The Null Device

GPS for Nintendo DS

Impressive hack of the day: turning a Nintendo DS into a GPS-enabled map viewer, using a GPS unit wired to its serial port and a CompactFlash card full of map tile images purloined from Google Maps.

The use of downloaded Google Maps tiles is interesting; I wonder how long until someone writes a map viewer for PalmOS which uses these, effectively cutting into the market share of programs like Tube (which have limited coverage, and often annoying qualities such as being unable to scroll between map tiles; a pain when you're looking for somewhere just off the map, or in the intersection between two tiles). Then again, Google may be able and/or obliged to use the DMCA against any software which attempts to use its map tiles in this fashion (though I am not a lawyer).

There are 2 comments on "GPS for Nintendo DS":

Posted by: Graham http://grudnuk.com/ Tue Aug 9 14:27:14 2005

Probably not Google itself, since they're pretty cool with their API and all, but perhaps the owners of the map data wouldn't be happy...

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Tue Aug 9 14:49:44 2005

And Google, by having licensed it from them, would be under obligation to make an effort to prevent unauthorised uses of it, at the very least sending legal nastygrams to anyone blatantly ripping it off.

Google are only cool with the use of their API, not the wholesale extraction and repurposing of map tiles. It's like the difference between using a loop from a sample CD to make a song and using it to make a sample library.