Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hacks, TrekBuddy & GeoCommons OS Maps

HackADay points to an article on SemiFluid with a way to use the DeLorme TripMate as a GPS Logger. It wasn’t the first project trying go get into it for similarly good reasons.

Nokia phones users can try the mapping J2ME app TrekBuddy. Hard part will be to find a calibrated map image.

Good news on the Open Source front: GeoCommons is announcing the future availability of free (as in freedom?) of map data. From InformationWeek.

Nemerix: “Authenticated Location”

GPS World published a great interview with Nemerix CTO Lionel Garin, look up for the next buzzword after LBS.

It goes about his view on Wi-Fi + GPS and promises from Galileo’s precison with this quote:

”No company will develop an application until they have a reasonable view of this.”
as in how precise it will actually be.

Look also in the current edition of the magazine for a long “survey” of GPS receivers (of the professional kind, not Geocaching ones. No easily findable link for now.).

Rfid says Hi, MoSoSo

Five hundred feet away from a Billboard when you drive by it on your Mini Cooper (about US$22K with few optionals). You broadcast where you are and gets a Hi back.

Mososo translates to Mobile Social Software or connecting the dots. The implementation I would like to see had this scenario:

Tag yourself with the best shows, videos, songs, books, movies and the best match will trigger the corresponding songtrack while he, she goes by your side while you were dreaming on the street.

MoSoSo is about how to connect everybody that wants to connect. Check Wikipedia for a pretty up-to-date list of projects and implementations. [Update Feb/07: Among them the first runner Plazes which scored funding recently according to GigaOm.]

The article on the Mini appeared on the MercuryNews today.

Monday, January 22, 2007

DIY Phone Business

OpenMoko is back with some hard dates for public release or at least targets. This includes specs showing that Globallocate and its AGPS support was the choice for FIC.

O’Reilly is putting out a Conference of the Emerging series on Telephony (Feb 27, 2007). There will be sessions for the Greenphone from Trolltech by Benoit Schillings and OpenMoko, plus Matt Hamrick from the MHC, more below.

O’Reilly also got a short work called NeoGeography by Andrew Turner available.

Matt is also hosting at the Mobile Homebrew Club its January meeting that will be happening this Wednesday, Jan 24th in Alameda, CA.

In other business David Carey dismantles the Blackberry Pearl and CNet publishes a good summary considering Galileo, compatibility and market requirements on the state of mobile navigation in Europe.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

MapThis: PSP GPS App

If you got one around plus the GPS receiver from Play-Asia, go try it out.

First at PSPFanBoy via Engadget.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

LBS: Apartments, China, TomTom

TomTom Work shows their solution for tracking and logistics and its TomTom WebFleet browser-based app for vehicle tracking and management. From PcWorld.

Real Estate LBS: SmartAgent making noise now with The idea is to be able to look for a place through your mobile phone.

Want to put your property on the map? These guys can help. See it applied to used cars search.

Chinese LBS? It asks for a bit more work than you would think.

Skyhook Wi-fi positioning on a portable media player, the Korean-made iriver W10. It uses Navteq map data. From DirectionsMag.

Development: Just announced MapQuest API 5.0 Release.

CES 2007: Soft news

Nokia Smart2Go from Gate5 AG redeployment in U.S. According to PCWorld Canada it will provide:

"free mapping and routing services to users and will also include a turn-by-turn navigation service for a fee [...] Smart2Go customers will use Wi-Fi or a direct connection to a PC to download maps to the phones."
Motorola seems to be putting out vapor for now and showing 3rd party software options through Jentro and Destinator (providers of GPS navigation software). First on EarthTimes.

Telenav live traffic info for mobile phones: US$10 a month for a subscription with free updates until July, $4 bucks more afterwards. According to InfoWorld the service will provide:
"warnings of slow-moving traffic and other obstacles, and the ability to calculate new routes on the fly to avoid problems."
Among the products where TeleNav's new service is available includes:
"The Dash Express and TeleNav Traffic will both use live traffic data supplied by Inrix and are destined for the U.S. market[...]"
You can also use their service as a subscriber of Sprint/Nextel using Motorola RAZR, KRZR and Sanyo Katana. Also interesting to notice how much work you need to "port" this type of application.

Navicore Personal will be available for Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. From PhoneContent.

iPhone, GeoTagging & Loran

iPhone and CES, what a week. iPhone probably uses A-GPS (who cares) on GSM which doesn't have great precision in its raw form, for Google search shouldn't make a difference.

TomTom also announced that it will use GlobalLocate Hammerset GPS chipsets in its devices. From LBSZone.

