· Can I use my player as a GPS navigation system?
(Entry last updated on November 2nd, 2005)
Jan Harkes created GPSapp, found here. It requires Mark Lord's Hijack Kernel, and a little bit of knowledge about Linux file management, to install and use.
It also requires a GPS receiver with an RS-232 serial connection (many GPS receivers come with this kind of connector already, or can be adapted). The receiver does not need to have an integrated screen, it can be one of the less expensive "receiver-only" units designed to hook up to a laptop or a PDA. GPSapp supports receivers that speak the standard NMEA protocol as well as certain proprietary protocols. If the GPS receiver can run off of 12 volt power, connection to the car docking sled should be easy, as long as it's wired properly to the docking sled's serial port.
At the time of this writing, the main limitation of all GPS projects for the empeg (including Kim Salo's GPS project that was never publicly released) is getting good map data. All of the really good map data is proprietary. We've found that all of the "open" map data available has limitations such as no one-way street information, so routing information is often faulty when trying to use such data. Without this special information, a programmed route might tell you to drive the wrong way up a freeway onramp, for example.
GPSapp works around this (for now) by screen-scraping a set of directions and waypoints from a mapping web site. It is hoped that in the future, a solution for better mapping data can be found.
Please note: When using a GPS receiver plugged into the serial port, you must go into Hijack, while the player is in DC/Car mode, and select "Serial port Assignment: Apps Use Serial Port". Otherwise, serial data sent to the player from the GPS receiver will be interpreted as menu commands and the player software will seem to go crazy.