Patches and updates

ArcMap GPS Support

Published: May 23, 2003


The free download adds support for real-time display in ArcMap of GPS receiver input.



The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a set of satellites and ground stations. A GPS device calculates its location using signals received from the satellites. Funded and supported by the United States government, GPS has widespread use for both military and civilian applications.

With the added GPS support, input from a GPS receiver can be displayed as a real-time location in ArcMap. GPS receiver locations can also be stored in log files for archival or real-time digitizing purposes. The GPS functionality is accessed through a toolbar in ArcMap or by writing custom applications using ArcObjects.

The current location is displayed as a user-defined marker symbol. The angle of the marker symbol can reflect the direction of motion (bearing), the size based upon the current speed of travel, and the color based upon the altitude. Previous locations can be displayed as a trail of markers or as a customizable line. The trail of previous positions can reflect changes in bearing, speed, and altitude.

Users can view the location by panning, or by enabling settings to keep the current location centered on the screen. For in-car navigation and routing system applications, the location can be snapped to specified features, like a street centerline. Log files allow locations to be stored either in streaming mode (at a specified rate or distance apart) or one at a time. Log files can be customized to allow the user to specify which columns are added to the output feature class.

System Requirements

Platform: PC-Intel
Operating System: Windows NT 4 sp 6a, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition
ArcGIS Software: ArcGIS 8.3 Final (available service packs optional)

Files Installed

The ArcMap GPS Support installation requires ArcGIS 8.3. The following files are added to the ArcGIS 8.3 install location.

  • esriGPSExt.olb
  • esrigps.dll
  • GPS.chm
  • Gps_wt.hlp
  • ArcMap GPS Support Object Model.pdf
  • esriGpsExt.chm
  • esriGpsExtVC.chm

Installing ArcMap GPS Support

  • Make sure you have write access to your ArcGIS installation location and that no one is using any of the ArcGIS software products at the time of installation.
  • Log in as a user with administrative privileges.
  • Close all applications running on your computer.
  • Download the GPS_Support.exe file (3.5 MB, self-extracting .exe format) to a location other than your ArcGIS Desktop installation location.
Installation Steps
  1. Locate the setup.exe file in the folder where the GPS_Support.exe contents were extracted.
  2. Double-click setup.exe to start the GPS Support for ArcGIS installation.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the software installation.

Known Issues

  • Symbols may leave artifacts on the display.
    Using linear trails may cause position fragments to remain on the display. The workaround is to refresh the display.
  • GPS positions do not line up with displayed data.
    If the datum (geographic coordinate system) of the GPS unit is set to WGS84, the proper geographic coordinate system must be set on the GPS Connection Setup property page. Also confirm that the correct geographic transformations are set, open the Data Frame properties -> select the Coordinate Systems tab -> click the Transformations and set the transformation.It is recommended that the GPS unit is set to WGS84 and ArcMap is used to perform an on-the-fly transformation.
  • Cannot simulate a GPS connection with coverages or ArcSDE feature classes.
    The GPS connection data browser will display coverages and ArcSDE feature classes, however if data are added, the following message is displayed, "Feature class does not exist. Unable to open the feature class." Use shapefiles or personal geodatabase feature classes.
  • Current position symbol does not rotate to show the current direction of travel.
    The default current position symbol is not symmetrical and appears to point east. Possible workarounds include changing to a symmetrical symbol or setting a destination and enabling the 'show bearing to destination' option.

Getting Help

Domestic sites, please contact ESRI Technical Support at 909.793.3774, if you have any difficulty installing. International sites, please contact your local ESRI software distributor.

For ArcMap GPS Support information, refer to the GPS Support help topics in the ArcGIS Desktop Help.

  • In ArcMap -> click Help -> ArcGIS Desktop Help -> Contents tab -> ArcMap -> GPS Support.

An object model diagram and ArcMap GPS Support Component help topics in the ArcObjects Developer Help are provided for developers.

  • In Windows Explorer -> browse to arcgis -> arcexe83 -> ArcObjects Developer Kit -> Object Model Diagrams -> ArcMap GPS Support Object Model.pdf.
  • Open the ArcObjects Developer Help -> click Contents tab -> ArcObjects Component Help -> ArcMap GPS Support Component Help.

Download ID:537

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