I have received NMEA data stored in an excel file. Sample data:

1530000114  379550,0702 $GPGGA,092550.000,6311.7019,N,01429.1063,E,1,09,0.88,357.2,M,33.6,M,,*6B,5567,5567736,  TRM_NMEA
1530000115  379550,0809 $GPGSA,A,3,08,21,11,10,13,32,15,18,27,,,,1.18,0.88,0.77*0B,5581,5582816,    TRM_NMEA
1530000116  379550,0935 $GPRMC,092550.000,A,6311.7019,N,01429.1063,E,0.01,215.98,271016,,,A*60,5593,5593216,    TRM_NMEA
1530000117  379550,0999 $GPVTG,215.98,T,,M,0.01,N,0.02,K,A*39,5605,5606104, TRM_NMEA

The GPSBabel code looks like that in the GUI:

gpsbabel -w -t -i nmea -f /Users/.../GPS_DATA_20161027.xlsx -o gpx -F  /Users/.../testflight.gpx

I just get an empty file and don't know what's the issue.

  • You should save only the NMEA column to a file. NMEA sentences start with $GPXXX. GPS Babel does not recognize these lines as NMEA. And you should erase the first row, too.
    – Zoltan
    Jan 12, 2017 at 14:43
  • It still doesn't work. I've applied all the changes you suggested, but the created gpx file is still empty. Jan 12, 2017 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


I extend my comment to an answer. If you set input file format to NMEA, then you must provide a valid NMEA file. An XLS won't be accepted. So erase all the columns from your xls except NMEA column. Export it into a text file (csv or txt). There are some extra data at the end of the NMEA data. The end of NMEA data is a checksum stating with asterix (*), for example *6B for the first line. I erased data after checksum. Your file should look like this (I put it into test.nmea):


Using the following command:

gpsbabel -w -t -i nmea -f test.nmea -o gpx -F test.gpx

I got this in test.gpx:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gpx version="1.0" creator="GPSBabel - http://www.gpsbabel.org" xmlns="http://www.topografix.com/GPX/1/0">
  <bounds minlat="63.195031667" minlon="14.485105000" maxlat="63.195031667" maxlon="14.485105000"/>
      <trkpt lat="63.195031667" lon="14.485105000">

I used gpsbabel Version 1.5.2. on Ubuntu 16.04. Comparing your data to the NMEA standard (http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/nmea.htm), some sentences look invalid.

  • The input file name was the issue. The data beyond the checksum was not a problem, apparently. Thank you very much for the extensive answer. Jan 13, 2017 at 10:15

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