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GPS device & connections

  1. Jun 10, 2010 #1
    "GPS" device & connections

    Instead of using the satellites like Google Maps, is it possible to come up with a device that any device, such as mobile and laptops can connect and communicate with the device?

    In other words, let say Harvard campus. We know its campus is very large in terms of area covered. If I want to make an interactive map for Harvard, both street and inside of buildings (meaning you can also keep track of your location inside the buildings, floor by floor, room by room), what kind of connection is preferable? Bluetooh (class 1 is only about 300 feet max), and wifi is never a considerable choice.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: "GPS" device & connections

    I'm not following. A device that other devices (such as laptops and mobile phones) can connect to - so what is the purpose of this device? What do you want it to do?
  4. Jun 11, 2010 #3
    Re: "GPS" device & connections

    Sorry if I confused you.

    I was referring to a GPS receiver. A receiver communicates with the 27-satellites and eventually when one uses a GPS navigation device such as TomTom's , one can browse and keep track of its location.

    Google Maps is an amazing application. Google partners with several companies to work on this project. It is obvious that GPS must has been used to collect information, while we can still use simple mathematical formulas to calculate locations. This I understood.

    Now, coming to my concern: please look at this picture first.

    This is a campus application on a Windows Mobile phone, and for example you can see a building called "The Building of Engineering 4".

    I am working on a similar project. I want to create an application that can
    1. campus and indoor (inside the building) navigation
    [] this basically does map navigation, pretty simple

    2. campus and indoor Track and Communication
    [] keep track of your current location
    [] communicate with others and inform them your current location
    [] keep track of your path (from A to B)
    [] emergency contact

    However, there is an issue with connection and communication.

    What kind of technology should I use to give the best communication performance?

    In other words, we don't want to spend a million dollars to boost our wifi connection, or buy some experience GPS system sitting on our campus. I just start reading about GPS and google maps recently, but I am stuck with the communication method.

    The picture was taken from the following paper:

    The application itself uses the system configuration as shown below:

    So most of the communication is done either via SMS (cellular connection), or wifi, or bluetooth.

    My concern is, is there any alternative method for which users across the entire Harvard campus can communicate with each other? We could have multiple receiver stations at different location to communicate... but the coverage must be large and stable enough.

    I don't know if I am making sense right now. I sometime have hard problem to describe things to people. Sorry.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  5. Jun 11, 2010 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: "GPS" device & connections

    Oh, you mean a GPS tracking device that you can locate with another device. Google "gps locator": http://www.zoombak.com/

    Basically, this device is just a gps enabled cell phone that doesn't make calls but only transmits its position. So you could program an actual cell phone to do the same thing.
  6. Jun 11, 2010 #5
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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