Do You Know the Difference Between GPS Devices?

GPS Device

Leslie E. Lovre, Technical Assistant ::::
GPS devices have become a common part of forensic automotive and commercial truck crash investigations. So much so that our staff routinely inquires whether vehicles or people involved in a collision or other incident were equipped with a GPS device. What we have discovered, however, is that many still do not understand the sometimes subtle differences between the various kinds of GPS devices, and how those differences relate to acquiring data from them. What follows is a brief summary of the kinds of GPS devices we routinely encounter and how data is typically obtained from them.
Typical consumer GPS devices can be classified into two broad categories: portable and built-in. With respect to portable devices, there are those designed primarily as GPS/navigation tools such as Garmin and TomTom, and those that are part of other devices such as tablets and smart-phones. In either case, a physical connection is required to access data from within them and typically requires the use of a laptop and USB cable. Once connected, the GPS device usually appears on the laptop just like any other media or storage device, and navigating to the relevant data files is routine. Continue reading “Do You Know the Difference Between GPS Devices?”