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TomTom Announces an Open Source GPS Technology 177

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-directions dept.
TuringTest writes "According to OStatic, European company TomTom (which recently settled a patent agreement with Microsoft) has announced a new open source format OpenLR for sharing routing data (relevant points, traffic information...) in digital maps of different vendors, to be used in GPS devices. The LR stands for Location Referencing. They aim is to push it as an open standard to build a cooperative information base, presumably to operate in a similar fashion as its current TomTom Map Share technology, in which end users provide map corrections on the fly. The technology to support the format will be released as GPLv2. Does that make OpenLR a GPL GPS?"
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TomTom Announces an Open Source GPS Technology

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  • Excellent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CdBee (742846) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @06:53PM (#29372979)
    When I can grab a set of co-ordinates off the web, add it to a contact on my phone, then bluetooth the destination to my car GPS, that will be a brilliant thing

    GPS should never replace maps and mapreading skills but it is a damn useful adjunct
    • GPS will almost completely replace maps and mapreading skills, as it is easier, safer, and more convenient. It completely reproduces the map's functionality and adds indispensable features like traffic updates and never getting lost.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ppanon (16583)
        Unless you happen to drive a large truck and the GPS doesn't handle re-routing according to overpass height clearances.
        • I'm, frankly, shocked that at least one of the vendors pushing GPS modules for "fleet" use hasn't started offering that yet.

          If I were feeling entrepreneurial, I'd look into the economic feasibility of buying access to aerial photographs correlated with timestamps(which I assume the vendors have access to, since they are almost certainly GPS tagging to make stitching easier, and a time reference is free with GPS). If you know the location and the time, you could presumably get decent estimates of bridge(a
          • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Informative)

            by russotto (537200) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @10:16PM (#29374411) Journal

            I'm, frankly, shocked that at least one of the vendors pushing GPS modules for "fleet" use hasn't started offering that yet.

            Of course they have. There's no need to use aerial photos for measuring feature heights; location of anything below 13'6" on the National Network is available from the state DOT. I know of several products which do routing according to truck restrictions -- PC*Miler, Map&Guide (Europe, mostly), and Rand McNally's Intelliroute. All have GPS tie in software.

        • by Dare nMc (468959)

          GPS doesn't handle re-routing according to overpass height clearances.

          Are their printed maps that have this information? I know the information is generally available in a digital format, and many GPS's allow you to define routes on a PC then upload them. So I guess you could write them on maps, and read them on the fly. Or you could have it in your GPS that tells you to use exit ramp in "5 miles", "exit now". The important thing is, does the driver do this research, or someone else. And if it is someone else, which is more precise to transmit the information without e

          • by kybred (795293)

            Or you could have it in your GPS that tells you to use exit ramp in "5 miles", "exit now".

            Or, the driver could pay attention to the signs on the roadside that have the height clearance for the upcoming overpasses!

            I saw a news article not long ago where a truck was driven under an overpass that was too low and peeled back the top of the trailer. The reporter was blaming GPS of course, not the idiot driver.

            • by plover (150551) *

              Or you could have it in your GPS that tells you to use exit ramp in "5 miles", "exit now".

              Or, the driver could pay attention to the signs on the roadside that have the height clearance for the upcoming overpasses!

              I saw a news article not long ago where a truck was driven under an overpass that was too low and peeled back the top of the trailer. The reporter was blaming GPS of course, not the idiot driver.

              Both are true. The driver is responsible for following all posted regulations and restrictions. The navigation software is supposed to provide a "safe route" that avoids the relevant obstructions. This saves the trucker lots of money from wasting time going down roads that he can't pass, but it does not absolve the driver from ignoring a sign that reads Max Height 13'4" when his trailer is 13'5".

              And yes, the reporter is the real idiot of the story. A GPS satellite doesn't care where you are. A GPS r

        • Lots of GPS do that.

          But often transport companys are too much of a cheapskate to buy those truck-gps and go with the low.-end 100eur GPS instead.

          • by Dan541 (1032000)

            Why would a company employ someone who needs a GPS just to do their job?

            I would rather employ a professional, navigation is part of the job. I bring my own GPS but there is no way I would ever leave my map book behind.

            • Why would a company employ someone who needs a GPS just to do their job?

