>>Alus.it >projects >GPSreceiver EN IT


This is an example Java program that receives, parses and displays NMEA sentences received from a serial GPS receiver. The program has been tested with the Globalsat BU-303 GPS receiver with USB interface.

More about NMEA protocol

NMEA 0813 protocol is used to output all the received informations by the most GPS receiver units. One of the best places where to find free informations about how to parse the NMEA sentences is the website of gpsd project. They have a really handy and detailed guide regarding what is actually of free domain of the NMEA protocol.

GPSreceiver output

The program tries to represent live graphically some of the informations received from the GPS system.

GPSreceiver screen shot

This is a screen shot of the program, in upper part: date and UTC time, position, number of GPS satellites, type of GPS fix and GPS Dilutions. Then the first three gauges are: a speedometer, an altimeter and a variometer. In the lower part: an indicator of turn rate, a compass and a polar representation of GPS satellites positions.


Being this application written in Java, a Java virtual machine is obviously needed. This program uses the Javacomm library to read data from the GPS receiver. Unfortunately Javacomm isn't included by default in the Java virtual machine distribution so it needs to be installed apart.

Installation of Javacomm under Linux

  1. Download Javacomm for Linux
  2. Extract libLinuxSerialParallel.so to /usr/lib
  3. Extract javax.comm.properties to your <JDK>/jre/lib or your <JRE>/lib
  4. Add comm.jar to your classpath (this can be skipped because comm.jar is already included in GPSreceiver)

Installation of Javacomm under Windows

  1. Make sure that the environment variable JAVA_HOME points to the root of your Java virtual machine installation
  2. Download Javacomm for Windows
  3. Extract win32com.dll to JAVA_HOME\bin
  4. Extract javax.comm.properties to JAVA_HOME\lib
  5. Extract comm.jar to JAVA_HOME\lib\ext (this can be skipped because comm.jar is already included in GPSreceiver)

Once completed the installation of Javacomm you can run GPSreceiver typing: java -jar GPSreceiver.jar. Under Windows, if you wish to create a shortcut you should use the command javax instead of java in order to prevent to appear the DOS console window.


Here you can download the Java executable as JAR file and, in the ZIP, the source code including the used libraries as project for Eclipse.

If you find some mistake or something that can be improved, please, let me know! Thanks.

Git repository

The source code Git repository of this program is hosted on GitHub. You can download the sources making a clone of the repository with the following command:

git clone https://github.com/alus-it/GPSreceiver.git