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Thread: GPS and Linux

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Question GPS and Linux

    With the wealth of knowledge that exists with members of GPS Australia, I'm trying to get an idea of what software is available to run on a Linux OS. Sure there is, I imagine, lots of programs available but what are people actually using and why.
    I have had my eye on an EEE PC. I would like to get any comments from those who may be using the PC especially comments about visibility outside and mapping software they may be using with their GPS.
    For the record, I use a garmin 60Cs but want to go to the next step when using for an in car off road situation.
    Not just numbers, its home !
    1454'36.00"N 9215'52.90"W

  2. #2

    Linux and GPS


    I recently posted my experiences in the new members section. But in summary

    I have a Globalsat BU-353 USB GPS, sold as a Polares BU-353. I bought it from a place in Victoria through eBay - $78 delivered.

    You must get the latest version of gpsd so that you can load the gps in read only mode "gpsd /dev/ttyUSB0 -b -n" I put this command into my startup programs. I use Ubuntu but I will be setting this up in Xandros on an EeePC next week. I killed one GPS with the old gpsd as it tries to reset the gps - thus making it read only. To revive you need a Windows PC and a utility from Globalsat to reset to factory defaults. Google gpsd eeepc to get instructions.

    The three programs that are usable are GPSDrive, Navit and Roadnav. I had to jump through hoops to make GPSDrive read Openstreetmap maps

    Navit is the easiest to start with but must be compiled from source, it comes with a utility to convert Openstreetmap maps to it's own format (There is a wiki with instructions)

    1 get and install gpsd of the newest version
    2 download australia.osm.bz2
    3 install navit
    4 convert map
    5 point navit at the map folder

    The EeePC has limited disc space so the Navit approach should work with less than 30mb total space needed.

    Issue is maps - Openstreetmap is coming along nicely, but a long way to go before Australia is filled in. I have been trying to load Shonkymaps and the result is not usable. The Garmin map support in Navit is rudimentary. I await newer versions.

    As it stands you will not get a system to rival an in dash system, not even close.

    Roadnav is reasonably easy to setup and use, but limited to Openstreetmap. GPSDrive is way too hard to setup and way too much disc space needed. I have it working on my Dell notebook and it is good for saving tracks and using them for updating Openstreetmap.

    If you Windows XP ed the EeePC there are a few good free GPS programs that you could use, but that is not my area of interest.

    For Europe Openstreetmap is great, thus Navit would be ideal there.

    lots of luck

  3. #3

    Linux and GPS

    It is also possible to run Windows XP programs using Wine.

    Using these tips I was able to get gpsVP running and reading my usb gps, complete with shonky maps and openstreetmap.

    Nice compromise until a better Linux app arrives.

    ps should work on a EeePC without much effort.

  4. #4

    gpsVP under Wine


    Loaded Openstreetmap and activated raster maps and killed it. Better stick to Shonky.

  5. #5

    Linux and GPS

    After a lot of mucking about, the best solution for off roading appears to be to use gpsVPxp under WINE. This will allow the loading of Shonky maps. The native Linux programs are very on road oriented. Now, even using Windows programs is difficult, eg cannot display contours from Shonky maps. This is caused by the software writing directly to the display which is not supported under Wine. However it does work using the "detailswithoutcontours" map set. I have read that Oziexplorer will work under emulation but I do not have the program to test. And for $200 I am unlikely to buy it and then find it has limitations. This is one case where using Windows XP might serve you better.

    Does anyone else have experience in running OziExplorer under WINE? Do all the functions work?

    For other sreading this thread, in gpsVPxp -
    For Victorians, loading these maps first,
    Then the Shonky set, this results in a fairly good Melbourne map and Shonky for the countryside both loaded simultaneously and the software switches seamlessly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Perth, WA. AU
    Blog Entries
    You can use the trial version of ozie. maybe you could install Contours australia too.
    The sun rises and sets, the moon wax and wanes, oceans ebb and rise, warmth of spring and the coolness of autumn and my heart beats as if I belong to them all.

  7. #7

    Linux and GPS

    I will try the demo next week and see what happens.

    let you know

  8. #8

    OziExplorer and Linux

    I downloaded the trial version. It seems to work flawlessly so far. Maps load, the usb GPS is read and the moving map looks good.

    There are instructions on the Ozi site for Linux, the only thing I needed was the symbolic link from the GPS to a pretend Windows comm port.

    sudo ln -sb /dev/ttyUSB0 /dev/ttyS4

    This creates a pretend comm 5 with a NMEA GPS attached.

    gpsd must be running under Linux first to supply the feed.

