It does not need a GPS device to work as a stand-alone program. It will (depending upon the version) work with a GPS device to keep you on track as you travel. I have a competing GPS and Software package (Garmin) that I put on one of my laptops. It works very well except that you of course need to put the laptop where it can be seen and heard. Bear in mind that a laptop is rather bulky, fragile and can easily become a really costly chunk of technology should it be unsecured and emergency braking occur. One more thing, the GPS device of course needs clear access to the satellites that it reads in order to function. It is therefore not very useful indoors. For use in a vehicle I recommend a portable GPS that can be placed on the dash or mounted via suction cup to the windshield(screen). Also note that some states, California I believe, prohibit mounting to the windshield(screen).