The Future of GPS


Open Source GPS

[Last update: 12/28/08 - 54 projects listed. ]

This effort represents an attempt to build a complete index of Open Source / Free GPS (Global Positioning Systems) related software projects. The effort has some way to go, especially for projects in languages other than English.

If you know of other sites that should be listed please tell me about them. More importantly if I have made any errors in characterizing a project, let me know: bglewis<at>

Descriptive text gathered from the project site is in quotes. Almost all of these projects fit the definition of Open Source Software as defined by the Open Source Initiative, and most of them fit the stricter definition of Free Software as defined by the Free Software Foundation.



BLM GIs Utilities  "Bureau of Land Management's FTP site of GIs utilities"  [ License: Public Domain ]

FWTools "FWTools is a set of Open Source GIS binaries for Windows (win32) and Linux (x86) systems produced by me, Frank Warmerdam (ie. FW). It was previously known as OpenEV_FW. The kits are intended to be easy for end users to install and get going with. No fudzing with building from source, or having to collect lots of interrelated packages. FWTools includes OpenEV, GDAL, MapServer, PROJ.4 and OGDI as well as some supporting components. [ License: Various Open Source ]

GARNIX   "GARNIX is a communication program that provides a data interface between an MS-DOS computer and a GARMIN GPS device."  [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

GD "A graphics library for fast image creation."  [ License: GD License ]

GDAL  "GDAL is a translator library for raster geospatial data formats that is released under an Open Source license. As a library, it presents a single abstract data model to the calling application for all supported formats." [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL) ]

gen2shape  "Gen2shp is a simple C-Progam which can read the format required by the ArcInfo generate command. The data in this file will be converted to the shapefile format which actually means to three files: .shp, .shx and .dbf." 

General Cartographic Transformation Package - Fortran "The General Cartographic Transformation Package (GCTP) is a system of software routines designed to permit the transformation of coordinate pairs from one map projection to another." [ License: ? ]

General Cartographic Transformation Package - JavaScript "The General Cartographic Transformation Package - JavaScript Edition (GCTP-JS) is an Open Source set of JavaScript code files that is used to provide dynamic, client side coordinate transformations for internet applications. It provides transformation capabilities for a number of projection types including Lambert, Albers, UTM and others." [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL) ]

GEO   "GEO is a scriptable coordinate conversion tool."  [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL) ]

GEOS "GEOS (Geometry Engine - Open Source) is a C++ port of the Java Topology Suite (JTS). As such, it aims to contain the complete functionality of JTS in C++. This includes all the OpenGIS "Simple Features for SQL" spatial predicate functions and spatial operators, as well as specific JTS topology functions such as IsValid()." [ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) ]

GeoToad "GeoToad is free software to help speed up the boring part of geocaching: choosing the cache and collecting the data. It is the perfect tool for geocacher's on the go!" [ License: ? ]

GFC  "GFC, or Geographic Foundation Class library, is a set of C++ classes defining basic geographic data types, including points, lines, rectangles, circles, polylines, rings, complex polygons, rasters, and other atomic data types such as integer, real, varchar. GFC also features abstractions of timestamps and time series which are useful in capturing the dynamics of spatiotemporal data."  [ License: ? ]

GISToolKit "The GISToolkit software is an open source java toolkit for building spatially enabled applications.  It has some ability to read data from a variety of data sources, and to display that data."  [ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) ]

gispython "This is the home for several web mapping and GIS projects based on PROJ.4, GEOS, GDAL/OGR, MapServer, and the etree XML interface. Our goal is a new coherent and modular core for geospatial programming with Python." [ License: varies]

GMT   "GMT is a free, open source collection of ~60 UNIX tools that allow users to manipulate (x,y) and (x,y,z) data sets (including filtering, trend fitting, gridding, projecting, etc.) and produce Encapsulated PostScript File (EPS) illustrations ranging from simple x-y plots through contour maps to artificially illuminated surfaces and 3-D perspective views in black and white, gray tone, hachure patterns, and 24-bit color. GMT supports 25 common map projections plus linear, log, and power scaling, and comes with support data such as coastlines, rivers, and political boundaries." [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

gpc  " A flexible and highly robust polygon set operations library for use with C applications, as referenced in the FAQ and the UIUC Computational Geometry Pages. The gpc library is estimated to have thousands of users worldwide, and is subject to several hundred downloads each month."  [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

