GPSd is a TCP daemon that displays location data that’s been polled from a connected GPS device. The are a lot of unix location-aware applications that use GPSd instead of communicating directly with a GPS device since it allows more than one application to access the device at a time.

Seth Just sent us a howto on getting GPSd working under OS X, along with a few useful applications.

Luckily, there’s a wonderful open source project called gpsd which provides support for a wide raft of devices and protocols, and talks to an even wider assortment of software. Primarily, I wanted to be able to get my gps to talk to the network scanner Kismac, and Randall Munroe’s script. Both of these were built to take information from gpsd, so I was in business. However, gpsd, which is designed to play nicely with Linux, takes some coaxing under OS X. This is meant to describe how I got it all running.

The documentation also walks you through getting GPSd working with the free gpsdrive navigation software. If you have a Mac laptop and a GPS, it’s worth your half hour of time to get all of this running. You never know when you’ll need to find a public access point or get last minute directions.

GPSd under OS X