomTom unit and then initiates the application. At this point, only the portion of the map that is actually required is loaded onto the device. TomTom utilizes the stable and powerful Linux operating system to ensure theat your sat nav device functions properly. The hardware itself starts both the GPS and the built-in navigation program. This application then reads the settings you have installed on your device. As you can see, your little TomTom receiver is very capable and works in many of the same ways as a personal computer.

Enhanced Accuracy with the GPS Module
The GPS module is a component in your TomTom device that ensures the satellite signal is translated into the coordinates pinpointing your exact location on the map. After all the necessary processes have been started, the component then calculates where you are based on the signals it receives. As you probably know, the GPS module determines position by calculating it from at least four satellites. However, even though your sat nav device might know its distance from these satellites, it still will not know exactly where you are until evaluating where those satellites are positioned. Even when this information is obtained, it is not exactly accurate, as the satellites are constantly orbiting the earth.

The GPS module of your TomTom sat nav device really comes into its own by overcoming these problems. It utilizes almanac information, such as satellite altitude and position, to translate the signals into coordinates and transmits them to the navigation application. Inside the model is a small, highly sensitive chip with the ability to receive and register these signals even when they are in inaccessible locations, such as dense woods or near tall buildings. This feature alone plays a huge role in enhancing the consistency and accuracy of any TomTom device.

Back To Top