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GPS System Forensics.

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High tech industry analyst Canalys estimates that global shipments of PNDs (Portable Navigation Devices) or GPS (Global Positioning Systems) reached 8.8 Million Units in Q3 2008 a growth of 14% year-on-year. Indicating the well over 30 million units were sold world wide.

GPS devices can be a good source of forensic evidence. GPS Coordinates can be accurate to within several feet. The accuracty depends upon the device, weather & atmospheric condition.

GPS devices now contain much more than navigational information and may contain data more commonly found in cell phones and other portable decices such as audio, video, and text based files including word processing documents and spread sheets.

GPS forensics is the systematic preservation, investigation and analysis of GPS devices for evidence. for supporting evidence of a criminal act or information of interest. The data contained in a GPS system can be used in all kinds of legal proceedings. Civial as well as criminal invstigations are increasingly examining these systems. These devices sometimes are quietly collecting and logging positional data while a crime or act is being carried out. The two most popular manufacturers encountered in the field are: Garmin and TomTom.

Each manufacturer is different and each device has different capabilities. Some devices are also speaker phones linked by Blue Tooth technology to cell phones. Some or all of the following information may be retrieved from GPS devices.

* Location Tracking Logs
* Waypoints
* Routes
* Stored Locations: Home, Office, Favorites, etc
* Recent Addresses Visited
* And More!

 

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