Free GPS on Your Laptop – Geosense for Windows

I have a GPS unit to keep me from getting lost while I’m driving, but it doesn’t hook up to my computer. If I wanted to use geolocation applications to show online friends where I was at the moment, I couldn’t do it.   Until now ….

Sathya Bhat sent me an email yesterday telling me about a new geo-location solution. Two crazy programmers named Long Zeng and Rafael Rivera have created a program that identifies where you are by using either your IP address, or Wifi triangulation. The application is called Geosense for Windows, but, it only works in Windows 7. Apparently Windows 7 has a built in location sensing API that nobody else is taking advantage of yet.

Here’s how to set it up:

First, go to the home page and download Geosense and install it.

To enable Geosense, go to your Start Menu and type location(without quotes) into the search box. Then click on Enable location and other sensors.

control-panel-location-search

Next place a check-mark in the check-box to enable Geosense.

control-panel-enable-location-sensor

Once you’ve clicked Apply, you won’t notice anything new. However, you’ll find that any location aware application you run, will now automatically know where you are.

The Geosense website offers a nice Google Maps test application to try out. You can also run the Windows Weather Gadget to find your local weather. Here you can see both of these running on my laptop.

google-maps-applet

They also mention that there’s a Twitter application called MahTweets which can grab the location and put it into your tweets.

Here’s the Geosense homepage: Check it out.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Geosense is not going to be able to replace my car’s GPS unit, but if I’m on the road, at least I’ll know about where I am, even when I’m away from the car. I did notice that it was only able to give an approximate location, within half a kilometer, so it’s not perfect. It’s a free app that makes excellent use of a previously hidden feature in Windows 7. I love it.

techie-buzz-recommended-software

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

28 thoughts on “Free GPS on Your Laptop – Geosense for Windows”

  1. Not working for me :/ How does it get data ? Do u need GPS on ur laptop ? Or is there some other kinda tracking based on the connection ?

  2. Sreejith,

    We're currently looking into a bug that results in the sensor not initializing correctly on some machines. If this is the issue you're having, shoot us an email — [email protected]. We may want to get some logs from you.

    If this isn't the bug, make sure you're using WiFi — that's where the most accurate data comes from. If WiFi isn't available, we fallback to IP which could be miles and miles away, depending on where the end of your Internet line ends.

    1. Thanks for the comment Sreejith – and thanks to Rafael for the reply. It's beautiful when a software author posts in response to an issue. I guess that shows just how "crazy" you are. LOL

  3. It does not work for me.

    NO sensors Installed.

    so I belive it will need some additional hardware for the sensors to work

    1. You don't need any additional hardware. It picks up location info primarily from WiFi hot spots, failing which it reverts to IP address lookup. Of course goes without saying, if you aren't connected to the Internet, you cannot use it.

  4. I installed it on a new Acer laptop running W7 ultimate and it gave my location as 17 miles from where I'm located. It took a while to remove it from my system, There are no instructions anywhere for removal and it doesn't appear in Add/Remove Programs. Clicking on the sensor itself gives you the removal option. ( Yes, I was using WiFi. )

  5. Really cool. It said I was about 110ft away from my house. Pretty accurate!
    Anyone know if it would work as well on an airplane?

    1. Personally, I’ve never been able to access internet while on an airplane. However, it’s becoming available now. See “how to access internet on airplanes” – Google Search http://bit.ly/96tDPy

      How accurate it would be, would depend entirely on how they supply the service to you.

    1. For new version of Controll pannel on Windows 7 Only :
      Make a new Folder , and then Rename It with : GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
      Now You Have The Ultimate Control Pannel.
      Now search enable location in search bar
      you will find.

  6. I’m from Bangladesh. Here I’m in Dhaka (capital), where it’s showing another city as my location which is quite far from my city.

    Good thing is– the program is working.

  7. hei. it’s not working in my laptop. i have installed it but there is a notification “cannot get present location” on my weather gadget. the geosense demo client also not working. i’m using external modem for my internet connection. who can help me?

  8. It was working fine prev but now getting some problems so thought to download new version (if available) but it seems the link is dead. Please provide updated link to download.
    Thanks :-)

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