              100Eur for a GPS plus incompetent driver is cheaper than a experienced truck driver. At least at first glance. And thats what counts for a certain kind of bean-counters in certain positions.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Dan541 (1032000)

                An incompetent driver is in a position to do allot of damage. In fact experienced drives can and do allot of damage sometimes. Everyone fucks up eventually.

                A bean counter who employs incompetent drivers is only going to save money in the short term, even without major stuff ups it's all the little ones adding up that make the big impact.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by richlv (778496)

          well, openstreetmap has ability to record maxheight limits. it's right here - http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:access#Size_and_statutory_restrictions [openstreetmap.org].

          now all you need is a routing application, supporting this key as a routing parameter.
          and this limitation correctly tagged everywhere. and all roads drawn ;)

          but in general, infrastructure is pretty much there, road coverage is quite good in many areas... maybe it works for you :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Velex (120469)

        GPS will almost completely replace maps and mapreading skills, as it is easier, safer, and more convenient. It completely reproduces the map's functionality and adds indispensable features like traffic updates and never getting lost.

        Last time I tried to use one, I got lost. I had scroll around on its map to figure out where I was and a SANE way of getting where I wanted to be. I think I'll stick to paper maps, which actually help me get acquainted with where I'm going so I can concentrate on traffic more, thanks.

        That, and back when I used to listen to talk shows TomTom's male-bashing commercials pretty much turned me off to their brand. But go ahead and mod me down. I'm sure I'm just being oversensitive or something.

        • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Insightful)

          by plover (150551) * on Thursday September 10, 2009 @12:07AM (#29375037) Homepage Journal

          Last time I tried to use one, I got lost. I had scroll around on its map to figure out where I was and a SANE way of getting where I wanted to be. I think I'll stick to paper maps, which actually help me get acquainted with where I'm going so I can concentrate on traffic more, thanks.

          I beg to differ. In a new city, when the GPS receiver is handling the navigational duties, you get to focus lots more on the traffic because you aren't hunting for the one sign that says "Hwy 5 West" or trying to remember if you should be taking the west or east exit. It sounds like a small thing, but it really frees you up to watch the idiot in the left lane on his phone who likes to drift over the line, and the guy in your rear view mirror speeding up and weaving through the three cars behind you. The little voice saying "in one mile keep right, then exit right on Highway Five West" is timely and useful, and not nearly as distracting as the frantic search for the obscure sign, or wondering if you accidentally passed it.

          The downside is that if you let the box navigate, you don't have to learn the route yourself, and you may never learn the new roads. It's up to you to decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

          • by Targon (17348)

            If you move to an area, you will learn how to get around, and the GPS also shows the street names BEFORE you get to them, which can make you a safer driver. How about all those streets where the signs are missing, or where they do not tell you what street you are on, but show the name of the cross street?

            I personally find a GPS helps you learn an area faster, because you see the names of the cross streets on the display as you pass them while traveling on your primary route. If you will only go somewh

        • Last time I tried to use one, I got lost. I had scroll around on its map to figure out where I was and a SANE way of getting where I wanted to be. I think I'll stick to paper maps, which actually help me get acquainted with where I'm going so I can concentrate on traffic more, thanks.

          Sounds like a fun story. Care to share?

          Personally, my navigation skills allows me to get lost in a phone booth, so I depend on my GPS to navigate anywhere I am not intensely familiar with. And while paper maps are fine, they are just not safe to use while driving. Besides, they take up too much space or are not detailed enough.

        • My TomTom helped me out a great deal once. Was stuck in some surprise pea soup fog in the Niagara region of Ontario last fall. Came quickly in the evening as my wife and I were touring wineries.

          Anyway, couldn't see a damn thing (maybe a few feet around the car). Just enough to drive very, very slowly and see that we were still on the road. There were no streetlights, of course. There was no way to tell where we were or what intersections we were passing.

          Enter the TomTom - it was able to help us navigate
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      When I can grab a set of co-ordinates off the web, add it to a contact on my phone, then bluetooth the destination to my car GPS, that will be a brilliant thing
       
      I'm close- I can take the address off of a contact on my phone, place it in the copy buffer in Windows Mobile, paste it into iGuidance, and let it talk to the radio in my car to announce directions.

      Now if only the steering wheel would obey the radio....

    • "GPS should never replace maps and mapreading skills"

      Why not?

      In other news:
      Calculators should never replace sliding rules and sliding rule reading abilities.

