Nav Systems and Personalized Geodata

Honda is showing off a new GPS with weather info and social networking system (via Engadget). This is a lot like Goole & Volkswagon's proposed nav system.

What is really exciting is the ability to load up personal POI. For example, I am going on a road trip and want to get all my favorite restaurants, WiFi locations, friends' houses, and hiking trails for Michigan and sourthern Canada. This could be a GPX file, or GeoRSS feed from Mapufacture.

The Garmin Nuvi supports this using their POI Loader, which will take a GPX or CSV file and load it onto our GPS. The Nuvi looks really great, but is an external solution. Built-in navigation systems offer better integration into the interior and usually better sensors. For example, my Prius (Akius) has in-wheel hub sensors for integrating distance traveled when GPS isn't available. Now if only the in-car navigation systems (which cost a bundle more, on an order of magnitude) offered similar functionality, upgradeability, and best of all: hackability.

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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.