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PC using google maps /other software and GPS Puck or similar

 
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carpetpaul
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Joined: Dec 15, 2006
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject: PC using google maps /other software and GPS Puck or similar Reply with quote

Wasn't sure where to put this post, perhaps it can be moved by a moderator if there's a better place for it to go. :-

I have a couple of laptops, on on windows xp and one on windows vista, I'd like to be able to use an online mapping software (I use a vodafone mobile broadband dongle for the mobile connection) and I'd like the pc to be aware of where it is on the maps. I don't need functionality for routing, but a real-time updating map.
Is there a GPS puck or other antenna that can be connected via usb or bluetooth that will give the pc it's position ?

Manty thanks for the help

Paul
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AllyCat
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Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Posts: 376
Location: Catford, London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul,

Yes, there are so many that I don't know where to start.

Various USB GPS dongles do exist, but have rather fallen out of favour as they generally can't be used with PDAs and phones, etc. (and you generally know where your desktop is located Smile ). However they do give a simple plug-and-go application with laptops.

Particularly if your laptops already have Bluetooth, then there are vast numbers of Bluetooth GPS receivers, so choose one that suits your price and requirements. If the laptop doesn't have BT, then I'd still use this approach with a USB-BT dongle (which need cost no more than 5). You will of course have to plug the GPS into the laptop (or somewhere) occasionally to recharge the battery.

Cheers, Alan.
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Acer N50,HP114,Loox N560,Dell x50,CF/SD cards to 4/32GB.
RoyalTek,Holux236,Navman B10 & Copilot(Globalsat) BT GPS,TomTom5/6.
Memory Map (v5.4.2 & v5.1.3 OS & Euro), GPS gate,OSGPSconverter.
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aj2052
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Joined: Jul 03, 2005
Posts: 1431
Location: Leics,UK

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why online maps, Autoute 2007 will run on XP and Vista and you can just plug in a USB gps reciever or a bluetooth reciever if preffered, Ok the maps are not absolutely upto date but then are others even google.
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carpetpaul
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Joined: Dec 15, 2006
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I can see why they're not so popular with laptops, however, I do a lot of camping and caravaning and it's maybe if I can get a usb plug in device for the laptop then it would save a lot of searching.
What cheap usb devices would you recomend ?

thanks very much for the advice


Paul.
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AllyCat
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Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Posts: 376
Location: Catford, London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul,

Yes I agree that a USB GPS puck will give a simple and compact solution for your application, but you may have to pay for the convenience. Personally, I don't have experience of any device to recommend, but I do suggest you get a GPS with a SiRF3 chipset, or one of its recommended modern competitors.

However, bear in mind that a USB charging cable, BT dongle and USB hub (and you may not even have to buy any of these) needn't cost more than 10 in all. So you could get a cheap, well-reviewed BT GPS and keep the whole lot permanently in the laptop case. Just note that some GPSs have a simple on/off slide power switch and others use a "push to start" button, probably with "auto off" (which may or may not be an advantage).

Sorry I can't be more specific, but the availability of devices changes so rapidly, particularly at the cheaper end of the market. If you find something that looks interesting then post here and we can probably cast a critical eye over it.

Cheers, Alan.
_________________
Garmin GPS72H/76/60/45, Etrex H, Mapsource v6.5.
Acer N50,HP114,Loox N560,Dell x50,CF/SD cards to 4/32GB.
RoyalTek,Holux236,Navman B10 & Copilot(Globalsat) BT GPS,TomTom5/6.
Memory Map (v5.4.2 & v5.1.3 OS & Euro), GPS gate,OSGPSconverter.
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