      • I don't let my seven year old son use a calculator for his maths homework. I want him to learn how to do calculations on his own.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          yes, this is all well and dandy for doing math on the fly. so you know you're not getting gouged on certain deals, or to determine tip/tax/fees etc quickly. but if you're calculating a budget for your job i hope, for your sake, you're not wasting your time doing long division on paper..

          aEN
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by SpannerX (989422)
        Well, seeing as how the US can encrypt it at anytime for any reason, making it unusable for who ever they don't want using it, there is a very good reason to continue teaching/learning map reading skills. And astronavigation.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          The newer GPS III satellites (due to take over in 2014 onward) do not have Selective Availability capability. To deny an enemy use of GPS, the US military now relies on jamming and localised signal degredation.
        • Most navigation devices can still be used as handheld maps and optimal route calculators.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        "GPS should never replace maps and mapreading skills"

        Why not?

        Because when 2012 comes, only those of us with map-reading skills will be able to find the good stuff. I'll be navigating my way to gun shops and twinkie factories, while you get lost in the lingerie department at Walmart.

        • by PitaBred (632671)
          So where am I, being able to read a map quite well, but preferring a GPS when it's available? I type like the wind, but I can still handwrite. There's nothing saying that one skill completely precludes another...
      • by hughk (248126)

        I've been to places like the City of London, Paris, etc.. Pretty much no chance to get an accurate location in the narrow streets.

        A GPS also typically presents a very small view onto a route with no abaility to get an overview of the surrounding area. Sometimes it may really be better to go from A to C via B for other reasons. This in particular can be mitigated by the use of other services such as Google Earth/Maps on a laptop as a backup.

        • A GPS also typically presents a very small view onto a route with no abaility to get an overview of the surrounding area. Sometimes it may really be better to go from A to C via B for other reasons. This in particular can be mitigated by the use of other services such as Google Earth/Maps on a laptop as a backup.

          Funny, my cheap ($200) GPS can do exactly what you describe. Tap screen to get overhead map view, zoom out a few times. Done.

    • by msormune (808119)
      You have been able to do that for a long time. Just not with open source software. Google Maps Mobile is pretty good at this already, and it's free.
    • It *should* completly replace the need for map reading skills. At least as long as you're seated on the drivers seat. That would make the roads a lot safer too.

  • GPL? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultrabot (200914) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @06:55PM (#29373009)

    If they truly want "wide scale adoption" as indicated in the referenced article, they would be better off using LGPL or BSD/MIT type license. It's not like supporting a transmission format is rocket science, so GPL seems a bit weird choice for a license.

    One of tomtom's specs says that:

    GPLv2 permits to use software & library in proprietary programs

    I don't know where they came up with that idea.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by infinitelink (963279) *
      The FSF's explanation is 'you can sell GPL, so it can be commerical!', that's likely not what TomTom is referring to, which I could explain it to you hermeneutically (of the GPL), but it's a dirty little secret that those who like the collaboration to continue want to keep dark: so carry on, wonder nothing, just accept what you believe, carry on...
      • I don't follow. What collaboration? Do you mean a collaboration between the FSF and TomTom? What do they "want to keep dark"? Can you clarify your post please, preferably without the extraneous commentary.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dfghjk (711126)

        I'm not sure what you are trying to say, but you sound like an idiot.

    • I'm pretty sure you can invoke a GPLv2 binary from a closed source program without violating the license.

      GPLv2 was primarily focused on keeping the source + all modifications open. No modifications and you're good to go?

    • by Dare nMc (468959)

      does ? GPLv2 permits to use software & library in proprietary programs

      Oddly enough I do think GPLv2 provides more power to the original authors, assuming a dual licensed agreement, than any of the more open licenses. IE if someone produces a product that extends this, they have few options. 1) Publish their entire program and changes as GPL'd code themselves 2) feed these changes back to TomTom so that TomTom publishes the code for them 3) contact TomTom for a different license 4) don't publish.

      So GPLv2 leaves TomTom with the most power, over their creation, of any open of

  • by Anonymous Coward

    GPLv3 provides for explicit patent protection of the users from the program's contributors and redistributors. With GPLv2, users rely on an implicit patent license to make sure that the company which provided them a copy won't sue them, or the people they redistribute copies to, for patent infringement.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      or we live in europe!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      Which idiot modded this informative? Clause 7 of the GPLv2 provides you with a license to any patents owned by the upstream distributor that are implemented by the code.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by HiThere (15173)

        Not precisely. It provides you with a license to use any of their patents that they used in the code in any derivative code that your produce. That's a bit more restricted then what you implied.

