Sunday, April 27, 2008

Converting your smartphone into a GPS navigation system

This entry essentially explains how to convert your bluetooth enabled smartphone into a GPS navigation system. This can also be used for those phones which have inbuilt GPS. If you do not have GPS, this will tell you how to store maps in your phone and view them.

Basic Requirements:
1. Smartphone - any one of the following
(a) Nokia symbian 60 series or above eg. 6630, all N-series and E-series of mobile phones
(b) Any mobile running Windows Mobile 5 or 6.


Getting the right hardware:

If you already have a bluetooth GPS or an inbuilt GPS in your phone, skip to the next section. If you need a GPS navigation system, the simplest and cheapest way I think would be to buy a smartphone and a bluetooth GPS and get it for half the price of a phone with inbuilt GPS. For instance, the cheapest option that I know of is Nokia N72 (INR 8000/-) + Navibe GB735 (INR 1800/-), while most of the GPS enabled phones currently in the market are above INR 20,000/- . There are Nokia smartpones cheaper than N72, but I they are much less worth for the 1000 rupee less that you pay.



Getting the right software:

(a) If you are using Nokia phone, get the SmartcomGPS software. You can get it from here mobilesmania forum. You will need to register for free at the site and dig a little bit to find the version for your phone. There is also a older but less featured MapViewGPS. Any of the above software will suffice.
(b)If you are running Windows Mobile phone, get the OziExplorerCE software, which is also available at the mobilesmania forum

Getting the maps
(a) If you are using Nokia phone, convert any of map image(JPG/PNG/BMP etc) that you have to ogf2 format using this software.
(b) If you are using Windows Mobile, use the Img2ozf application which come along witht he application to convert your files into the ozf2 format
(c) If you are using GPS, you need to calibrate the maps before you first use it. (i.e generating the .map file)

For your convenience, I have given links to some of JPG/PNG maps here. Below are the OGF2 and MAP files for some of these maps. You can store these files directly in the "e:\data\smartcomgps\maps" folder of your phone and get it working right away with or without GPS.
Kolkata OGF2 file
Kolkata MAP file (calibration file for the kolkata map)
If you have any problem or if you wants maps of other places, please leave a comment and I will try to make one.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, do you have / can you make a smartcom map of Corfu/Korfu (Greece)?

TIA
JDZ

trouble_monger said...

@TIA, unfortunately none of the location in the Ionian islands is covered. What you get to see in maps.google.com is all what i can help you get.

soumalya said...

i've 3 questions
1.how to generate map file
2.cant we use the map directly with nokia map?
3.do you by any chance know any place in kolkata where i could buy a bluetooth gps receiver?
thanks

trouble_monger said...

@soumalya,
1. ".map" file stores the calibration info for the corresponding image file. It can be generated directly from the smartcomGPS mobile software or from the PC using oziexplorer software. You seem to be using a nokia symbian OS phone, in which case you can install smartcomGPS software, and I can help you if you need any help in figuring out how to make a ".map: file. Alternativelt, you can use the .map file that i have already made, the link is available in the blog.
2. if you are talking about the "nokia maps" application, then , no, you cannot use these with files with that application. If you are unaware, there is a nokia maps loader software which you can use to preload your mobie phone with the city maps that you want. However, I do not use it because India covergae is very less.
3. As far as I know, you wont be able to get bluetooth GPS devices in India. The best and cheapest option for youy is to ask a frien who is going to US to get you a cheap bluetooth GPS device, for as low as $45. I got mine in a similar way by internet order from buygpsnow.com

If you have further questions feel free to ask. I will either try to answer it here, or detail it in the blog.

Anonymous said...

hai dear, thank you very much for ur information. it seems to very useful. i plnned to buy a new noika6500slide phone next week. can i use that phone as navigator. or have u any advice for any other phone?.i am in UK, is there any better advice rather than this to be frank.

trouble_monger said...

@anonymous, Nokia 6500 is a Symbian Series 40 3rd edition (S40 3rd ed) phone. You will need a S60 2nd or 3rd edition phone to get the GPS application running. For eg. N72, N70 etc are S60 2nd ed. while N80, N95 etc are S60 3rd ed devices. I will post another article on how to choose your nokia phone for using as GPS navigation system in a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

i want to do my nokia n72 gps with mars forr greece !please send me what i must do to do this!!!thanks ''n72''