GIS Mobility

Well, while the big A is churning its marketing machine for its new iPhone i’ve been busy playing with my Eten X500 that Santa kindly bought for me.


Wifi? Check. BT2? Check. Internal SiRF GPS? Check. 400mhz CPU? Check. 2GB Microsd card? Check. WM5 RU2? Check. All for AU$850? Bargain.

As some other bloggers have pointed out, the iPhone is a joke. Fact is, all the functionality that it touts as being cutting-edge has been available for quite some time, especially on the mapping side of things. So for those interested in whats available, give the following a try

  1. MGMaps has provided a J2ME solution for the big 3 mapping apps for quite some time now.
  2. JVNMobileGIS (OSS) &
  3. Skylab-Mobilesystems are some more options available for OGC WMS services.
  4. Map24 has free mobile viewers for MIDP and PocketPC capable phones.
  5. OSGEO wiki has many more links to check out

Overall though, there really needs to be a bigger push into this space. The project is still very much at the thinking stage, but it still has promise. I suggest that if you are interested in developing a robust solution in the future that you hop on the bandwagon and start some discussion on the list. I like the idea of extending the JVNMobileGIS codebase as certainly J2ME seems to be the way to go for device-compatibility~

In other news, big kudos goes to Howard for his json-rpc proj4 service. I wonder how long it will be before someone wraps ogr/gdal into an online equivalent? Now *that* would be cool.


4 thoughts on “GIS Mobility”

  1. Chris, just wondering a couple of weeks on how you are finding the Eten. I’m interested in your view of
    GPS Integration
    GPS start up time (I presume no network assist for faster sub 10 secs startup)
    GPS no coverage handing. Many of the dash board systems now realise they can’t see the sky and keep pushing out the last known fix. How does the eten handle that (I guess it would make more sense to be application based)
    overall hapiness with phone (eg pro.con list)

  2. Hey Angus,

    Overall i’m very happy with the phone. As usual, if you check out the support/user forums you only really see the people who are complaining about the product.

    Its my first WM5 phone and I couldnt be happier.

    GPS fix can vary from 15-30secs. With no external antenna i was surprised by the signal strength.

    GPS integration is done by the standard com ports. Took a little bit of time finding the right setting, but apps like Tomtom etc work flawlessly with it.

    No coverage errors are thrown after a set timeout period of about 2mins. Couldnt say whether it keeps trying or not, but at least in tomtom/destinator/gps progs they do alert you if no fix could be found. If a fix is lost (eg. going through a tunnel) most programs report last known location until a fix can be found.

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