S60, Python, a GPS receiver, and Google Earth

Now that most work for the book is done, I have some time to experiment. I recently started to take a closer look at Python for the S60 mobile phone OS and what you can do with it. As I am pretty much into wireless networks, I wanted to have an application that tracks the network coverage where I go for later analysis. I am also quite interested in location based services and a firm believer that these services will only really take off once the GPS receiver is built into the phone. Combining these two interests with a little bit of programming and a recently bought Nokia LD-3W Bluetooth GPS receiver resulted in the following little quality time project:

The Python script I am currently working on queries the GPS receiver, measures the network signal quality and outputs the information in Google Earth format for visualization on the PC. The script is not quite finished yet but the  basic functionality of logging location and signal quality and visualize the data in Google Earth already works. The picture on the left (click to enlarge) shows a result of a 20 minutes test drive. While the line is green, network reception is good. Blue indicates average and red symbolizes a weak signal. Should you be one of the five people on this planet who does similar things and are interested in the source, let me know.

9 thoughts on “S60, Python, a GPS receiver, and Google Earth”

  1. Hi there.
    Interesting project. Right now I am fiddling around with a script that readsout GPS and calculates Bearing and Distance to a reference position. …debugging is a pain when occupying the BT connect already.

    How far is your script?


  2. What I’m working with seems relevant to your interests: see http://gsmloc.org/ for details. Basically, I want to work with all the people out there doing cell-tower based LBS type activity, and gather their data under one roof at gsmloc.org. I’ve already had a number of interested parties, but am looking to gather more — if you’re interested in helping with the project, please feel free to drop me an email or just check out the site and let me know what you think.

  3. Sounds really interesting, I’m scouting out a new office in two weeks time and oen thing that will be key is mobile coverage. I use a Nokia E60 and was going to buy a bluetooth GPS module to do exactly this, but manually.

  4. Hey

    Really nice project you have going there – would love to get a copy of the source if thats ok. Am going to start a project grabbing GPS info together with a picture – then uploading it to a blog, pinpointing the loc and showing the picture. For archeological digs etc.

  5. Hi Martin!

    I stumbled over your site as I searched for:

    python s60 gps

    ..because I want to use my Nokia E61i + my Holux Bluetooth GPS in exactly the same way..

    I couldnt figure out much, for writing something in Python myself..

    So I want to ask, do you think about open source your script?

    If you need a place for developing, I can recommend Google Project Hosting:


    Even if you not want to open source it, could you give me hints how to recieving WLAN and bluetooth gps nmea data?

    Would be very happy about it!!!!

  6. Hi,

    I’ll gladly share the code with you. Just give of a couple of days to return home and to recover the source from the hard drive.


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