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This page aims to give an overview of the hardware and software usable with the Touch Book.



A variety of GPS receivers could be used with the Touch Book.


There exist many external Bluetooth GPS receivers. They communicate using the Serial Port Profile (SPP), supported by Linux. It should be a simple matter to bind to the receiver and receive a stream of NMEA 0183 data.

Some manufacturers:


There are GPS dongles that can be attached to one of the internal ports. A Google search for "gps usb dongle" turns up many results.

Many of the Bluetooth receivers can also be attached by USB, showing up as CDC-ACM devices e.g /dev/ttyACM0.


Adventurous types could try attaching a GPS receiver (e.g see SparkFun) to the board using the instructions on the serial cable page. Any process already using that port (e.g getty) would have to be disabled first.


Here's some software to try on the Touch Book.

Google Maps

Not until Google provides a Linux/ARM port.


Gaia is a simple viewer for satellite imagery from NASA.


BT747 is a Java program for managing Bluetooth GPS receivers based on the MediaTek chipsets, mainly MTK2. It allows some parameters to be configured and for logs to be downloaded and converted on those models with a logging capability. It also has a slippy-map using tiles generated by the Open Street Map (OSM) project. It can connect using USB or Bluetooth (using devices provided by the OS).

There is also a simplified mobile version (Java ME/J2ME).


GPSd is a program that takes the data stream from a GPS receiver and makes it available to multiple clients over TCP. It is using locahost by default and displays an error, if localhost is not up. Use followings commands to start localhost:

  • ifconfig lo up
  • route add localhost lo


Gypsy is a program similar to GPSd, but fixing what its authors see as problems in its design. It communicates parsed data over D-Bus instead of raw NMEA 0183 sentences over TCP. Further, clients can specify what information they are interested in (e.g only course) and only receive a message when it changes.

The Gypsy protocol is also used by ogpsd on OpenMoko.

Open Street Map

Open Street Map (OSM) is a project to map the world using volunteers (plus some public-domain data sources). Think of it as the Wikipedia of maps.

Here's some Linux (or Java) software that uses OSM data:

Routing and viewer of OSM XML data. Uses GPSd.
Fast and lightweight mapping application for use with or without GPS. It needs a running GPSd, or the GUI is freezing.
Car navigation with a map.
KDE Marble
(AI OS does not include KDE packages)
Touchscreen GUI, written in Python for OpenMoko.
Car navigation.
Traveling Salesman
Route planning and GPS navigation. Written in Java.
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