GPS map navigation for PinePhone or PineTab? and other questions...
#1
I'm interested in the PinePhone or PineTab with the GPS module, but these devices are still very new, so I'm wondering if they would have the features available that I would like, and if not would they be available in future?

I'd like some GPS function while hiking that I can pinpoint my location and cross reference with my paper Ordnance Survey map (I have paper + digital copies for my area in the UK, but the digital copy requires the iOS or Android app.) I don't expect any integration with the OS maps, and I don't expect any other map to have the level of detail for my area that OS has, but are there any GPS navigation apps that work with the PinePhone/PineTab? or any that might work in the near future?

Currently I don't use a mobile phone at all, I have such little use for one that the credit and number expired on the last two SIM cards I had, so ideally the GPS and map app(s) would work just fine without an active phone. Is that possible?


side questions:
  • Is there an expected price announced for the PineTab GPS module? if nothing official is known, what would be a sensible guess at the price?
  • The PineTime watch is interesting, could this potentially display a GPS map from the PinePhone or PineTab?
  • My preferred device format for broader use would be a 4:3 ratio tablet at ≈7.9", like the iPad mini. Has there been any talk or rumour or a Pine device like this? I assume it would be way into the future anyway as the PineTab is only just launching now. I've subscribed to the Pine store newsletter, are there any other newsletters that would be more suitable to receive announcements of new devices?
  Reply
#2
The Pinephone GPS functions once you get a first fix, but that can be tricky, especially without downloaded assistance data. The loading of the assistance data isn't automated yet as far as i know. There's also the usual problem of multiple standards - ModemManager presents one location interface while gpsd presents another, with most applications using one or the other. The GPS is part of the 'modem' so the phone part needs to be powered up for it to work. It doesn't require a SIM to work, but ModemManager has an outstanding bug that blocks the necessary commands if the telephony part isn't active, so you need to use a workaround for now. In essence it can be made to work with some effort at the moment, but should become a lot easier in future.

I don't know what the plan is for the PineTIme, but you could use it immediately with a USB, serial or bluetooth connection to a GPS.

Getting lat/lon is quite easy, but I'm not sure about OS grid refs. Most of the mapping apps can be configured to show lat/lon although they often don't by default. A summary of the apps I know of:

Navit - vector based offline maps, but not the most user friendly to configure and I'm having trouble getting it to read the map data successfully. Map data is mostly Opentstreetmap derived. I think the route planning is online only. Uses gpsd.
FoxtrotGPS - online (with optional offline) tile-based maps from multiple (mostly openstreetmap-related) sources. The UI has an option to download tiles at various zoom levels for a specified area so that you can use the maps offline. I think someone once wrote a tool to convert the OS bitmaps into the right tile format. Can record track logs. Uses gpsd.
Pure Maps - primarily for Sailfish but should work elsewhere too (flathub version works on my desktop, and I think there's a version in UBPorts) - several online map sources. Offline mode needs a companion OSMScoutServer app. Closest I've seen to what you'd expect to see in a mainstream phone maps app.
Gnome Maps - relatively basic map viewer, apparently has an offline mode.
Marble - mostly-online map viewer with online routing. There is a tool to download tiles for a small area, and it can open small .osm files.
Qgis - more a tool for map makers than navigation, but worth a mention.
  Reply
#3
(07-14-2020, 07:44 AM)wibble Wrote: The Pinephone GPS... ...worth a mention.

Thanks for the detailed reply! This does look very promising, I will have to start looking into the suggestions. Looks like they're in the Linux Mint repository so I'll try downloading them and see if I get a useful preview of functionality using my desktop PC.
  Reply
#4
(07-14-2020, 07:44 AM)wibble Wrote: In essence it can be made to work with some effort at the moment, but should become a lot easier in future.
Any word on whether this is the future yet?

I don't seem to be able to turn on location in plasma-mobile and I even now have phone,TXT, and data enabled.

