Add nav kits to the list of computers to gnomize


Automotive navigation systems started being pretty specialized devices doing a single thing: navigate. Convergence is also hitting hard this sector, and the navigators are becoming more and more multimedia computers, Internet tablets, etc. Now some even have TV & video for your entertainment (hopefully not while you are driving).

I don’t have any study at hand, but I’d say that free software is not doing very well in these devices… yet. Looking at the technology there is nothing that couldn’t be done, and actually nothing (?) not available already, perhaps with the help of some non-free binaries. maemo has already free (beer/speech) and non-free (beer/speech) navigation products (maemo Mapper and Navicore), so why couldn’t they.

They are probably aware of the GNOME Mobile initiative. It would be interesting to know their opinions.


11 Responses to “Add nav kits to the list of computers to gnomize”

  1. 2 Julf Helsingius

    Not only does TomTom use Linux (and TCP/IP), but it is actually possible to run
    Linux network applications on it. As an example, I have written a small program that updates the position in real time to my website, to be tracked by Google Maps.

  2. 3 Michael Greb

    Not only that but they make their tool chain available for download and include things like sample source to a hello world type application. They have a command file based interface that makes interacting with their navigation stuff easy, create a file with a request for long/lat and in a few moments there is an output file with the info.

  3. One big stumbling block is that in Europe there is no / very little freely available geospatial data. All that data is heavily copyrighted and not freely avialable. OpenStreetMap are working on this.

    Let’s hope the openmoko (which includes a GPS device and a nice big screen) could help kick start the open source satnav movement.

  4. Quim,

    How do you see Gnome (since you said “gnomize”) to help here? These apps are mostly one map with overlays, few dialogs. Overlays are not supported, so you’d have to use dialogs, but that’s about GTK and not Gnome in the strict sense.

  5. OpenStreetMap data is almost good enough for navigation in some places like UK and the Netherlands.

    Some interesting proof-of-concept stuff in

  6. Gustavo, by GNOME Mobile I mean – and this includes GTK+

    The geospatial data is an issue related with freedom but not necessarily tight to free software. I see them as parallel efforts. It is true though that i.e. public administrations promoting free software are more likely to promote open content as well as policies to open all the geospatial data the own.

    I am no expert on this, but it looks that the “value” is shifting from the geospatial data itself (geography, roads…) to the information to be placed on the maps (nearest vegetarian reasturant, cinema with movies I’m likely to enjoy…)

  7. garmin makes devices using GMAE

  8. Navit seems like a promising new open source navigation app, and apparently runs at least on OpenMoko:

  9. 10 Sean Kelley

    Geospatial content (POI) is useless without routing capable map data. Unless of course you are hiking on foot.

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