        Note that if you make code which is not derivative, you don't have the license to use the patents in that code.

  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:02PM (#29373063) Journal
    Both GPX (ubiquitous) and KML (Google Earth) support routes, in a nice simple XML grammar, and just about every GPS-aware application in existence supports both of them. Why, then, should we care about yet another format to do the same damned thing?

    I don't object to diversity of choice, but really... Sometimes you just can't do better than sticking with the wheel for moving your cart.
    • by Skinkie (815924)
      Because XML good for interoperability but a hell to get embedded support for.
      • by xenocide2 (231786)

        Garmin devices are increasingly embedding Linux in their products, and we know TomTom is. There are several XML parsing libraries available to do the job that build on ARM, and it isn't impossible to port them to whatever crazy OS you have on hand.

        • by Skinkie (815924) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:37PM (#29373331) Homepage
          The actual point is to avoid XML for anything on the device. It is not that you can build libxml or axl or whatever on an ARM processor. XML is not a native binary structure a processor can operate on.
          • The actual point is to avoid XML for anything on the device. It is not that you can build libxml or axl or whatever on an ARM processor.

            Avoiding XML for anything sounds a bit dogmatic. Often, XML comes in a very simple form, without all the bells and whistles that XML supports (namespaces, DTDs, schema's or support for doing transformations). In such cases there is no need to use a library that supports all that jazz. I've seen a codebase for an iPhone project, which runs on a 400 MHz processor, and it used TinyXML [grinninglizard.com] for all XML processing.

    • by v1 (525388)

      To my surprise, my garmin supports GPX [topografix.com] format, and saves nicely in XML. Saves waypoints, track logs, routes, etc. Very nice. Inspired me to write an XML parser so I could edit my waypoints.

      So TomTom thinks they got it first eh? And we know how MS is known for assisting with standards as of late...

    • by JonasH (183422)

      Because any XML structure will be beyond terrible for efficiency. You want to know how to get to point B today, right?

      • by pla (258480)
        Because any XML structure will be beyond terrible for efficiency. You want to know how to get to point B today, right?

        You realize that you can actually extract data from an XML document without implementing a full XML parser, right? You can ignore recursion and overlapping namespaces and dynamic schemas and just get to the meat of the file in a linearly-bounded fixed-space manner?

        Even in .NET you don't need to walk the namespace, you can just SelectSingleNode()s until you find the one you really want.
    • by russotto (537200)

      There's also a format called NMEA, ugly but easy to parse and supported by most GPSs. Probably lacks the capabilities of this new format, though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bickerdyke (670000)

      Both GPX (ubiquitous) and KML (Google Earth) support routes

      But none of them supports actual ROADS.

      From what I read, that OpenLR is targetet ad information exchange between different VECTOR BASED maps. (TeleAtlas, and the other company I cant remember right now)

      GPX and KML simply say "move from Point A to Point B in a straight line" but this should say "Follow the road from the intersection thats nearest to Point A until it ends near Point B" thus considering a) the actual path the road takes and b) small differences between the measured coordinates of Point A. If i

  • by improfane (855034) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:09PM (#29373117) Journal

    I was looking up GPS and Linux recently as I would love a handheld GPS system. (not for driving) TomTom seems to be a very popular one and this would be awesome for me.

    Here's an interesting Slashdot article, Hackable Car GPS [slashdot.org]. There's a list of Linux software here [slashdot.org]. (gpsDrive, qpeGPS, RoadMap, GPS3d, pygps)

    Can anyone recommend an affordable handheld GPS devices? Any of them suited for on-foot, rambling or bicyclying? Or is it better to get a PDA or a phone with GPS?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      I have a garmin etrex. I use it with a bicycle mobile phone case which clamps to a handle bar. I saw that gps in the shop the other day for 149 AUD. It should be pretty cheap wherever you are.

      My etrex doesn't support maps though. I am mainly interested in marking locations of interest only to me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
      ...or a phone with GPS?

