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GPS Dashboard

GPS Serial NMEA Decode and Display


GPS Dashboard displays navigation information from a serially connected GPS on the Mac. Gauges display track direction and speed, and digital readouts display latitude, longitude, altitude, and time. An odometer provides a display of distance travelled. The dashboard also shows which satellites are being tracked, and if the GPS has a 3D fix.


GPS Dashboard can synchronize with Apple Maps application providing periodic location updates, as well as show the current position on Google Maps.


The Record Track feature can save GPS tracks and waypoints to a file (GPX or CSV). 

GPS Dashboard provides multiple display themes, and the user can customize the location, distance, altitude, and speed units.



  • Decodes NMEA 0183 messages from any serially connected GPS device

  • Selectable data from GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo GPS receivers

  • Supports devices connected with Serial-to-USB converters and Bluetooth serial devices 

  • Compass gauge displays GPS track (north up or direction up)

  • Speedometer displays GPS speed

  • Displays satellites currently tracked and if the GPS has a 2D or 3D fix

  • Latitude, Longitude, Altitude display

  • Maximum and Average speed display, resettable

  • Resettable Odometer tracks distance travelled

  • Integrated internet-based Maps including street, satellite, topographic, and nautical

  • Synchronizes with Apple Maps, providing periodic GPS position

  • Sends position to Google Maps

  • Real-time graphs of speed and altitude

  • Displays raw NMEA strings (with optional filter)

  • Displays GPS position in decimal degrees, degrees and decimal minutes, or degrees/minutes/seconds

  • Displays altitude in meters or feet

  • Displays speed in knots, mph, or kph

  • Configurable speedometer range

  • Shows distance in nautical miles, miles, kilometers, meters or feet

  • Records GPS tracks in CSV or GPX format

  • Record GPS waypoints

  • Sky-view of satellite constellations and position history with azimuth/elevation cursor

  • Display of satellites tracked according to GNNS type

  • Sun and Moon positions and Moon phase

  • Sunrise, Zenith, Sunset, Moonrise, and Moonset times

  • Real-time graph of satellite signal level (SNR)

  • Option to prevent computer from sleeping

  • Displays magnetic and true directions and magnetic declination

  • SNTP Time Server

  • GPS Simulator

  • Control device settings by sending commands

  • Echo NMEA data to another serial port

Supported Devices

GPS Dashboard supports any GPS device with NMEA 0813 output over serial, USB, and bluetooth ports. If your device has a 9-pin serial output it can easily be adapted to the Mac using a FTDI serial-to-USB adapter or Prolific serial-to-USB adapter. 


Some devices that are known to be compatible with GPSDashboard are:

Version History

Version 1.0 for MacOS    

  • Release February 25, 2019

Version 1.1 for MacOS    

  • Release March 16, 2019

  • Add Maximum and average speed display

Version 1.2 for MacOS    

  • Release April 17, 2019

  • Real-time graphs of speed and altitude

  • New ocean-blue theme

  • Removed speed value in GPX file (for compatibility with GPX 1.1 format)​

Version 1.4 for MacOS    

  • Release May 13, 2019

  • Add support for GLONASS and Galileo GNSS satellites

  • Constellation map of satellites and history

  • Sun and Moon positions, Moon phase on Constellation map

  • Real-time graph of satellite SNR

  • Option to prevent computer from sleeping

Version 1.5 for MacOS    

  • Release September 16, 2019

  • Added magnetic track indicator on Constellation map computed from NOAA world magnetic model

Version 2.0 for MacOS    

  • Release December 18, 2019

  • Add integrated maps with position overlay, using online map servers

  • SNTP server to serve time sourced from GPS

Version 2.1 for MacOS    

  • Release January 2, 2020

  • Add USGS topographic map and blank map options

  • Map updates include breadcrumb trail, map scale, and adaptive centering

  • Update to NOAA 2020 world magnetic model

Version 2.1.1 for MacOS    

  • Release January 7, 2020

  • Fixes a bug where the world magnetic model could not be loaded in MacOS Catalina

Version 2.1.3 for MacOS    

  • Release February 23, 2020

  • Minor bug fixes

Version 2.2.1 for MacOS    

  • Release April 27, 2020

  • Waypoints with cool icons! Drag waypoints around the map or set as a destination

  • Set a Destination, see the great-circle course to reach it on the map

  • Distance, Bearing, and ETA to destination

  • Copy mouse and waypoint coordinates to clipboard

Version 2.3.0 for MacOS    

  • Release October 16, 2020

  • Cache maps for fast access

  • Pre-Download map regions for later offline use

  • Zoom level shown on map

  • Fixed an issue preventing sending position to Apple Maps app

Version 2.4.1 for MacOS    

  • Release April 8, 2021

  • GPS Simulator: simulate GPS messages and control the simulation position, speed, altitude, and track

  • The Track gauge now displays tenths of a degree

  • The Constellation View panel now displays magnetic declination, sunrise, sunset, noon (zenith), moonrise, and moonset times

  • NTP jitter estimate

  • Decode and display fix quality

  • Fixing bug displaying mouse coordinates when moving mouse across the 180th meridian

Version 2.5.0 for MacOS    

  • Release July 4, 2021

  • Device control: send commands to the device over the serial port. Save frequently used commands.

  • Filter NMEA text display: search for specific text in the NMEA messages

Version 2.6.2 for MacOS    

  • Release January 14, 2022

  • Selectable Simulator update rate

  • Echo device or simulator NMEA messages to another serial port

License Information

Licensing and usage of GPS Dashboard is subject to the standard Apple End User License Agreement


Several open source software libraries are built into GPS Dashboard.  These are subject to the following copyright and license terms:


The Java Runtime Engine (JRE) is subject to Oracle's license terms.

The JSSC Library  is licensed by the GNU Lesser General Public License

The JPX library is licensed by the Apache license.

The Commons-Suncalc is licensed by the Apache License.

The Apache Commons libraries are licensed by the Apache license.

The JXMapViewer2 library is licensed by the GNU Lesser Public License

Waypoint Icon Credits to:

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