Menus and Icons
Use the views dropdown to navigate between the different presentations.
While you are logging, the green indicator will stay on.
The spinner only appears when the GPS is trying to get a fix.
Many menu items
Profiles - Group preferences under profile names, such as default, nighttime, trekking, etc.
General options - Startup, imperial, debug file and version info
Logging details - File formats, folder, new file creation, frequency, accuracy
Auto send, email and upload - Settings for various destinations such as Google Docs, FTP, Dropbox
Shows your last recorded GPS point, updates when new point available
Tap any field to highlight the text
Big start/stop button. You can't miss it
Distance travelled is the total distance between all points.
Detailed view of last recorded GPS point
Smaller start/stop button
Meant for landscape mode
Awkward in portrait mode
Can log to GPX, KML, CSV, NMEA and CSV formats. Can also log to a custom URL or just the screen.
Logs GPX points as tracks and track segments
Also logs speed, direction and altitude if available
Add a description to a point using the annotate menu, gets added as a waypoint
Configure time intervals between points
Configure a minimum distance filter between points or an accuracy filter
Notification icon with coordinates and quick actions
Uses cell towers for location when GPS is disabled
Selectively choose network, gps and passive location providers
Automatically upload or email the file at set intervals to destinations such as Email, FTP, Dropbox, Google Docs, OpenStreetMap.
Share location or log files via SMS/Email (and other apps such as Facebook or Twitter depending on what you've got installed)
Start logging on phone bootup
Invoke operations from Tasker or other automation apps.
You can give it a preset file with your own values for distribution
Multiple profiles with different settings are possible
There can be several reasons reasons for this.
New location - if you are at a new location after a long flight, the GPS on your phone can take a while to reorient itself. Try running GPSLogger at high frequency until it does find a location.
Interference - there may be structures nearby blocking your signal.
Mid flight - if you are in a commercial aircraft, you are probably traveling too fast for your phone's hardware to keep up with the GPS signals.
You can read more a little more on what's involved here
It all comes down to your hardware, settings and environment. The accuracy is only as good as your phone's GPS chip. Some phones may have 4 meter accuracies, some have 500 meters. Also, using GPS satellites will give you better accuracy but take a longer time; using network location will give worse accuracy but is quicker. You may also want to check your environment, as there can be inaccuracy due to clouds, buildings, sunspots, alien invasion, etc.
Sometimes your specified time interval will have passed, but no point was logged. There are a few reasons this could happens.
The GPS system will have attempted to find its location and given up after a while. This in turn means that Android OS will not have given a location to GPSLogger
The accuracy was below your Accuracy filter settings, or the distance was below your Distance filter settings, so GPSLogger didn't log it. You can try setting a retry interval in which GPSLogger can wait for a more accurate point to show up and then use it. Or you can allow for slightly more inaccurate fixes - your mileage may vary as every phone is different in terms of how accurate a fix it can get on a regular basis.
Additionally, on Android 6+ (Marshmallow), a new feature called doze mode was introduced, which severely restricts activity on the device after certain periods of inactivity. You can choose to whitelist GPSLogger which does not bypass doze mode but occasionally provides logging windows in which to work. It will not make a great difference though, doze mode is quite aggressive.
The standard when logging points is to use UTC. Since this is the standard, it would be wrong to use the the local time zone, the file is considered invalid. Instead, it is the responsibility of the software you use the log file on (Google Earth, GeoSetter, etc.) to adjust for your timezone. Any application that deals with GPX or KML files will have a setting that allows you to specify your own timezone.
The imperial units are only for display purposes and nothing else. However, when logging, the units are always in SI units - meters and seconds.
Due to recent restrictions, the default GPSLogger folder is different per device. You can see it on the simple/detailed screens and it may be something like
The initial part will be different for your device.
If you have a file explorer installed, you can click on the folder paths in the simple/detailed screens.
To copy the GPSLogger files, you can connect your phone to your computer and mount the SD card, then copy straight from the above folder. You can also change the default folder in the app settings.
Finally, note that due to the restrictions introduced in Android KitKat, any files in the default folder will be removed if you uninstall the app.
If the app is logging, and you make changes to the settings, the changes will take effect after the next point is logged. This means that if you've set your interval as 1 hour, you have a long wait ahead of you. If you want the changes to take effect immediately, then stop logging and start it again so that the changes are refreshed.
Time before logging - How long to wait after a point has been logged to try logging again.
Distance filter - When a point becomes available, the app will check to ensure that this much distance exists between the previous and current points. If it isn't this distance, the point is discarded.
Accuracy filter - When a point becomes available, the app will check to ensure that this point has a minimum accuracy specified. If it does not match the specified accuracy, the point is discarded. This is useful if you are inside a building for a while.
Time interval for accuracy - When searching for a point, the app can continue searching for this many seconds until it finds a point that meets the accuracy and distance filter criteria above.
Absolute timeout - When searching for a point and trying over and over, the app will give up when this timeout is reached. This is useful for when you're inside buildings, GPS tends to keep searching and finding nothing.
Keep GPS on between fixes - Normally, the app stops using GPS between points, to save battery. This means when it's time to log the next point, the GPS needs to be 'woken up' again and this takes a little time. Keeping GPS on between fixes causes this 'wake up' time to be reduced.