      A dedicated GPS is far, far better (IMHO) than a phone based GPS.
      Recently, on a cross country drive, I relied on my daughters GPS enabled phone, having loaned my GPS to the ex. Every time she got a call or text, she had to reset the GPS, because the phone/text function took over. And on a 5 hour drive, that was many, many times. Annoying, to say the least.

      Of course, there may be GPS enabled phones that do not do this. But a dedicated GPS is so cheap now, why bother? Get a phone for
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by nrgy (835451) *
        You have a valid point however I think it can go both ways in some instances.

        A few months ago I flew my mother and sister to visit in Los Angeles. My sister would be doing all the driving and not knowing her way around worried me a little. While not the best solution I ended up giving my sister and mother my iphone to use its gps while they drove around during the day. My sister would pull over, search for a location she wanted to go, hand the phone to my mom and start driving.

        From all I gather the
        • Sure I will concede a Tom Tom sort of device would have been the ideal solution but you gotta admit the GPS on the phone did do its job. My 2 cents.

          Right. The Phone-GPS worked well. Until she got a call on it, and then the phone function took over. Then the situation was AFU.

          Cramming too many functions in one small device brings a reduced functionality on all functions. Phone/GPS/mp3/games/ebook...you can only do so much on one little screen at a time.
      • Depends on your phone. My Palm Pre just has a notifications area that you can click to in order to see an event. Whatever app is running takes precedence. I can even listen to music on it with the GPS running, and it lowers the music volume to like 10% to announce the directions and street names. My old dedicated GPS didn't even do street names. Plus, with the card view, the GPS just keeps running in the background, even if you do switch to something else, so you don't have to restart it or anything. I have
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
          I haven't used it enough to know how it handles call when you pick up though, as I usually try not to take calls while driving :/

          Exactly. Whatever was running (GPS in this instance) was boss...until you answered the phone.
          Convincing a 22year old female not to answer the phone or text for 5 hours was a physical impossibility.

          As I said...phone for phone things, GPS for GPS things.
          • I meant I don't know how it handles turn by turn alerts. No matter what, even if on a phone call, I could always switch to viewing the GPS app during the call. It's just a matter of whether it'd continue announcing the directions...
          • by PitaBred (632671)
            Why in the hell do you need your GPS running constantly? I mean, really... look at the map, check a few waypoints, and then go BACK TO DRIVING. The GPS should not need to be constantly on, because you should not be constantly looking at the damned thing.
            • Because the navigation system tells you when to do the next turn when it is on so you don't even have to look at it?

          • I'm taking my Diamond 2 to Kinder Scout in October. The great benefit of the Peaks is that as soon as I am anywhere away from a spot height, I have *zero* signal strength on any network.

            Saying that, though, I can emulate the situation just by turning on Flight Mode! :D
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        The navigation app on the iPhone doesn't get interrupted for calls-- if you take the call, it goes right back to where it was before. Then again, 3G iPhone using GPS for 5 hours would drain the batteries pretty effectively-- so yeah, there are always drawbacks.


      • A dedicated GPS is far, far better (IMHO) than a phone based GPS.

        Yes, but the phone in my pocket is a lot more useful than my GPS at home :)
        I've had sudden and unexpected need for a GPS a couple of times while travelling, and the phone did its job very well. I wouldn't want to drag around a GPS for such eventualities. Even if you don't really *need* it, it can be interesting to have a look at your surroundings from a bird's eye view. I always preload my Nokia with maps for wherever I'm going.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Hai-Etlik (11767)
      I have a Garmin GPSmap 76CSx. Qlandkarte GT is able to talk to it in Linux with no trouble. I can upload maps (Generated from OpenStreetMap and the SRTM topological data) and download tracks and waypoints just fine. Installing proprietary maps requires the Windows software. Anything in the Etrex or GPSmap lines by Garmin are probably safe. Both are widely available and supported by official and third party mounts and accessories including bicycle mounts. Note that the black and white and colour versio
    • by kwalker (1383)

      I have a Garmin eTrex Legend and I love it. It is WAAS-enabled so I get resolutions down to ~7 feet with clear skies. I like its B/W LCD screen (Easier to read in direct sunlight). It is water proof down to about 3 feet (Though the manual says to take the batteries out after a dunking and let the unit dry) which means it is rain proof, which has been a real boon for me.

      I have a bicycle attachment for it which stays on my handle bars and the unit clips into/out of in less than a second. It requires the batte

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      You want a Garmin handheld unit.