GPSBabel "GPSBabel converts waypoints, tracks, and routes from one format to another, whether that format is a common mapping format like Delorme, Streets and Trips, or even a serial upload or download to a GPS unit such as those from Garmin and Magellan." [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)   ]

GpsDrive "GpsDrive is a car (bike, ship, plane) navigation system. GpsDrive displays your position provided from your NMEA capable GPS receiver on a zoomable map, the map file is autoselected depending of the position and prefered scale." [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)   ]

GPSMan   "GPs Manager (GPSMan) is a graphical manager of GPs data that makes possible the preparation, inspection and edition of GPs data in a friendly environment. GPSMan supports communication and real-time logging with both Garmin and Lowrance receivers and accepts real-time logging information in NMEA 0183 from any GPs receiver."  [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

gpspoint "A program to get position, down and up-load Waypoints, Routes and Tracks from your GPs to your Computer."  [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

GPStrans   GPStrans communicates with a Garmin Global Positioning System receiver and allows a user with a Garmin GPS receiver to upload and download waypoints, routes, almanac (satellite orbit elements), and track routes. [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

gpsutils   "The aim of this project is to develop open source GPs software libraries and applications. In particular, I am interested in developing software that will allow post processing of raw pseudorange/carrier phase data from low cost OEM units such as the Garmin GPS35 TracPak."  [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

GPS3d   "GPS3D is a collection of utilities to manipulate a handled GPs device from your PC, and visualize the result in 3D.   Even without a GPs device, you can still use GPS3d to play interactively with a 3D texture mapped model of earth."  [ License: Public Domain ]

iGMT   "This program is intended to make working with the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) easier. iGMT provides a graphical user interface for GMT and is written in the Tcl/Tk computer language."  [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL) ]

JEEPS   A development platform for GPS software.   [ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) ]

jGridShift jGridShift is a small piece of software for NTv2 transformation. It is written in Java and includes a J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA) adapter. There is a sample GUI tool and a sample web service. [ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) ]

JCS "The JCS Conflation Suite is an API and set of interactive tools which perform conflation on spatial datasets." [License: ?]

JTS  The Java Topology Suite is a Java API of 2D spatial predicates and functions.” [License: ?]

JUMP "The Java Unified Mapping Platform (JUMP) is a GUI-based application for viewing and processing spatial data. It includes many common spatial and GIS functions. It is also designed to be a highly extensible framework for developing and running custom spatial data processing applications." [License: ?]

MP2KML MP2KML converts .mp files (alternative open format for Garmin's IMG map files) to .kml files (Google Earth's open format). [License: ? ]

NetTopologySuite "NetTopologySuite is a C#/.NET port of JTS Topology Suite, a Java library for GIS operations, (OpenGIS compliant). The main goal of this project is to have a .NET GIS solution that is fast and reliable for any kind of .NET platform, PocketPC and Sql Server 2005 (through CLR integration) included. The project also includes some parts of another .NET library SharpMap, that integrates the capabilities of read/write data from and to file formats such as Shapefile format, coordinate transformations and projections, and much more. [ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) ]

NTXshape   "NTXShape converts files from the CARIS NTX format into the widely supported ESRI shapefile format." [ License: ? ]

OGR   "The OGR Simple Features Library is a C++ open source library (and commandline tools) providing read (and sometimes write) access to a variety of vector file formats including ESRI Shapefiles, and Mapinfo mid/mif and TAB formats."  [ License: MIT ]

OpenDMTP "The "Open Device Monitoring and Tracking Protocol", otherwise known as OpenDMTP™, is a protocol and framework that allows bi-directional data communications between servers and devices (clients) over the Internet and similar networks. OpenDMTP is particularly geared towards Location-based information (LBS) such as GPS, as well as temperature and other data collected in remote-monitoring devices. OpenDMTP is small, and is especially suited for micro-devices such as PDA's, mobile phones, and custom OEM devices." [License: Apache Software License, version 2 ]

