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Using Global Positioning System (GPS) Devices with MicroStation

MicroStation contains an interface to Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. The Global Positioning System consists of a constellation of satellites in earth orbit that broadcast radio navigation signals from which GPS devices can calculate reliable positions on a cost-free, continuous, worldwide basis. For more information about GPS, see

MicroStation recognizes GPS devices connected using serial protocol that send NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) standard sentences (or strings) indicating position, heading, velocity, time, fix type and fix quality.

A GPS device is detected if connected to your computer using a standard serial cable attached to a serial port or through the Bluetooth™ protocol that creates a virtual serial port. If using a Bluetooth device, note the virtual COM port used, such as COM 8. Garmin™ USB devices using Garminīs proprietary protocol, such as the GPS 18 USB, that can be plugged into any GPS port are also supported. The supporting software is loaded by Windows Plug-n-Play protocol.

Before you can interact with a GPS device, you must first select a geographic coordinate system (GCS) for the active model.

General Procedure — To Interact with a GPS Device
To Place a Line String Along the Trail of the GPS Device as It Moves
To Enter a Data Point at the Current GPS Position
To Center the Active View at the Current GPS Position

NMEA Sentences Used by MicroStation

GPS Recorder