      Every OSS GPS app sucks donkey balls on a good day, it goes down hill from there. I've used every one you've named and a few more, trust me, they suck compared to almost any commercial unit.

      I guess if you don't care about having useful maps, some of them are okay. And if you don't want maps at all, there are plenty of apps that will do a good job of just about anything you want for free.

      If you want maps, just buy something and don't waste your time playing with the OSS vari

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blackest_k (761565)

        If you want maps, just buy something and don't waste your time playing with the OSS variants or trying to use OpenStreetMaps, its really not worth it at this point.

        unless you happen to travel in area's with incomplete commercial maps, where I live the road is unnamed and isn't marked on googlemaps or on tomtom maps. It also runs parallel to the N20 before turning 90 degree's left which is where I live.

        The end result confused motorists turn left 5 meters too early the gps software corrects, assuming the data is a bit off for the N20. They carry on for a mile till they hit the 90 degree left turn and then proceed to turn around in my gateway.

        The only maps showing the co

    • by Targon (17348)

      The big problem with using GPS in a hand held device is that the software tends to use a lot of battery power. This applies to ANY of the big name companies like Garmin, Tomtom, or any others, the software combined with the power draw of the LCD screen, GPS receiver, etc will have you out of battery too quickly for an extended outing(4+ hours of operation).

      There are hiking GPS units that really only tell you your GPS location without the fancy LCD screen, routing information, etc that come in handy and ar

  • by ugen (93902) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:11PM (#29373131)

    We have GPX - it is widely adopted, supported by multiple devices and extremely extensible. Why not add extension to GPX and make your data more compatible with existing software? Instead they create another incompatible "standard", slap an "open source" moniker on it and here we go - another incompatible "technology".

  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:29PM (#29373271) Homepage

    What does there settling a patent lawsuit with Microsoft have to do with any of this? Alternatively, if patent litigation involving TomTom is somehow relevant, why did the submitter not mention any of TomTom's suits against other GPS companies?

    • by jbn-o (555068)

      It's relevant because of the attempt to choose GPLv2. If the contribution were under the GPLv2 as the /. submitter wrote, users would not enjoy the same freedom from patent harm as they would under GPLv3. As the FSF points out [gnu.org],

      Whenever someone conveys software covered by GPLv3 that they've written or modified, they must provide every recipient with any patent licenses necessary to exercise the rights that the GPL gives them. In addition to that, if any licensee tries to use a patent suit to stop another

      • After re-reading TomTom's language, I have one small correction to offer: the phrase "claim with respect to OpenLR" wasn't accounted for in my made-up examples which made my penultimate paragraph less clear than I would have hoped. So putting my poor examples aside the underlying problem remains: TomTom is trying to add an additional restriction that means one could lose their ability to use the software as the GPL would otherwise allow. Additional restrictions are not allowed under the GPL. I think it's

  • by overshoot (39700) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:32PM (#29373289)
    Not unless the system code is GPL.

    As it is, you can't even use TomTom with a Linux host system, since the interface protocol is a trade secret. So they have a long way to go.

    • As it is, you can't even use TomTom with a Linux host system, since the interface protocol is a trade secret. So they have a long way to go.

      I remember vaguely that TomTom was in trouble a few years ago for not publishing the source code for the Linux on their GPS...

      Who says you can't run proprietary software on Linux?

      • I believe he is talking about the TomTom HOME software(which doesn't work in WINE, last I checked) that is used to manage the device. I own a TomTom ONE125 and the fact that I can't manage it is rather annoying since I use Debian on my main box.

      • I'm not saying you don't know this (I think you do), but it bears clarification for anyone who's thinking of releasing commercial Linux software (which is to be encouraged!)

        The license specifically states that you can run whatever software you like on Linux. This is part of what makes it open.

        GPL also states that software that runs atop APIs included with the platform need not be GPLed ; so commercial software with a proprietary license and concealed source that runs on the Linux kernel is explicitly permit

  • Open until otherwise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cellurl (906920) *
    We all saw wikipedia start "open" to fill its shelves, then once full, close down to an exclusive few scholars. I have tried to edit their speed limit information several times only to have it removed. You see I am an expert on speed limits. I run a website called wikispeedia.org We too are open even though I have had offers to close, we remain open, trying to keep you from getting a speeding ticket.

