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More Tips on use of GPSS

Updated 1115 Sunday 25th June 2006


This page is for those who have already tested GPSS on a Laptop PC and done the step 2 Quiz on the download page.

In reply to your step 2 (Quiz answers) I will have given some tips based upon your GPS lat/lon. These tips will have included what mapping to download, who is near you on the links pages, and a few details such as how to make GPSS guide you home if you hit the H key.

It is always best to take things step by step, following the tips I gave you to test GPSS again "on the road" with the detailed mapping, using the Instrument panel to be guided home, etc.

I will also have given you a REF line for you to include in future emails to me to help me get "my brain in gear" and know that you've already done those first two steps above. I provide free support including answering your questions.

You can read the help page included with GPSS here. You can read "GPSS for GPS Enthusiasts" by author Dave Gehman here.

Here are a few more tips expected to be of use to everyone.

How do I enter a destination ?

I will already have told you one method - simply hitting the h key to make your home the destination.

Clicking on the map ...

There are many ways of entering a destination, but the simplest is to click with the left mouse button on the map to move the destination.

If you hit the / key, GPSS switches automatic map selection between the GPS position and the destination - so left mouse clicks on the edge of a map can change the map. So you could do this to look at maps and specify destination before you hit / again and use the GPS position to select maps.

This can be very useful for testing maps far from home including for other countries.

Entering a lat/lon from the keyboard ...

You can also enter a location from the keyboard by use the green text entry control that appears if you hit ` key.

The ` key is, on most keyboards, in the top left, left of 1 2 3 etc. You type the command, finishing with the Enter key then d key to make it the destination.

Suppose the lat/lon of your destination were 37 degrees 15.10 minutes North, 94 degrees 16.05 minutes West. In GPSS 15 character format that would be 371510N0941605W. You could enter that into GPSS as:
followed by Enter then d would make this place the destination.

But you can use other formats of lat lon. e.g. if you read out a lat/lon in degrees and decimals of degrees from Microsoft Trips such as 36.5 -114.5 you could multiply the decimal by 60 to get minutes as in 363000N1143000W or simply enter as:
`36.5 -114.5
where there is a space after the latitude and a - to indicate West.

by UK grid or name ...

Those in the UK can enter a grid reference read from an Ordnance Survey (OS) map:
as 8 characters, 100 metre accuracy, or
`su 93300 67300
as 14 character, 1 metre accuracy. As before you follow this with the Enter key then d.

Other commands can be entered such as a name or start of a name in a WAW file, such as a big city.
`las ve
- but this may not be as usful since many places are not in WAW files.

Saving the destination ...

If you hit the ( key, then GPSS will save the destination into GPSS.CFG, so next time GPSS starts it will use this destination.

I often do this to select my destination and use _ to switch on Instruments then ( to save it at the start of a long journey. Then if I switch off my laptop in a gas station it is ready when I switch it on again.

You can also save up to 10 GPS positions for later selection as a destination. e.g. that hotel you are staying in for the night. These are saved in file GPSS.LOC which can also be edited. This file holds a list of locations as a lat/lon and a name.

To make line 3 of the file hold your current GPS location and the name "Hotel Bravo" you simply enter:
`3 Hotel Bravo
followed by the Enter key.

Note the space after 3 which tells GPSS what this command means.

To make this location the destination you simply enter two keystrokes:

- without even needing to hit the Enter key.

How do I test other maps ?

It is always reccomended that you take it in simple steps, testing GPSS "on the road" with a GPS near your home.

However, you may then be adding mapping for places that are far away, including for other countries. You will want to know that that the mapping works, and what it looks like, before you leave home.

The tip above on use of the / key to switch automatic map selection from the GPS to the destination is one method.

Another method more suitable for use indoors, without the GPS connected, is to switch off the demonstration and drive the car around with right mouse clicks.

To switch off the demonstration hit the | key (shift \ on low left on my keyboard), or click in low left corner to get the experimental buttons, then click on STOP DEMO.

You will know the demonstration is off because of the text "OLD" on the flag in low right corner. This is the same state as if you had used the GPS and then disconnected it. GPSS normally gives a demonstration if it does not detect a GPS.

In this state you can move the car icon (white circle) by right mouse clicks. This is prevented when a GPS is being used since it could cause confusion.

You can now drive the car around the map with right mouse clicks.

Z will zoom out - to the World map if you wish. You can then hop into another country, hit X to zoom right in to the best map at that location, then drive around there. Clicking on the edge of a map will normally change to the next available map.

All the other features should work while you are doing this "simulated" driving. So you can select destinations and watch what happens on the Instrument panel as you approach your destination. You can also hear what GPSS will speak by hitting the W key (Where are we ?).

GPSS able to run on PDAs ?

Yes - see GPSSonCE