Using python with a GPS receiver on a Raspberry Pi

Here are three examples of how to  use python to get GPS data from a GPS receiver attached to a Raspberry Pi.

  1. Using GPSD client libraries
  2. Manually parsing NMEA sentences
  3. Using  pynmea2 to parse NMEA sentences

GPSD client libraries

The gpsd client libraries are based on JSON. The JSON objects have a “class” attribute (E.g. TPV,  SKY, DEVICE.etc…)  which can be used to filter on different information.

This guide shows how to get gpsd up an running on a Raspberry Pi.

The example python  script below filters on the TPV class, which is the Time Position Velocity report and then prints out the relevant information.

#! /usr/bin/python

from gps import *
import time
   
gpsd = gps(mode=WATCH_ENABLE|WATCH_NEWSTYLE) 
print 'latitude\tlongitude\ttime utc\t\t\taltitude\tepv\tept\tspeed\tclimb' # '\t' = TAB to try and output the data in columns.
  
try:


	while True:
		report = gpsd.next() #
		if report['class'] == 'TPV':
			
			print  getattr(report,'lat',0.0),"\t",
			print  getattr(report,'lon',0.0),"\t",
			print getattr(report,'time',''),"\t",
			print  getattr(report,'alt','nan'),"\t\t",
			print  getattr(report,'epv','nan'),"\t",
			print  getattr(report,'ept','nan'),"\t",
			print  getattr(report,'speed','nan'),"\t",
			print getattr(report,'climb','nan'),"\t"

		time.sleep(1) 

except (KeyboardInterrupt, SystemExit): #when you press ctrl+c
	print "Done.\nExiting."

 

 

This python script filters on the SKY class and prints out satellite information.




#! /usr/bin/python

from gps import *
import time
import os
   
gpsd = gps(mode=WATCH_ENABLE|WATCH_NEWSTYLE) 
  
try:
	while True:
		
		report = gpsd.next() #
		if report['class'] == 'SKY':
			os.system('clear')
			print ' Satellites (total of', len(gpsd.satellites) , ' in view)'
			for i in gpsd.satellites:
				print 't', i

		
			print '\n\n'
			print 'PRN = PRN ID of the satellite. 1-63 are GNSS satellites, 64-96 are GLONASS satellites, 100-164 are SBAS satellites'
			print 'E = Elevation in degrees'
			print 'As = Azimuth, degrees from true north'
			print 'ss = Signal stength in dB'
			print 'used = Used in current solution?'

		time.sleep(1) 


except (KeyboardInterrupt, SystemExit): #when you press ctrl+c
	print "Done.\nExiting."


BerryGPS Raspberry Pi GPS

Manually parsing NMEA sentences

The python script below shows how to access GPS data by connecting directly to the serial interface.
It filters on $GPRMC NMEA sentences and then splits the well know attributes into different variables.



import serial

port = "/dev/serial0"

def parseGPS(data):
#    print "raw:", data #prints raw data
    if data[0:6] == "$GPRMC":
        sdata = data.split(",")
        if sdata[2] == 'V':
            print "no satellite data available"
            return
        print "---Parsing GPRMC---",
        time = sdata[1][0:2] + ":" + sdata[1][2:4] + ":" + sdata[1][4:6]
        lat = decode(sdata[3]) #latitude
        dirLat = sdata[4]      #latitude direction N/S
        lon = decode(sdata[5]) #longitute
        dirLon = sdata[6]      #longitude direction E/W
        speed = sdata[7]       #Speed in knots
        trCourse = sdata[8]    #True course
        date = sdata[9][0:2] + "/" + sdata[9][2:4] + "/" + sdata[9][4:6]#date

        print "time : %s, latitude : %s(%s), longitude : %s(%s), speed : %s, True Course : %s, Date : %s" %  (time,lat,dirLat,lon,dirLon,speed,trCourse,date)

def decode(coord):
    #Converts DDDMM.MMMMM > DD deg MM.MMMMM min
    x = coord.split(".")
    head = x[0]
    tail = x[1]
    deg = head[0:-2]
    min = head[-2:]
    return deg + " deg " + min + "." + tail + " min"


print "Receiving GPS data"
ser = serial.Serial(port, baudrate = 9600, timeout = 0.5)
while True:
   data = ser.readline()
   parseGPS(data)


 

Using  pynmea2 to parse NMEA sentences

The python script below shows how to access GPS data by connecting directly to the serial interface.
It filters on $GPGGA NMEA sentences and then uses pynmea2 to parse the data.

Pynmea2 can be installed with;

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ pip install pynmea2

import serial
import pynmea2

port = "/dev/serial0"

def parseGPS(str):
    if str.find('GGA') > 0:
        msg = pynmea2.parse(str)
        print "Timestamp: %s -- Lat: %s %s -- Lon: %s %s -- Altitude: %s %s -- Satellites: %s" % (msg.timestamp,msg.lat,msg.lat_dir,msg.lon,msg.lon_dir,msg.altitude,msg.altitude_units,msg.num_sats)


serialPort = serial.Serial(port, baudrate = 9600, timeout = 0.5)
while True:
    str = serialPort.readline()
    parseGPS(str)

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