    IMHO, open-ness shouldn't measure how much crap I possess, but rather, how many hours does it take to get
    • One representative at OSM told me flat out that if I used Google maps, I quote, "we can't use your data, Kapish?".

      And there's a reason for that.

      If you get the data from Google Maps, it isn't your data--it's Google's. And Google may have issues with you sharing their data with others.

      Go to the main Google Maps page. Look at the bottom of the picture and, at least from here, you'll see "Map data ©2009 LeadDog Consulting, TeleAtlas, INEGI, Europa Technologies." Which means that they own the data--you don't. And if we click on the little link that says "Terms of Use", we'll see that you are restricted from redistr

    • by richlv (778496)

      are you unable to communicate in a reasonable way and handle arguments ?
      your post reads like gibberish.
      if you would want to add speed limit data to osm that _is not encumbered_, i'm sure that would be very welcomed.
      if you want to add data that somebody else can claim ownership to, and which can lead osm into legal troubles, why don't you go flame legislative bodies of your country, because they have chosen to create such a system where information is not free.

      now, your post did not clearly indicate what dat

  • All of these satellite navigation companies currently produce proprietary and relatively expensive devices of varying quality and rely on those devices being continually replaced as it gets ever harder and more expensive to maintain the map data and come up with something new. The other day I realised that Google could pretty much put all of these companies out of business by making Google Maps speak and give directions.
    • by mattr (78516)

      Indeed. I saw the Google phone in the store alongside many others (Tokyo) and to me the killer was Google maps. I bet it could speak if connected to the car speakers and a slick software update is downloaded.

    • No.

      Whatever google does, my single-purpose GPS still wont need a unlimited data cellphone-plan that'd cost me an arm and a leg. (compared to my current plan)

  • Why can't I push a button on my cell phone and send my location to the phone of whoever is on the other side of the line? Have locations as part of the contact information in my address books? Push a button on my phone to save the current location in a contact? Use bluetooth to send a location (or even just an address) from my phone to my car or hand-held GPS so I can navigate to it? Have one GPS software to run on my Netbook that will work in the USA, Europe, Israel, Russia and China? Even when not online?

  • "open format" would be more accurate.
  • What OpenLR is about (Score:4, Informative)

    by martimo (1343853) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @03:04AM (#29375647)
    Many posts above miss the point of OpenLR. OpenLR is not in any way comparable to KML, GPX, GML and other standards for geodata. Its purpose is to allow dynamic linear referencing across multiple different base maps. It is therefore in direct competition to the (currently only viable dynamic location referencing method) AGORA-C ( http://www.ertico.com/en/themes/completed_projects/websites/agora_website.htm [ertico.com] ), which by the way is not open and has a pretty big price tag ( http://www.vialicensing.com/licensing/AgoraC_index.cfm [vialicensing.com] ). Let me give you an example of where to use these dynamic location referencing methods: Say a service provider calculates the current traffic state or traffic forecast for a certain region from detector data, traffic incident messages and maybe a comprehensive traffic model. The provider now has data on existing traffic jams and might even have information on optimal strategies to circumvent jams. This data was calculated and is available now for one specific base map, say a certain release of NavTeq street data or a Tele Atlas map or maybe even OpenStreetMap data (unlikely). Now in order to get this information out to the people on the road, the accurate location of the jams/routes have to be transferred to different devices, all of which rely on various map data formats, versions, accuracies and so forth. The process of describing (encoding) a location an a road network so that the exact same location can be decoded on the receiver's side regardless of its inherent map is called dynamic location referencing. OpenLR tries (just like AGORA-C) to accomplish this feat. So, don't worry about another standard for geodata. This is not the point of OpenLR.
  • To all those who say, why not just use GPX etc:

    I had a quick read of the article: it specifically says that the standard does *not* use coordinates, but refers to map features, e.g. a particular road. I guess they mean you could encode, for example, "the M1 is close between Junction 5 and 7". AFAIK this can not be encoded in GPX.

  • I'll be satisfied when local authorities routinely push data as they build/alter roads, add obstacles that change the maximum height/weight for a road, make junctions right-turn-only, and police and users mostly provide real-time info on temporary info on closed roads/accidents/etc.

    Naturally my GPS device (both the one on my phone and whatever I use in the car) should receive this shit wirelessly.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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