Loran Shutdown? Reboot with eLoran

LORAN or Long-Range Navigation is a system "operated by the Coast Guard" that is looking into keeping it live or "develop a fully deployed enhanced Loran (eLoran) system that could serve as a GPS backup."

According to FCW, eLoran stations would

"... broadcast an additional data channel with as many as 16 messages including but not limited to station identification, absolute time, and early and differential correction messages, which improve accuracy, according to a Coast Guard fact sheet."

GPS Stolen? Look for it at eBay...

Geocoding Photos

Not quite CES but for geocoded photos and videos and layer creation for GIS applications look at the 8MPixel Ricoh 500SE with optional GPS. Includes Bluetooth for connectivity to an external NMEA compatible receiver.

You can buy it with an embedded GPS receiver for about $1,350 or without one for $1,250. Check this page at GeoSpatialExperts for more info on these models.

From DirectionsMag.

CES 2007: Hard news

Harman/Kardon enters the GPS Navigation Devices market with TrafficPro. From TheAutoChannel.

ViaMichelin X-930 the cheapest PND around: US$199. Current model is the x950.

Mio now includes maps, music, mp3's.

Garmin's Nuvi 680 will be using Microsoft's new LBS offer MSN Direct.

"Microsoft says the new service provides dynamic local information such as weather condition and traffic updates, movies listings, and gas prices."
From WindowsForDevices.


Magellan CrossoverGPS models are portable units, water-proof, ruggedly packed. Good choice of maps and supporting software.

Meanwhile DeLorme announced the GPS PN-20, a portable device that also supports map images like Bushnell models. You can pre-order from DeLorme which is offering map bundles with prices between US$ 450 and US$370.

At the same time Trimble comes up with GuideWorx for the adventurous type. Didn't find the product page at Trimble's website.

Finally, we covered the Onix 200 from Bushnell recently, now Bushnell does XM Radio and Weather. As published by the Chron:
"The ONIX 400 is the first fully integrated portable handheld device that can simultaneously access GPS location data; XM's 170 plus channels of acclaimed music, sports and entertainment; and personalized local real-time XM weather information anywhere in the United States."
More CES 2007 Coverage at

GpsPassion photos from CES 2007 at Flicker
MercuryNews Blog coverage
Navigadget coverage

Sunday, January 07, 2007

CES 2007: Garmin first, Mobile Weather

Tons of announcements in the next couple of days, from DigitalTrends Garmin first with new Nuvis, motorcycle models and new products including Astro, an almost US$700 dog tracker. With that hunters can see their pooches run (not sure why) through Google Earth.

A more interesting development is the acquisition by the same Garmin of Digital Cyclone, a mobile provider of weather information.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Yahoo + Dash: Mobile Search plus News

Post-Google means searching while driving for Yahoo and Dash that announced their partnership to fight Volks and Google with their still inexisting device. First on TheStreet.

Ford and Microsoft are also targeting the same market.

Mobile search seems like the target for 2007, more predictions here.

Meanwhile tracking through Qualcomm's CDMA and gpsOne now is possible with the AGT-100D from AnyData. First on Yahoo.

InfoSpace rerun its pitch for a 60-day free trial of its mobile search packages for GPS-enabled phones like the Motorola's. It includes voiced turn-by-turn directions.

A non-GPS enabled package features a common denominator through WAP browser.

For US residents, parcel data now made available by Digital Map. PR here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year News

. Concrete Software is selling a GPS-enabled Poker game for US$9.99. With that you can find players around your current location. It works with Boost and Nextel compatible phones (true GPS not the Assisted type). From PocketGamer in UK.

. Just in time for the tech-oriented crowd you can get a GPS-enabled running shoe (or boot) from Issac Daniel its inventor. The online store is selling the running shoes for US$350 (available in February according to CBS News). The antenna sits at the bottom of the shoe and I wonder how it would work. For one you need to be outside with a clear view of the sky.

It runs of a battery that you can charge through an USB cable. It also has a "locate me" button and a GSM module that can send and receive data, including current location. The idea is keep location data in a central server and allow seniors, kids and other users to be found if necessary. From CBS News.

. In China, GPS will help track contaminated pigs so that they don't enter the food chain.

. Sad news from Australia where it seems that a hicker might've trusted his GPS more than his own navigational skills and fell off a cliff. But it might have been trickier that this.

But it might show that too much trust is being placed in technology. As in the online map directions, virtualization technology doesn't substitute your own ability to find a way and navigate to a given point in the real world.

. OpenTom, the Open Source version of TomTom software (which is Linux based) has stable builds of an OpenTom with a MP3 player. From Hackaday.

Happy 2007.