“When GPS was first released to consumers, it wasn’t even in the hands or understanding of most people. Early on it was used for pretty unique and esoteric stuff, and in the age before ultra-connected devices that use common smartphone apps, there were GPS receivers.
They pretty much just displayed current coordinates including latitude, longitude, and altitude- not much else. There’s a great set of old devices over at retro-gps.info. The old units are big, heavy, slow, and use a ton of power for what they do. Modern GPS units are light, small, cheap, and use very little power. I thought it would be cool to revisit the idea.
What would a newer one look like, and why not s smartphone? First, too much reliance is put on a smartphone, and without the need for maps a smartphone is overkill (and a solved problem). Second, the device I planned to build wouldn’t need internet, and should be as easy to hack/modify as possible. We don’t need a full fledged OS either- too many moving parts, even though a GPS sensor would be easy to add to the Raspberry Pi Recovery Kit:
Finally, I wanted something as easy to build as possible- a minimum number of parts and as easy as possible- so no soldering (even though that’s an important skill).
So to sum it up, the device has one primary goal- to show you your location, but with a single added feature- help you find your way to another set of GPS coordinates. The device will show you your current GPS stats, but also the compass heading and distance to your destination (target). So here we go!”