I have a QSTARZ bluetooth GPS device which I paired with my Macbook pro. This code should work on any Mac/Linux operating system. Depending on your device, you may need to adjust the GPS location – currently it’s hardcoded to¬†/dev/tty.iBT-GPS-SPPslave

This code is able to grab the most important information, convert from degrees, minutes and seconds to decimal and create a Google map link that shows the location. It’s part of a bigger project that I’m working on but will operate perfectly fine on its own.


// Converts DMS ( Degrees / minutes / seconds ) 
// to decimal format longitude / latitude
function DMStoDEC($dms, $longlat){

	if($longlat == 'lattitude'){
		$deg = substr($dms, 0, 2);
		$min = substr($dms, 2, 8);
		$sec = '';
	if($longlat == 'longitude'){
		$deg = substr($dms, 0, 3);
		$min = substr($dms, 3, 8);

    return $deg+((($min*60)+($sec))/3600);

//Set timezone

//Connect to GPS
$gps = fopen("/dev/tty.iBT-GPS-SPPslave", "r+");

//Read data from GPS
	$buffer = fgets($gps);
	if(substr($buffer, 0, 6)=='$GPRMC'){
		echo $buffer."\n";
		$gprmc = explode(',',$buffer);
		$data['timestamp'] = strtotime('now');
		$data['sat_status'] = $gprmc[2];

		$data['lattitude_dms'] = $gprmc[3];
		$data['lattitude_decimal'] = DMStoDEC($gprmc[3],'lattitude');
		$data['lattitude_direction'] = $gprmc[4];
		$data['longitude_dms'] = $gprmc[5];
		$data['longitude_decimal'] = DMStoDEC($gprmc[5],'longitude');
		$data['longitude_direction'] = $gprmc[6];
		$data['speed_knots'] = $gprmc[7];

		$data['bearing'] = $gprmc[8];
		$data['google_map'] = ''.$data['lattitude_decimal'].','.$data['longitude_decimal'].'+(PHP Decoded)&iwloc=A';
		echo "\n\n";

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2 comments on “PHP GPS Parser (NMEA / GPRMC)
  1. Igor says:

    Thank you so much! It helped me a lot!

  2. Aayush Vetwaal says:

    I was wondering how I could parse GPS data effectively, I found this article and it proved to be helpful. Thank you.

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