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  1.    #1  
    The t600 has a GPS chip inside... Anyone know of any way to access this information via a hack, code, or program? I would be tickled if someone made a moving map program, and very happy to be able to merely access my coordinates. Any Info?

    (No post launch info found in search)
  2. #2  
    I've heard rumors of GPS chips inside the old Treos as well. Is this really true? I know there are GPS SDIO cards available. I'm assuming that the chip in the T600 was intended only for providing simple location info for 911 calls and for law inforcement to use to use when tracing calls from 'evildoers"

    I'd gladly pay a couple hundred bucks for software to turn a T-600 into a mapping GPS like the Lowrance iFinder. The hardware costs on the GPS SDIO cards seem high to me though.

    Geocacheing with a Treo. Hmmm.....
  3. AJB
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    #3  
    I know the killer would be a fully integrate GPS rather than a tethered solution. I personally would LOVE it - but...

    I have never seen or heard anything about the Treo 600 having GPS capability. There is no mention of GPS hardware in the developers guide, and it doesn't appear on the block diagram. Nor is there any mention in the specs (why would marketing hide an obvious feature?).

    If there was a GPS "chip", HS would have to expose the GPS API, or at least a serial channel for accessing it via NMEA. The only reference in the developer guide is:
    Location Based Information Events

    phnEvtPDDataChanged


    Position Info has changed Indication of change in physical location of device. This may be determined by GPS, network triangulation (AFLT), or some other technique.
    CURRENTLY USED BY CDMA PHONE LIBRARY ONLY
    This sounds awfully to me like they have allowed an event for E911, or location services, and note that if there were GPS hardware that could trigger it. At the moment though, it might be used by CDMA networks providing that information via a mobile location centre triangulation etc.

    The treo 600 still has serial pins on the connector, so any serial GPS should work with the plethora of Palm GPS software out there - I personally use Pathaway3 (which incidentally can't access the GPS unit on the Kyocera 7135, although they have requested info from Kyocera).

    AJB
    Q: How do you make God laugh?
    A: Tell Him your plans :-)
  4. #4  
    This information is in fact in you phone, but it is the property of Sprint. Therefore, you cannot access it through the Palm OS.

    Sprint's reason for this is that they want to release THEIR OWN location based services. They do not want developers giving them competition.

    For a while, they were planning to release their APIs, but then they changed their minds (and also delayed the rollout of their own location based services).

    And believe me, as much as you hate to hear this, you should see the frustration in the Location Services page on the Sprint Developers Forum, which is now like a ghost town compared to what it once was.
  5. jrv
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    #5  
    I'm not sure triangulation works with CDMA.

    If GPS is required for locating the phone then Handspring had better have it in there somewhere or they will face fines from the FBI. Handspring doesn’t have to make the location available to you but it does have to be available at the carrier’s network in such a way that nobody can tell the location was monitored by FBI (i.e., so they can skip a court order).

    It’s not really an Emergency Services thing since I understand that very few EMS call centers can handle dispatch based on geographic coordinates: it’s the FBI that cares deeply and will act.
  6. AJB
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    #6  
    It seems we are talking about different things here.

    GPS != location

    Firstly, it is not the phone manufacturer which has to satisfy location legislation but carriers. So Sprint, for example has to be able to provide the "location" of a handset. This is dependent on the capabilities of the phone, but they have to be able to provide it for the most basic phone that could be on their network. It has NOTHING to do with a GPS location, or all old phones would have to be replaced with phones with GPS receivers.

    Secondly, without a GPS receiver, it is the NETWORK that determines the location of the mobile device NOT the handset. The "information" is NOT in the handset, unless the network provides it to the handset. Of course, if the handset IS GPS capable, then it is in the handset and the network just has to ask the handset for its location, giving a much better accuracy and requiring much less work by the Mobile Location Centre.

    This is not to say that HS could not expose an API for location based services from the network, but this is NOT GPS. Of course most carriers won't want the location information available to 3rd party developers because they want a revenue stream from location services.

    Also, Non GPS location of course requires network connection, so once you're out of network coverage, no position info is available. Personally I want a real GPS.


    As for triangulation, I was using the term loosely. There are a number of methods available to carriers to determine location without GPS. My point was that carriers provide the information to the handset in most cases.

    AJB
    Q: How do you make God laugh?
    A: Tell Him your plans :-)
  7.    #7  
    On the side of the box it says:

    E911 Emergency Location Capable

    Features an embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) chip necessary for utilizing the E911 emergency services where available.



    This is why I think there is a GPS chip inside..... (whether it uses sattelites of towers, I do not know)
  8. AJB
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    #8  
    Good to hear that the box clearly states E911 capable. However even though it says it has a GPS chip, this does NOT mean it is a full blown GPS unit.