Don't log if I'm not moving - Some Android phones come with activity recognition; the app can use this to determine if you are not moving and if so, it will not attempt to log a point.
Mainly, turn wifi off, turn mobile data off, turn background synchronization off, turn bluetooth off.
If you turn mobile data off, you'll probably want to inject aGPS data regularly, there are apps that can do it for you. You can also try going into airplane mode which turns many things off.
When it comes to choosing between location sources - GPS vs network - GPS will be more battery hungry, but has better accuracy; network location is easier on the battery but isn't as accurate.
For time intervals, consider using 60 seconds or more.
It's how the Android OS has implemented its GPS system. When you say you want a point every 60 seconds (for example), that's actually a suggestion rather than an imperative, and so the time interval between GPS points is never guaranteed. GPSLogger has logic that checks the time difference, though, and will make sure that at least 60 seconds have passed before logging again. It is not meant for sub-second logging, as that will require aggressive wakelocks.
As of newer versions of Android, removing the notification will cause the service to be killed. As a result, the notification now needs to stay there. You may have seen a recent increase in the number of apps that need to sit in the notification bar for the same reason - to perform background services without being killed.
There is an option in the app's settings that allows you to remove the notification buttons if you want a smaller notification.
Task managers don't like GPSLogger and will frequently kill the service.
Due to the varied nature of the way task managers and task killers work, I simply cannot help or advise with any problems where you have one of these installed, and would advise against it as well
It's meant to be more battery efficient. A lot of other apps, such as MyTracks, usually go with the assumption that you have a data connection available and your routes won't be very long. They use CPU wakelocks and log points extremely frequently with high accuracy. The aim of GPSLogger is to log points and stay quiet.
To put it another way, MyTracks or similar are better suited for runs; GPSLogger is suited for days out, hiking, photography.
If your automation app can send intents, you can use those intents to control GPSLogger and get it to perform a few actions. For example, in Tasker, create a new action under Misc > Send Intent.
immediatestart:true (others below)
These are the extras you can send to GPSLogger:
immediatestart- (true/false) Start logging immediately
immediatestop- (true/false) Stop logging
setnextpointdescription- (text) Sets the annotation text to use for the next point logged
settimebeforelogging- (number) Sets preference for time before logging option
setdistancebeforelogging- (number) Sets preference for distance before logging option
setkeepbetweenfix- (true/false) Sets preference whether to keep GPS on between fixes
setretrytime- (number) Sets preference for retry time
setabsolutetimeout- (number) Sets preference for absolute timeout
setprefercelltower- (true/false) Enables or disables the GPS or celltower listeners
logonce- (true/false) Log a single point, then stop
switchprofile- (text) The name of the profile to switch to
You can also invoke the Start and Stop shortcuts that GPSLogger comes with.
Many people actually distribute GPSLogger to colleagues preinstalled on phones, with some preset values.
If you create a file in the default folder or at
/sdcard/gpslogger.properties, then GPSLogger will read this file each time it loads and apply those settings to the application.
For example, in the file you can put
accuracy_before_logging=42 and that will reset the Accuracy Filter to 42 meters each time the application starts. There are many properties that can be applied and you can glean a full list here.
The most common examples of properties would be
opengts_* for OpenGTS settings,
smtp_* for email settings.
The GPS files produced by this app are generally used for processing other things.
A common use case is to geotag photos. Many cameras, especially SLRs, don't have built-in GPS. After a day (or days) out of photography, you may have hundreds of photos that need to be geotagged so that their locations can appear properly when used elsewhere.
I have had success with:
- GeoSetter - GUI, comprehensive options with map display
- ExifTool - command line, lots of options
- Lightroom's map module - very basic and limited
There are of course other uses of the produced files, these are a few I've seen over the years; it's usually a combination of a log file produced from GPSLogger with a secondary software to process the files.
- Recording your hike, paragliding, flight
- View it in Google Earth, Google Maps
- OpenStreetMap tracing
- Track fleets of trucks or vehicles
- Volunteer organisations use it as rescue reports
- Drivers and salespeople using it as a timesheet
- Tracking of geocaches, gravestones, repair sites, etc.
- Tracking friends and family on holiday
Profiles are basically different settings, grouped under a name. For example you can have a night profile and a trekking profile with different logging frequencies, and switch between the two when you need to.
Tap the profile header and then "Add profile" to create a new profile. The new profile will have the same settings as the one you're currently on. You can then modify a few settings and those should be specific to your new profile.
Conversely, any settings you change in one profile won't automatically be saved in other existing profiles. It is recommended that you do your basic setup in the Default Profile first.
You can delete a profile by long pressing it.
Sometimes the app might not behave in an expected way.
You can troubleshoot it yourself by going to General Options and enabling the Write to debug file option.
Next, reproduce the behavior or problem, and this creates a
debuglog.txt file in the GPSLogger directory.
You can then grab the file off your phone and have a look through it, or email it to yourself from the same screen (Attach debug log to email). Be sure to turn it off afterwards as this file grows very fast.
Submit your feature requests on Github.
Please note that I work on GPSLogger in my spare time and I may not always have the time or resources to implement a feature. However, GPSLogger is open source. You are encouraged to contribute or get someone else to contribute a feature.
Auto Email Setup
Open GTS Setup