StormSource Software has announced that it will be releasing its “GPS.NET” software for the PocketPC early April 2004. GPS.NET is a component which assists developers with writing GPS-enabled applications. The component, currently available for Visual Studio and Visual Studio.NET, has over 80 methods in 20 classes in a 100Kb assembly to perform virtually any GPS-related task, from calculating the distance to any point on Earth, to writing applications which require highly-precise positional measurements.
"At first glance, writing a GPS application seems easy. It's just string parsing, right?" says StormSource Software's Senior Developer, Jon Person. "But once you get into development, you have to think about serial port API's, multi-threading, subtle differences between GPS devices, and the mathematics of distance and speed conversions. GPS.NET solves all of these challenges and removes the need to understand raw GPS data by furnishing it in an object model. This way, for a quarter of the price of properly testing a home-grown solution, developers can focus on putting GPS to work instead of getting it to work."
After the initial release of GPS.NET for the PocketPC, StormSource Software intends to turn its focus towards improved support for additional data protocols, such as the Garmin and Rockwell binary protocols. The new protocols will, like NMEA-0183, be transparent to the developer and be translated to the existing object model. "That's where GPS.NET leverages the greatest value," says Jon, "by bringing all GPS protocols together under one framework. When you can quickly develop an app and already have the confidence it's going to work with your customers' GPS devices, that's highly valuable."
StormSource Software will be giving the PocketPC version of GPS.NET for free to existing customers who participate in the "1-year subscription" program, where developers receive all new software upgrades and components free for one year after their purchase. A fully-functional 30-day trial of GPS.NET will also be made available with the release of GPS.NET.