    I am sitting next to one of the original architects of our Mobile Location Centre, and I have just discussed this with him.

    It sounds like it is "assisted GPS". Assisted GPS chips provide half a GPS unit, and devolve the rest of the work to the network.

    What happens is that the network provides an initial coarse location to the handset so that it can receive a satellite lock quickly. It then takes a snapshot of the satellite streams and hands them off to the network to process and come up with the location.

    Assisted GPS requires far less processing and power, which is why they only do half the work on the handset.

    The upshot is that again the network has the location not the handset. Moreover without the network you wouldn't get a location even if you wrote software to analyse the satellite data if it were available to you, because without a coarse location, it can take many hours to get a satellite fix.

    The carriers like it this way of course because they then control the location information.
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  9. jrv
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    #9  
    Originally posted by AJB
    As for triangulation, I was using the term loosely. There are a number of methods available to carriers to determine location without GPS. My point was that carriers provide the information to the handset in most cases.
    AJB [/B]
    OK, I'll agree here. I was thinking in terms of having the tower measure the received signal strength of the ordinary signal from the handset. But instead they could ask the handset to briefly transmit a "tone" on a different frequency, or perhaps have the handset listen to such a tone broadcast by a towers and report the strength measured by the tower.

    When the laws were enacted the FBI wanted an impossible level of precision (they wanted to know which floor you were on in a building). I’m not sure what they require now – probably an error circle of 200-300 feet?

    I do vaguely recall that my Treo 300 had a preference setting somewhere to prevent apps on the phone from retrieving “GPS” location, and that the phone specifically stated that setting this option did not prevent police from retrieving the information. I never did learn what “GPS” meant.
  10. jrv
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    #10  
    Originally posted by ardint
    This information is in fact in you phone, but it is the property of Sprint.
    Huh? That’s a mighty bold assumption by Sprint that seems unlikely to stand up in court.

    Has this actually been litigated yet? Or is Sprint just hoping for this result?

    Does Sprint provide service in Canada? I thought that Canada was lot like the EU and would not permit Sprint to give your location to anyone else to offer location services. It’s area with lots of potential for abuse and civil litigation even in the US, much less countries with privacy laws.
  11. AJB
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    #11  
    Accuracy requirements depend on if it is a network based solution or a handset based solution.

    "The FCC adopts the following revised standards for Phase II location accuracy and reliability:
    • For network-based solutions: 100 meters for 67 percent of calls, 300 meters for 95 percent of calls;
    • For handset-based solutions: 50 meters for 67 percent of calls, 150 meters for 95 percent of calls."

    AJB
    Q: How do you make God laugh?
    A: Tell Him your plans :-)
  12. #12  
    Does anyone search these forums anymore? This topic has already been discussed many times...

    To answer the first quetion, yes the Treo600 has an integrated Sanptrack AGPS chip builtin. This will function once Sprint launched its Location based services predicted (or rather rumored) for release some time in late 2004 (as of now).

    This information is in fact in you phone, but it is the property of Sprint. Therefore, you cannot access it through the Palm OS.

    Sprint's reason for this is that they want to release THEIR OWN location based services. They do not want developers giving them competition.

    For a while, they were planning to release their APIs, but then they changed their minds (and also delayed the rollout of their own location based services).
    That all depends on whether the location based information is NMEA compliant, which it probably will be. And even if it isn't it will be quite easy to make it so. For example there are already workarounds being developed to make the iQue 3600 NMEA complaint...

    In regards to the functionality of how the Snaptrack technology works, I refer you to the website. It's true that snaptrack's AGPS uses tower triangulation as an adjunct for location information. Thus, it is actually a hybrid of both technologies and the handsets use both satellite GPS and tower triangulation. A good example of a device that currently utilizies this technology is the Samsung M400 which only available in Korea. Consequently, the efficacy of AGPS is highlighted when signal reception is under conditions in which standard GPS systems do not work well (i.e., urban canyons, inside buildings, in moving cars etc). Thus it does not necessarily mean there is no GPS functionality when there is no network connection.
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  13. AJB
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    #13  
    Thus it does not necessarily mean there is no GPS functionality when there is no network connection.
    Yes it does. The snap track AGPS has the location calculated by the network. No network, no location.

    The SnapTrack website explains exactly what I said.

    Network -> provides coarse location to handset AGPS chip
    Handset -> locks & listens to GPS satellites
    Handset -> provides location centre with GPS data
    Location Centre (network) -> calculates location.
    Location Centre (network) -> may provide data back to handset or to requesting network based service.

