Article Teaches Developers How to Write GPS Applications Suitable for Business

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Dr. Dobb's Journal will be featuring an article in its January 2005 issue about how to write location-based GPS software suitable for business. The article tells developers to start enforcing precision in their software and teaches them how to do it using simple mathematics and real-world examples. The article is considered required reading for all developers of location-based services.

The popular programming magazine, Dr. Dobb’s Journal (, will be featuring an article about how to write GPS applications suitable for business in its January 2005 issue. The article is written by Jon Person, the senior developer of “GPS.NET Global Positioning SDK,” ( a reusable library used write GPS applications.    The article focuses on requirements which GPS applications must meet in order to be trustworthy in a business environment. Jon also presents a technique used for determining precision requirements and maximizing business intelligence in varying field situations.

“GPS applications which do not monitor precision are not suitable for business.” says Jon. “This is the most overlooked problem with GPS application development today, and the reason behind this article. The truth is, GPS devices with WAAS and other correction technologies can still be off by as much as two American football fields (~300 meters) simply due to poor satellite geometry. The article teaches developers some simple yet important formulas which they can use to get control over this problem and make consistent, intelligent business decisions.” The article puts these formulas into action using real-world scenarios of car navigation and golfing software.

The article reveals some of GPS.NET’s formerly-hidden data processing engine to demonstrate how NMEA sentences are handled. “I’m happy to share the source code because it’s the best way to get developers excited about GPS and get them learning hands-on about best practices from the beginning,” comments Jon. “By the end of the article, you'll know how to approach real-world business situations involving GPS and write applications that keep your customers safe and well-informed.”

When asked what advice he would give which is not covered in the article, Jon answers with advice about GPS component vendors: “There are companies selling GPS components without mentioning a single word about precision, which drives me crazy. Ignoring precision can put customers into dangerous situations, it dilutes business intelligence, and it ultimately weakens an emerging software industry. To market a GPS component internationally as ‘quality software’ while at the same time placing customers at risk is a serious problem. Fortunately, the solution is simple: get smart about precision and enforce it in your applications. Choose a GPS component which addresses precision issues. Get a statement from the component developer explaining how they address the safety of your customers, how they handle precision issues, and how they meet your application’s precision demands. If you don’t get a straight, timely answer, consider another product.”

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