[SIZE=+3][/SIZE]By Noel Dekking of the A.M. Costa Rica staff Computer and satellite global positioning system technology is now available to help guide automobile travelers through the winding roads of Costa Rica. Smart Ways, a division of Rutas Satelitales G.P.S. S.A. developed a satellite-guided GPS map that is currently geared towards tourist travelers. The map has contact points at many of the popular sights, beaches, resorts, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and other popular tourist locations, said company representative Rudolpho Vargas-Fournier. The company's in-car GPS systems provide both voice-prompted directions as well as a three-dimensional navigation map, depending on traveler preference. If visitors know their destinations ahead of time, the company will pre-program the system for the customized travel routes, said a company report. Additional reference points include hospitals, police stations, banks, ATMs, service stations and various landmarks such as schools, museums, churches. Such devices are now widely used in North America. Smart Ways began supplying clients with the systems Dec. 26, and Vargas-Fournier said that the system has worked reliably. The company is undergoing a pilot program phase with 125 units available for rent for about $15 a day. Vargas-Fournier said that the firm's intention is to have online reservations and fixed pricing available as soon as possible. The systems are currently available at the company office, which is located near the Juan Santamaría airport in the Hampton car-rental complex, directly across from the Hotel Hampton Inn & Suites. They are also available at both Economy and Solid car rentals, located in the same area. Being the first Costa Rican version of the virtual map, the company's Web site indicates that not all locations or routes are currently available. Smart Ways representative Abbey Vargas-Fournier said that new locations, roads, and details will be updated regularly. Smart Ways' map has been officially licensed by Garmin International Inc. and the firm is using the 2006 Garmin StreetPilot c310 2006 GPS system, which is available in 15 languages, according to the company Web site. Garmin International Inc. is a member of the Garmin Ltd., a group of companies that designs, manufactures, and markets navigation and communications equipment.