[FOSS-GPS] Openmoko Freerunner compatible GPS software

Risto H. Kurppa risto at kurppa.fi
Tue Sep 23 02:43:01 EDT 2008

I have an Openmoko Freerunner phone and I like it a lot. I know that
there are around 10 other Freerunner owners so I thought I'd post some

OK, Freerunner has some glitches (like I don't feel comfortable using
it as my daily phone because of the bad battery duration and audio
quality, both fixable with software) but it has GPS, accelerometers,
GPRS, WLAN and Linux so I'm pretty happy and waiting for the software
to become more usable. Since this is my first GPS device I'm kind of
interested in the GPS tools and applications and here's a short review
of some tools I've tried.




    * Is able to sync Freerunner clock (though I don't think I've
managed to make it work ever..)


    * small buttons of UI
    * no satellite signal strength information




    * Shows a lot of information about the connection: map, individual
satellite signal strengths, position plot, signal log etc
    * helps to test different restarts (cold/warm/hot)


    * after first fix pretty useless to a normal user
    * bad UI, small buttons




    * most comprehensive
    * saves tracks (that need to be converted to .gpx before they can
be used) to upload to Openstreetmap or other tools
    * uses Openstreetmap as well as other map sources
    * is able to show geotagged photos (haven't tried)
    * can save and load POC:s and show friends (though I have no idea
how it works and where the data is stored and so on)


    * Nothing really bad but there are some features missing to make
it really smooth & usable. See my wishes below.


    * zoom to show 1 pix as 4pix or so (the high dpi of Freerunner
isn't always good, if the device is not so close to your eyes)
    * Show better information about the satellites - signal strength
for each satellite would be nice.
    * GPX data format for better compability
    * Ability to show GPX tracks (ie. create a track on the desktop,
upload to phone and follow the track to get to places)
    * multiple waypoints for more complex navigation
    * default location where to go if no GPS signal available
    * possibility to give a custom text to catenate in the saved gps
track filename

As you see TangoGPS get's most of my attention as the best and most
usable tool there is available at the moment.. Feel free to implement
my wishes :)




    * Shows the stars and the constellations on the sky
    * Fast development - a new release just out again!


    * -

Haven't used enough and don't know enough about stars to estimate it's
usefulness but it's a nice tool anyway :)
Other software

I haven't tried the locations tool of 2008.8 or 2008.9. I also know
that gpsd is running somewhere down there but I have no opinion about
it. If it works, its good :)

At Openmoko Projects page
you can find more GPS software. I'll propably have to try some of
those as they get more mature or so. I should also learn to use
navigation software like Navit.


Since this become that good post (my opinion :) I'll post it on my
blog as well: http://risto.kurppa.fi/blog/freerunner-compatible-gps-software/
| risto h. kurppa
| risto at kurppa dot fi
| http://risto.kurppa.fi

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