If you're interested in turning your mobile computer into a mapping resource, you'll definitely need a GPS receiver for laptops.
In general, today you can't buy a manufactured laptop computer with GPS receiver from the factory, they just don't make them that way, yet.
But don't worry, there are many things you can do to create laptop-based gps navigation systems.
There are a few essentials that you'll need to buy, some of these come bundled in packages, so double check:
- GPS antenna - Naturally, the first item you'll need is an external antenna, such as a Garmin GPS antenna(link). For Palm Pilots/PDA's and laptops, these are also known as "mouse receivers" and generally attach to the computer via the USB port.
Another option is a laptop pcmcia GPS receiver, which is basically a PC card that you can insert into the laptop that communicates with GPS satellites.
If you already have a handheld GPS receiver, such as one from Garmin or Magellan, you can easily connect these to your computer with a simple cable for even more features than the hand held alone.
If you plan on using this antenna indoors, you'll be alright, but if you plan on mounting it outside, double check that it will not be damaged in this environment.
- Software - Simply plugging in a GPS antenna into your laptop or PDA won't do it! You'll need some type of software that will recognize and utilize the GPS receiver. A popular program, such as Copilot GPS comes with the software and antenna to turn your laptop computer into a dynamic road map.
Also keep in mind that PDA GPS systems use different software than a traditional computer, so shop accordingly.
- Compatibility - Finally, a major factor not to be ignored are compatibility issues. While most newer computers, PDAs, and Palm Pilots support GPS software along with USB antenna, older ones may not. Consult the software and hardware you wish to install to verify what system requirements are required to properly install the system.
- Instant access to your exact, current location on the globe.
- Find and be guided to any location you desire, however local or remote it may be.
PDA & Palm GPS
Outfit your computer, PDA, and Palm Pilot with GPS capabilities.
Laptop GPS Gear
Never get lost again with GPS on your laptop.