Also, I'm not sure how to query this feature other than the one button in the GUI. What cli tool(s) would help me diagnose this issue?

Any insight is much appreciated

-s
  Reply
#5
As for gps? just use a droid phone and osmand. Once you get everything updated and set it requires no data plan. Magic Earth is a great alternative but is highly suited to searching addresses (needs data or simply a hotspot). Magic earth will work without a data plan also and is also free.
I run mobian phosh from a march iso and use the phone as a phone. All the raidios work great and hotspot too. The gps chip works great but the fact it's battery sucks and it's slow makes it a bad decision for a gps device. The real problem is the software. It just aint there yet to be of any great service while driving unless someone else holds the phone and acts as a copilot who's good with small print. There is some guy who got his gps and software to give decent directions but to be honest osman from fdroid is a highly polished piece of kit. Getting directions to an address it aint so good at hardly ever, that's why I installed magic earth along side it. That thing has never failed on any address I've ever given it (plus it's as good as osmand and will run in a 3d mode which osmand won't) It found every single one. I just 'share' the coordinates to my clipboard and then ultimately pass them back to osmand or my contacts so it's handy next time and I don't need to search or have a data plan.
  Reply
#6
(04-30-2021, 02:18 PM)s_p_e_x Wrote:
(07-14-2020, 07:44 AM)wibble Wrote: In essence it can be made to work with some effort at the moment, but should become a lot easier in future.
Any word on whether this is the future yet?

I don't seem to be able to turn on location in plasma-mobile and I even now have phone,TXT, and data enabled.

Also, I'm not sure how to query this feature other than the one button in the GUI. What cli tool(s) would help me diagnose this issue?

Any insight is much appreciated

-s
I don't know if anyone has been working on this - probably look at the bug trackers for the distro, plasma-mobile and ofono. I think plasma-mobile uses geoclue but I'm not sure, and I've not looked at how those different bits join up. If geoclue and ofono don't have CLI interfaces of their own you'll need to use something like qdbus and their respective dbus api docs to query them. Below ofono there are serial interfaces to the phone module which you can access with a terminal like picocom - remember to turn on local echo as they don't echo what you type. Depending on the udev rules the distro is using, the serial interfaces may be /dev/ttyUSB2 for the control interface, and /dev/ttyUSB1 for the output of location data in NMEA format, or they may be remapped to other names like /dev/ttyGPS. See the various modem docs in the wiki - there are separate docs for the AT commands for normal modem operation, the GPS/GNSS subsection, and the file storage subsection that's used to upload assistance data for a faster fix.
  Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Poll: What is your favorite distro/interface for the PinePhone? amosbatto 4 1,520 11 hours ago
Last Post: amosbatto
  UPDATED (June 2021): 17-distro multi-boot image for Pinephone (incl. 3GiB variant) megous 151 95,037 06-18-2021, 01:37 PM
Last Post: calinb
  Pinephone 3/32GB , convergence, beta edition for sale -- Europe(Czech republice) pom3ranc 3 245 06-16-2021, 02:46 PM
Last Post: piner67
  My PinePhone shuts down when the screen turns off rvbarreto 0 84 06-13-2021, 05:11 PM
Last Post: rvbarreto
  Are you using the Pinephone as your daily driver? jro 28 3,714 06-11-2021, 04:31 PM
Last Post: OhneZ
  Buiding apps for pinephone katesfb 6 564 06-10-2021, 10:52 PM
Last Post: katesfb
  The Best Feature of the PinePhone is... Dog House Dave 8 464 06-08-2021, 06:22 PM
Last Post: ryo
Heart What native PinePhone application would you like to see in the near future? kern707 61 9,247 06-05-2021, 04:13 PM
Last Post: AwHereWeGoAgain
  List of Pinephone browsers Gamey 15 3,151 06-04-2021, 11:22 AM
Last Post: ryo
  PinePhone Game Thread PixelPaintbrush 15 6,967 06-02-2021, 05:07 AM
Last Post: biketool

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)