Location, Location, Location

Tutorials – gpsd

Article from Issue 210/2018

Even though your computer does not come with its own GPS, you can hack one onto it using a mobile phone. Although, it does take quite a bit of fiddling.

There is plenty of literature online on how to connect a GPS device to a computer. But normally the devices covered are exclusively GPSs, that is, something you would probably have to go out of your way to buy.

What you don't find so much information about is how to use what you have at hand, namely, your regular phone. However; it can be done. It is a bit hacky, but it works.

On Your Laptop

Linux comes with a daemon called gpsd [1] that can process the information delivered by a GPS device. Although gpsd is usually started and stopped with systemd (and is usually launched at boot), you'll be running it by hand. The reason is again the hackiness of the solution, due to processing data coming from a GPS device not on board or that is not connected over a serial or USB port, which is what gpsd usually expects. (See the "NMEA" box.)


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