Programmable laptop GPS
Hi guys,

New to here, I am now trying to find a laptop GPS. It needs to be programmable, which means when the GPS is working attached to my laptop, I am able to write my own application (.net VB or C#) based on the data sent from GPS to the laptop through whatever connection it is (USB(prefer), Bluetooth).

It also needs to be stable, accurate, famous brand(=good service?), and suitable for commercial use. You may tell me a list of those that may fit my requirements, I will work on the detail myself.

Any article related to this subject is welcome.

Thanks a lot.:clap:
Marvin Hlavac
Hi ggps,

:welcome: to Laptop GPS World.

You will be able to write your own applications for any GPS, USB or Bluetooth, that you connect to your laptop. The following article will get you started: NMEA data
Thanks a lot. very useful link.

What I need basically is just get coordinates from GPS continuously when driving, so I also need some information about this part, thanks.
Marvin Hlavac
There may not be need for writing your own software for this, as there may be some freeware available:

Thanks, man.

What we need now is just current coordinates, then pass coordinates to our geo-system, nothing more. So there won't be too much coding work needed. But I doubt any of these freeware provide such APIs.

The important thing is that ACCURACY is crucial. I know there are things like WAAS out there, but many factors may affect accuracy still such as gps chipset or algorithms. So what is the best chipset which provides the best accuracy. Which product provides the best accurcy on the market? Aslo the manufacture has to be relieable, as upgraded or new products come out , we can easily update our system with minimum cost mainly in terms of code modification.
Thomas Birchmire
Hi: I've been reading GPS location data (latitude/longitude) on my laptop/netbook for the last few months using some software I kludged togather. The most current version uses any web browser to get the locally attached GPS mouse and to return the location data to the server for processing. You can see the browser portion at http://gpsmancer.com/ourtown-B . Inside the laptop there is a small server that interfaces to the local USB GPS mouse and the browser via json. Actually the browser sends a json request to the local server which responds with a javascript callback. This method avoids cross domain browser errors.
Regards Tom Birchmire
Ken in Regina

Did you ever sort out the issue of which product/chipset to go with?

I've written in this forum about accuracy in consumer GPS devices on a number of occasions. Here's one of them.


What it really gets down to is how accurate do you need it to be, really? Depending upon your accuracy requirements, a consumer GPS may not be suitable at all, regardless of the chipset it contains.

Many people are impressed at the performance of the newest generation of GPS receiver chips, like the MTK, etc. What they are impressed with is that they will get a location fix very quickly and they'll get and hold a fix under some pretty terrible conditions.

Many mistake this for improved "accuracy".

It just ain't so....

The older chipsets were designed to ignore multipath signals and anything that looked like they might be. They were really fussy about being sure they had solid original signals. That meant that they often took awhile to get a lock and they had difficulty holding a fix under less than perfect conditions.

But they were about as accurate as a consumer grade GPS receiver can get.

The satellite signals have not gotten any better.

The antenna technology hasn't improved in any significant way.

So how do the new chipsets do it?

The secret to the new chipsets is in their firmware. Their designers have figured out a way to use multipath and other less than perfect signals that they are receiving. Since there are almost always lots of GPS satellite signals bouncing around out there, if you can figure out how to use them you can get a lock pretty quickly and you can hold it under some pretty severe conditions.

But it ain't necessarily going to be more accurate than the older receivers. Or even as accurate. They're having to make a whole bunch of assumptions about the origins of those signals and how much they've been bouncing around between the time they left the satellite and the time they hit the receiver.

So, it's good that they are mostly just as accurate as the older technology. But just because they are newer and are much improved in one aspect of their performance does not mean they are more accurate.

It just ain't so.

So, how much accuracy do you really need, and in what terms to you understand and express that accuracy?

In the final analysis, there is so little difference in real accuracy between the many average and above average quality consumer-grade devices out there that all you need to do is make sure you buy one from a supplier you are comfortable with ... one who stands behind anything they sell and has a good warranty reputation.


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