Adventures in GPS

A couple weeks ago, I was lent a rebranded RoyalTek BlueGPS by Jo Walsh. She and Schuyler had it for something for Wireless Hacks, and hadn’t used it since. I’ve been using it to do a number of fun things.

Getting it working was pretty easy. Just go through the “Setup a Bluetooth Device” process, enter ‘0000’ in the passcode box. Set up a Serial Port in the Bluetooth System Preferences Panel. Then I’ve got a ‘/dev/tty.BlueGPS27E8B5-SerialPort-1’ device that I can play with.

There’s a couple things I’ve played with or looked at:
* BlueGPS Log Downloader — although it’s only Bluez+Linux, and my last dongle broke recently, so I can’t use it.
* gpsd — turning any serial device into something accessible over TCP in a regularized format.
* gpsdrive — uses gpsd to display your position and track on a map. Biggest problem with this is that downloading maps seems to be difficult at best. I couldn’t get it to work how I thought it should.
* gpsconnect, a mac os x program that lets me initiate conversation with the GPS, after which I can use `cat` to spit the output to a file. Set the laptop in the back seat, the gps on the dashboard, and cat the NMEA to a file, then use GPS Visualizer to generate a pretty map.

I’m also doing some nifty celltracking stuff, but I’ll save that for another entry.

The BlueGPS is nifty. I recommend it, although I have no clue how much it costs 🙂

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