    No network, no GPS position, because[list=1][*]no initial location to get satellite bearings (this could mean a search of > 1 day just to get satellite info), [*]No location centre to do the grunt work of calculating the position from the GPS receiver. This is also computationally expensive.[/list=1]

    AJB
    Q: How do you make God laugh?
    A: Tell Him your plans :-)
  14. #14  
    Just playing devil's advocate...

    What if we had an app that allowed the user to enter the coarse location info? After all, a user usually has a rough idea where he is, and we can easily have a database of location info for hundreds of locations. That same app can take the output from the chip and do the "time-consuming" calculations.
  15. #15  
    Stupid question time:

    If the network does the calculation to determine location based on GPS data from the handset, why can't the processor in the T600 itself do the calculation?

    I guess I'm asking why you can't just write software and turn a T600 into a GPS?
  16. AJB
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    #16  
    Originally posted by cybersam
    Just playing devil's advocate...

    What if we had an app that allowed the user to enter the coarse location info? After all, a user usually has a rough idea where he is, and we can easily have a database of location info for hundreds of locations. That same app can take the output from the chip and do the "time-consuming" calculations.
    Well that gets you part way there. You could then potentially get access to the data you were going to hand off to the network if it is exposed by an API (it's not at the moment - I checked), nor in fact is the API to access the AGPS chip or provide a coarse location or start a query, etc, etc.

    You would then have to do the TDOA calculations. Even with the snappy speed of the treo 600 processor, sw cannot compare to a hardware unit in a GPS.

    I guess it is theoretically possible, but at this stage:[list=a][*]It would be a massive hack since there is no exposure of the APIs required[*]the latency would be significantly larger than a "real" GPS[*]you still wouldn't be able to use it with most GPS software without providing a driver, and most of them expect serial IO using NMEA[/list=a]

    Having said all that, I'd be extremely happy if someone were to overcome all of these obstacles.
    Q: How do you make God laugh?
    A: Tell Him your plans :-)
  17. #17  
    I agree with what I've read in here so far, that is that Sprint could receive/compute the loc data and not tell the handset; just get some raw data from the SnapTrack chip and that's it

    ...

    but

    ...

    Anybody did some digging around in the Handspring header files for the Treo ? There is a fairly curious structure at the end of the CMDA library. It's called PhnPDDataType and I can't see it referenced anywhere yet ! (...but I'm still digging !) In any case, that structs contains:

    lat (latitude of the modem), lon (longitude of the modem), time_stamp (CDMA system time at the time the solution was valid), altitude (height of the modem in units of 1 meter), heading(direction of the modem in units 360/2^10 degrees), velocity_hor, velocity_ver, loc_uncertainty, etc... There's quite a bit more detail in there so you may want and go check it out.

    So far, my reaction has been but I don't know if there is anything to be read yet, really...

    well, time to dust off my C++ compiler and try something I guess
    Since people have problems with my Einstein quotes, I will now quote my true hero: Homer Simpson.

    "Doh !'
  18. AJB
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    #18  
    Originally posted by GreenTeeth
    ...Anybody did some digging around in the Handspring header files for the Treo ? There is a fairly curious structure at the end of the CMDA library. It's called PhnPDDataType and I can't see it referenced anywhere yet ! (...but I'm still digging !) ...
    The developer guide says there is an API for accessing if the handset has changed location (phnEvtPDDataChanged). It also implies its CDMA only.

    I'm guessing, but I think you'll find that this works with the planned roll out of certain location services. Ie services can request a location alert from the network.

    I doubt (but would be happy to be proved wrong) that there will be a way to access the GPS without the network.

    Let us know what you find.
    Q: How do you make God laugh?
    A: Tell Him your plans :-)
  19. #19  
    what's interesting is that this event (which really is just a flag, value 0x0020) has a different description in the header file:


    /** 1XRTT Status has changed
    *
    * 1XRTT is a high speed data protocol used in CDMA radios. This
    * notification indicates that the status of the 1XRTT connection
    * has changed.


    On the other hand, there is ANOTHER event listed here phnEvtSSModeChanged with a value of 0x001F which says:


    /** Position Info has changed
    *
    * indication of change in physical location of device. This may
    * be determined by GPS, network triangulation (AFLT), or some other
    * technique.


    ... gets more bizarre... need to keep digging...
    Since people have problems with my Einstein quotes, I will now quote my true hero: Homer Simpson.

    "Doh !'
  20. #20  
    Besides that, if it is to be useful as a GPS system for driving or anything like that, it has to be accurate. The system could be 50 meters off, but you could be a few blocks from where your'e supposed to be.
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