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Thread: Possible to use existing map sources for GPS?

  1. #1
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    Possible to use existing map sources for GPS?

    I've been trying to figure out ways around the lack of GPS software for linux. It seems to me that the problem isn't that there is a lack of programming tallent when it comes to making a program but rather there is a lack of usuable maps as a data source. The tiger data is always thrown around but when one considers how primative that data is and how much effort it would take to get the data to look decent, it just took to much work.

    So the question is, could you make a program that would be able to access exisiting map data sources? Streets and Trips software can be very cheap and might serve as a good source of map data. If you could build a Linux program that would be able to make use of the map data then we could have a solution for GPS and even if you had to pay a few bucks for the maps it would be worth it. Sure it might not do directions and stuff but for now I'd just settle for some plain old positioning.


    At times like these I wish I was a software engineer and not an aerospace engineer...

    Any thoughts?.

  2. #2
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    Hold your horses. US Census Bureau has a project underway to dramatically improve the accuracy of its TIGER data. Don't know if using data from another software would be legal.

  3. #3
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    I was just looking at roadmap last night for several hours. Seems like this guy has a good start on using Tiger data but I could never get a map loaded into the program. Guess I'll have to mess around with it some more this morning and see what I can come up with.

  4. #4
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    Yes, it is possible to use existing data sources for a custom GPS service... but if it is commercial software, it would be similar to packaging and using functionality of windows notepad in an open source application...

    There is also gpsdrive which in looking at their site, you download the maps from expedia as part of the install:
    http://www.gpsdrive.cc/index.shtml

    This would get around the whole licensing issue... So, could probably put together a utility that uses another programs data... And if each user has to buy the software to extract the data, that would get around issue and make the company pretty happy, since it is creating sales in a new market without them having to do anything...

    I may play around with Tiger data just for kicks...

  5. #5
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    GPSdrive is not a viable solution in the long run because it just downloads pictures of maps. They aren't vector maps. As a result you have to download multiple images just to cover the zoom level for a city. Vector based maps are what are needed.

  6. #6
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    Ahhh... ok, makes sense... wasn't sure how they were doing it... just found it while poking around for GPS software and it looked pretty slick...

    There are quite a few libraries out there for rendering maps, but not sure if they plop stuff on a pregenerated raster map based on a (0,0) pixel cordinate = GPS (x,y) and (MaxX, MaxY) = GPS (x+YOffset, y+YOffset) or what...

  7. #7
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    I am working on creating a decent database from tiger data. Things are a long way from having something comparable to Navteq based apps.

    OpenSource Map Vector Data

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