Picking components for a GPS project

Hey folks.

I’m getting into the world of making stuff. And my dad’s given me a cool starter idea - a GPS. Like one you’d buy and put into your car for navigating.

Could people help me pick out some parts? Ideally, budget within reason, not too huge (not fat or anything), touchscreen but high quality enough (I know of this one) and able to function similarly to a GPS (feeding me location data that I can try plot into my own mapping/directions application).

I’ve got some development knowledge, mainly working with website UI (HTML, CSS) and JavaScript based projects, but I’m open to learning whatever language I need to do this.

All help and suggestions is greatly appreciated.


Hey Anthony,

Great project, I’d personally go with a Raspberry Pi (you’ll also need an SD card), a simple touchscreen display, and a GPS breakout board to be able to throw that together (a battery bank or cigarette port with 5V out with a micro-USB output would be great too). By the way, if you’re looking to practice, another thing you could do is to buy an old GPS online, tear it apart into components then put it back together again (possibly with a different layout). Another idea is to put together a weather station to learn the basics of how I2C a Raspberry Pi and other similar sensors work.

(Simple I2C based GPS breakout)

Core Electronics | Support

Hey Anthony,

Also, building on Bryces comment, If you did want to just try the touchscreen and pi open auto is a neat way to get android auto on a raspberry pi, see here: https://www.zdnet.com/article/raspberry-pi-goes-android-auto-now-you-can-build-your-own-cheap-car-head-unit/

It’s a neat article on how it works. Hope this helps!

Thanks for both of your recommendations! I’ll take a look into them and see where I get. One question - does the GPS module just provide the lat and lon of where the device is in the world?

Asking mainly as the software I designed places you on the map based on lat and lon.

Short answer is yes, but its not always that easy. You’ll need to check which map/coordinate system your gps and software are using as there’s a few in common use and you’ll get weird behaviour if you try to use the wrong one.

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