GPS Receivers and Software

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smykes24's picture
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The aspect of never getting lost again is somewhat appealing to me. It seems to me that GPS support for the OS X is finally getting to the point where it is useable. I think that I am looking for a USB GPS receiver, one that I can plug into my iBook and turn the screen off and have my iBook tell me where to go turn by turn along the way. Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm not looking to spend any more then $200 USD for hardware and software. Thanks in advance for suggestions.

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g3head's picture
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Garmin

I don't know about the software but I picked up an older Garmin unit last week for about $80 shipped off eBay. eTrex units seem to be really popular but I settled for a Garmin 12. Cables and the unit can be had for about $100 total if you don't rush it

GPSy.com has a good deal of information about using GPS units with Macs but their software is classic only so far.

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GPS on the Mac

I quite like my very small and effective Garmin Gecko 201 (SRP $140).

Unfortunately, I don't know of a communications cable that goes directly from it to a USB port. I had to get a cable to connect to it that ends in 9-pin serial connector, then plug that into a USB connector. If you Ebay for used, and other scrounge you can get the cable set-up for about $60.

Then you need some software to read the coordinates. I've transfered coordinates with GPSNavXDemo (available on the Apple OSX download site).

National Geographic has some map/GPS software for OSX that I'm thinking of buying for $100. It has detailed maps of California, and they have versions of other places.

Good luck.

smykes24's picture
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Thank you

Thank you for your informative post. This is the type of helpful concise post that the internet needs more of. Have you also checked out the Route 66 mapping software, it is said to be considerably slow but is much cheaper then the National Geographics counter part.

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Route 66 ?

You're very welcome. Share and enjoy.

I'm not familiar with Route 66. Do you have the main URL of the publisher? (I'll google around for it too, but others might find it useful if it were posted here).

The reports of slow responsiveness do not inspire me to get it.

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URL

http://www.66.com/route66/

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Rt66

I own a copy of Route 66 and it's excellent.

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TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
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Question:

Can you hook up ANYGarmin GPS unit to a Mac? I only ask because i saw an older Garmin GPS handheld unit in my local pawn shop for an übercheep price and i want to use the GPS function of MacStumbler the next time o go wardriving.

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g3head's picture
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Re: Question:

TheUltimateMacUser wrote:

Can you hook up ANYGarmin GPS unit to a Mac? I only ask because i saw an older Garmin GPS handheld unit in my local pawn shop for an übercheep price and i want to use the GPS function of MacStumbler the next time o go wardriving.

I won't say all, but what I've read suggests that most will. A model number helps but if you remember what it looks take a look at ebay auctions and sites like gpsy.com. Chances are it won't take too long to find out. If you can't find it and its under $50 and working just buy it. If you can't get it to interface with a mac chances are you can turn a profit by selling it.

TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 615
Well...

I noticed it in a local pawn shop, it was in a display case, so i couldn't turn it on to see if it was working, and the shop ownser was busy with someone else. It appears to be an older unit, i dont remember the model number, it comes with the origional manual, auto power adapter, and i think the origional box, etc. They wasnt something like $60 for it. As i dont have $60 right now (im a college student, its the end of hte year; i.e., im broke), im not gonna buy it. Im gonna keep looking nto this, and i will eventually get a compatable GPS unit. If anyone is intrested in this unit, and lives in the area, i saw it in a pawn shop in downtown New London CT last weekend.

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did you get a full answer

I have the same question, but the comments you received left me scratching my head. No one mentioned a mac OS X street finder software, especially one with voice commands.?? Other than hand held did you get info on a mac compatible GPS receiver??? On the suggested hand helds there seems to be some interface and installation advice missing. For instance on the garmins, they are serial not USB. Do they hook directly to the mac without any drivers?? If they can be hooked up will they infact give the geographical location on the street finder software?? Pls let me know with the dryest of details. thanks. john

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a full answer?

I have the same question, but the comments you received left me scratching my head. No one mentioned a mac OS X street finder software, especially one with voice commands.?? Other than hand held did you get info on a mac compatible GPS receiver??? On the suggested hand helds there seems to be some interface and installation advice missing. For instance on the garmins, they are serial not USB. Do they hook directly to the mac without any drivers?? If they can be hooked up will they infact give the geographical location on the street finder software?? Pls let me know with the dryest of details. thanks. john

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GPS Receivers and Software

For Smykes24,::::::::::: go to this website http://mightygps.com/macgps.htm and you will find the USB GPS mac compatible receiver for the iBook and their iGuidance software is voice activated; all for just, and I say just, under $200.00. This will solve yours and my quest.

::Edited by smykes, link is now followable::

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my solution

Hey,

I have been using a Garmin 12 (serial cable) and a Keyspan Serial Adapter to connect it to my PB 12". The Keyspan connects the serial port to the USB port so my computer can talk to the GPS unit. Keyspan comes with a driver that has to be selected in whatever GPS software you happen to be using so that it can gather information from the GPS unit.
I have been using software like MacStumbler to interface with the GPS. I have utilities (like GPS Connect http://www.chimoosoft.com/gpsconnect.html) that download the waypoints from the Garmin and upload. I use TerraBrowser software to see where the waypoint is and to make new ones. I haven't used a 'live tracking' software yet. People can mail me if they have questions: estate200_at_yahoo_dot_com.

estate

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Jon
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From what some of my stubling

From what some of my stubling friends have told me, using live tracking (ie. NMEA feeds) over a serial to USB adapter doesn't work well w/ Macs and OS X. Asmo made a few mentions of the problem on WiGLe.

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A Wardriving Neighborhood

Check out a view of your neighborhood from the eye of wardrivers at http://www.wifimaps.com.