by Simon St. Laurent

I've been poking around the Web looking for GPS gadgets that connect to a PDA - Palm, iPAQ, Zaurus, etc. Most of what I'm finding is GPS with piles of navigation software that's actually not that interesting to me.

Anyone know a good place for info on GPS hardware for PDAs with programming in mind? Java programming would be ideal, but I can find my way through other environments if I need to do so.

Basically I'd like to write a program that starts by establishing a location through GPS, and then has the user record a variety of information about objects (mostly trees) within about a 60' radius. I'll be taking that information and turning it into SVG later to produce a simple map, as well as storing the information for later use. Eventually it might be nice to use the GPS to collect the locations of the objects, but it's still a simple function call asking "where am I?"

This isn't GIS rocket science by any means, but I also don't have much of a budget, and the GPS unit has to be able to do a decent job under forest canopy, another big problem for navigation-oriented units.

All suggestions are welcome.

Any ideas?


2002-07-01 07:06:37
eVB and open a COM port
I have just been building some prototype apps like this at the BBC. We have been using a number of different GPS cards, all PC-cards on an iPaq.

I wrote a simple eVB app. Just opened COM4 and read the resulting stream. Its not perfect yet, I am not sure if there are timing issues, as some of the strings come out rather mangled, but enough raw data gets through to be useful and extract the long / lat.


technical project manager

2003-05-30 04:11:33
Use SuperWaba ( and then you can write in Java for both Palm and PocketPC. I'm using it to write a GPS program to read an Emtac Bluetooth GPS with my Tungsten T.