OpenEV   "OpenEV is a library, and reference application for viewing and analyzing raster and vector geospatial data." [ License: "It is Atlantis Scientific's intention to release OpenEV under the LGPL sometime this (2001) summer..." ]

PROJ.4   The PROJ.4 cartographic projections library is used in several Open Source GIs projects including GRASS, MapServer, and OGDI.  [ License: MIT ]

Pygps "Features: Records a track, records notes, shows you satellites, shows you your position, shows you on a map, runs on any machine which supports Python, pygtk, and libglade, downloads maps from terraserver on the fly." [ License:  GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

Python Cartographic Library "The Python Cartography Library, or PCL, is a package of modules for rendering GIS data from a variety of backends into maps. Its mission is to be the best possible Python interface to open source GIS software such as PROJ.4, GEOS, GDAL, OGR, and MapServer, and to be easy to use with Python web application frameworks as well as with other visualization tools like matplotlib." [ License:  GNU General Public License v2 (GPL v2)  ]

satpos   (not responding 9/24/03) "A program to calculate the azimuth and elevation for geostationary satellites, so you can point your dish using a compass."  [ License:  GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

Shapelib   "Shapelib is a simple C API for reading and writing ArcView Shapefiles. It is available in source form, with no licensing restrictions."  [License: MIT ?]

SharpMap " SharpMap is a simple-to-use map renderer that renders GIS data for use in web and desktop applications. The engine is written in C# and based on the .NET 2.0 framework. [ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) ]

SharpShape " Source code in C# for wrapper classes for ShapeLib.dll ( a library for reading and writing shape files ( shp shx and dbf). " [ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) ]

SHPTRANS   "SHPTRANS is a high-precision, ultra-high-performance NTv2 datum transformation and projection utility which reads and writes shapefiles."  [ License: ? ]

SPECPR   "SPECPR is an Interactive One Dimensional Array Processing System, with the tools needed for reflectance spectroscopy analysis. It also has tools to do a lot of other tasks and analyses of x,y paired data."  [License: Public Domain? ]

Spherekit "Spherekit is an integrated toolkit for spatial interpolation and comparison of spatial interpolation algorithms. It is UNIX-based and includes a complete graphical user interface (GUI). It uses Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) for display of interpolated fields."  [ License: GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

Splat "SPLAT! is an RF Signal Propagation, Loss, And Terrain analysis tool for the spectrum between 20 MHz and 20 GHz." [ License:  GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

SSI   "The Satellite Software Initiative (SSI) is a noncommercial project organized with the objective of releasing high quality, free open source software for capturing, decoding, and displaying Weather Satellite images."  [ License:  GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

STARS "Space-Time Analysis of Regional Systems (STARS) is an open source package designed for the analysis of areal data measured over time. STARS brings together a number of recently developed methods of space-time analysis into a user-friendly graphical environment offering an array of dynamically linked graphical views." [ License:  GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

sunclock   "Sunclock is an X11 application that displays a map of the Earth and indicates the illuminated portion of the globe by drawing sunlit areas dark on light, night areas as light on dark. In addition to providing local time for the default timezone, it also displays GMT time, legal and solar time of major cities, their latitude and longitude, and the mutual distances of arbitrary locations on Earth."  [ License:  GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

uDig "uDig is an open source spatial data viewer/editor, with special emphasis on the OpenGIS standards for internet GIS, the Web Map Server and Web Feature Server standards. uDig will provide a common Java platform for building spatial applications with open source components." [ License: GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) ]

wayp2shp   "Wayp2shp is a simple C-Progam which can read a Waypoint+ file and convert it into a shape file."  [ License:  GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]

World Wind Built by NASA: "World Wind allows any user to zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth, leveraging high resolution LandSat imagery and SRTM elevation data to experience Earth in visually rich 3D, just as if they were really there." [ License:? ]

Xastir "Xastir is program for receiving and plotting APRS(tm) position packets. Development is a collaborative effort of programmers from around the world. Xastir supports many map formats and is highly customizable." [ License:  GNU General Public License (GPL)  ]