There are a bunch GPS loggers out there, but a good portion need software to download the data onto a computer. Some of the software is Windows-only, but others are Mac-compatible (what I need). However I'd rather not deal with such software in the first place.

I ran across what I think are called "driverless" loggers: when you plug them into the computer they simply show up as a (FAT) drive where you can then simply read the text file (usually in NMEA format).

I've run across the following units

  • AMOD AGL3080
  • Columbus V-900/990 (uses removable SD cards)
  • Sony GPS-CS1/3 (discontinued, AFAICT)

Has anyone used these types of devices?

How well do they work (especially with Mac OS 10.7+)?

Any advice on particular devices (either to buy or avoid)?

I'm not really interesting in full-blown GPS units (Garmin, TomTom) as I don't need the mapping functionality (and extra bulk). I also don't want to have a phone app, because (a) I don't have a smartphone, and (b) even if I did, I wouldn't want to run down its battery. A small logger that saves the position every 1-10s that's light enough to carry is what I'm looking for. The Garmin GPS watches also need special software, so in that regard I'd rather not use them.

The main purpose of this will be to keep a log of where I've taken photographs. I'm not necessarily looking to tag the actual JPEG/raw files (especially the latter), but rather using Lightroom (which uses GPX, I know) to correlate photo and location, and then add the tag to the EXIF files on final export if desired (or just keep the information in the database for future reference).


3 Answers 3


Why not get a camera that has GPS capability built into it? I use a Panasonic Lumix TZ20. I use BF's EXIF Extractor to rip out the location data so I can see where an image was taken. Fun while on holidays to make maps of where I've been, but also really useful at work when capturing images of assets.


Heres a product you might be interested in: http://www.solmeta.com/Product/show/id/14 It stores gps nmea format and also has a gyro sensor so you get kind of imu functinality. The only complaint i have is the frequency of data storing which is 1/second max.


Some of the Garmin GPS watches do work as USB mass storage devices. eg the Forerunner 10, 110 or 210. So they will just appear as a drive when you plug them in. The tracks are recorded in FIT format, you can use GPSBabel to convert to GPX.

Of these, the Forerunner 10 is simplest, cheapest and smallest, and it should do what you want. Though note it does not record elevation in the GPS track (the 110 and 210 do).

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