    In conclusion, OziExplorer and the free gpsVP Windows programs work under emulation in Linux. The Google map functionality of gpsVP does not work (works in Windows), only Garmin format maps.

    Of the native programs, Navit shows most promise once the author sorts out the proper loading of Garmin format maps. It works well with OSM maps, just not enough detail for Australia yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Nice work Grege. Very interesting.

  10. #10

    Problem compiling Navit on EEE PC

    Has anybody solution for this:
    PHP Code:
    Summary of your installation :
    GTK gui     DISABLED you are missing a dependencyTo fix this install a package named gtk2-devel or libgtk2.0-dev
    OpenGL gui  
    DISABLED you are missing (libsdl maybe?) libxmu glut quesoglc cegui-devel >= 0.5
    GPSD support
    Garmin IMG  
    DISABLED (you dont have libgarmin)
    Samplemap   ENABLED 
    And when I try to install libgtk2.0-dev I get a huge list of kde libraries that really mess everything up.
    And installing gtk2-devel does nothing. (Couldn't find any package whose name or description matched "gtk2-devel")

  11. rpm package



    used to work for me...



  12. #12

    Problem compiling Navit on EEE PC

    Hi, The EeePC is Xandros Linux which is Debian based. This page sets out the dependencies required

    I would not bother with Garmin support just yet. But if you want to have a go and install Garmin libs you will need subversion and automake installed.

    There are precompiled debs for Ubuntu here, they may install without grief. Ubuntu is Debian based but is not pure Debian like Xandros.

    Good Luck

  13. #13

    Using the EeePC to drive a USB GPS

    I have been working to get a USB GPS working on a friends EeePC. The theory is great, the EeePC is a neat small sub-notebook, light, quiet, cool running with a 7" screen. A great match with a USB GPS.

    But, the EeePC uses an old version of Linux that makes things difficult. Sofar the best solution has been running the Windows freeware program gpsVPxp under wine emulation. This is incredibly cludgey and fiddley to start up.

    I am attempting to get Viking to work, but there are no easily installable up to date versions for Xandros (which is really Debian Stable). I have limited access to the EeePC, but I will try compiling from source. Another option is to create a whole Ubuntu system on a USB stick and boot from that to run the GPS. This will be a good option once the EeePC version of Ubuntu 8.04 is released as it will have all the newest GPS software available directly from the repos.

    For Linux users in general, Ubuntu 8.04 has all the best Linux GPS stuff ready to go in the repos. gpsDrive with Openstreetmap, Mapnik, Viking, up to date gpsd, and much more that I have not looked at yet.

    The current Ubuntu (7.10) had out of date versions of limited use, the difference is nothing short of amazing.

    8.04 hits the downloads on 24th April, I am using the beta at the moment. Viking is good, although lacks voice and driving instructions which I do not care for anyway. Availability of maps is always the issue. Viking solves this easily. Google "Viking GPS" to see how it does it.

    Navit is still in development, but will ultimately provide the functionality of a dedicated GPS.

    When I achieve a working Viking on the EeePC I will report back on how it was done.

  14. EeePC plus BU-353 USB GPS

    Hello Linux users.

    I created a bootable USB drive with Xububtu 8.04. Added gpsd from the reops, set it up to autostart with command "gpsd -b -n /dev/ttyUSB0". Installed Viking from the repos and it all just works.

    The trick is to use Ubuntu 8.04 either by replacing the native Xandros or by creating and alternate boot disc.

    Viking is very OZ friendly as you can use google maps. Probably against the google license, but it works. The trick is to load maps for your areas of interest while home and connected to the Internet.

    I will continue to try and get Navit to use Shonkymaps, but for the moment Viking is the best way for Linux users to go.

  15. Hi.
    I purchased a Asus Eeepc 700 with linux for $319. from north rocks, in sydney.
    I also purchased Windows XP professional.
    Removed linux and installed windows xp.
    Installed perfectly and runs without any hickups.
    I have a bluetooth GPS reciever and USB bluetooth stick.
    I purchased original GPS Road software that runs under XP.
    Gps software working beautifully.
    Tested on road and signal 100% accurate.

    Give XP a try.
    Im happy i did.

    PS. I also purchased marine software for fishing and i have no regrets about this purchase also.
    My new Eeepc does wonders for me.

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