In this week's TCGuide, we walk though the steps you need to get your Windows Mobile Treo talking to a GPS unit directly. Why would you want to do this? Well, it means you will be able to get maps and location-based information without having to load up (or pay for!) a full GPS-style application like TomTom or Copilot. TomTom is still best for driving use, but it's pretty cool to use GPS with, say, Google Maps.
So, what do you need to do?
Get a bluetooth GPS receiver 'puck'. The TreoCentral Store sells several standalone GPS receivers, though the GPS receives that come with TomTom or Copilot also work. Basically, anything that transmits NMEA data over bluetooth should work.
Pair up your GPS receiver with your Treo.
Turn on the GPS receiver and bluetooth on your Treo
Go into Settings, Connections, Bluetooth
Tap Devices, New Partnership. When your GPS unit shows up, choose that. The passcode (if asked) is nearly always '0000'.
Be sure to check the box next to 'Serial Port' on the next screen, then you may tap Finish
You'll need to set up a 'Hardware COM port'. To do this, go into Settings, Connections, Bluetooth. Then tap the 'COM Ports' tab and tap 'New Outgoing Port'. Select your GPS receiver on the next screen, then you can usually just stick with whatever COM port WM suggests (COM 8, in my case).
Google Maps, however, needs Windows Mobile to tell it where your GPS is. To set that up, there's one last set. Go into Settings, System, GPS. On the 'Programs' tab, choose a random COM Port (I chose COM 5). Then tap the 'Hardware' tab, in this tab you'll need to select the Hardware COM port from Step 3 (COM 8, in my case). You should be able to leave the Baud rate at the default 4800. Finally, in the 'Access' tab make sure that 'Manage GPS automatically (recommended)' is checked.
Finally, as this point, you can check the 'Track Location (GPS)' within Google Maps' Menu and it will work - Google Maps automatically gets the correct COM port from Windows Mobile. If you make it all the way to Step 4, you may want to use that COM port in Virtual Earth and Windows Live Search as well. These steps are a bit of a technical hassle, but they're well worth it. (These instructions were cribbed from the excellent Windows Mobile Team Blog ).
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Read Merciful by Casey Adolfsson