GPS tracks. iPhone. NMEA Data. Yes, you can

Why would you want NMEA logs from your iPhone? Well… it’s a GPS. And you have it. And sometimes NMEA logs are handy…

I need raw NMEA logs from a GPS. Doesn’t matter why. Ok, you dragged it out of me…. working with Qt Mobility on a desktop, you can use a canned GPS NMEA log to test your app without needing an actual GPS, or needing to move.

I have an iPhone 4. It has a pretty decent GPS in it. Should be easy, right? Well, not exactly, since the GPS is abstracted away behind the location apis. No worries though, because there’s an app for that

Just follow these simple 127 steps:

  1. Install GPSed (the free one is fine) from the App store, and sign up for a free account on
  2. Install gpsbable from
  3. Fire up GPSed on your iPhone, and log into your account
  4. Start a new Track
  5. Drive/Walk about.
  6. Finish the Track, and upload it to from the app.
  7. Back at the desktop, login to, find your new track, and export it to GPX
  8. Run the magic gpsbable command:
gpsbabel -i gpx -f infile.gpx -x track,fix=3d -o nmea -F nmeaout.log

There you go… nmea data. The -x track,fix=3d bit munges the data up to better look like a real GPS raw data dump.

Not my discovery, I just cobbled it together from teh internets.