MATLAB Examples

Capturing and Mapping GPS Example


Capturing and mapping GPS data

This example shows how to collect and then display latitude and longitude data on a satellite map image.

Creation of the object

In this example, we will create an object for an Android device.

% Create the object
obj = sensorgroup('AndroidMobile') %#ok<NOPTS>
obj = 

sensorgroup logging data from Android device on port 50000

  Measurements: (showLatestValues)

    Acceleration                        Orientation

    Latitude                            Speed
    Altitude                            MagneticField

View the most recent values collected

To collect some data first, we will pause for a few minutes to allow for some travel time.

minutes = 5;
seconds = minutes * 60;

To view the latest collected measurements, we will call the showLatestValues method.

Measurement              Latest Values              Units   Log Size
-------------  ----------------------------------  -------  --------
Acceleration        12.38        4.80        2.66  m/s^2    <1667x3>
Latitude            42.30                          degrees  <12x1>
Longitude          -71.35                          degrees  <12x1>
Altitude            40.80                          m        <12x1>
Speed                2.00                          m/s      <12x1>

Waiting for: MagneticField, and Orientation.  More information.

We can also view the values individually.

latitude = obj.Latitude
longitude = obj.Longitude
altitude = obj.Altitude
latitude =


longitude =


altitude =


It is important to keep in mind that a packet could have come arrived between each of those three lines of code above though, and that they may not all represent the same position in time. To ensure the values are syncronized, we need to look at the logged values, using the methods of the object. Let's continue and map the logged values.

Collect data for a period of time

To collect enough data to map, we will pause for a few more minutes to allow for travel time.

minutes = 8;
seconds = minutes * 60;

Obtain the location coordinates

[lat, lon, sp, ~, ~, t, llacc, ~] = poslog(obj);

Filter out erroneous positions

Keep only the latitude and longitude where the horizontal accuracy is less than one standard deviation of the horizontal accuracy.

goodIndices = llacc < std(llacc);
lat = lat(goodIndices);
lon = lon(goodIndices);
sp = sp(goodIndices);
t = t(goodIndices);
llacc = llacc(goodIndices);

Plot the coordinates in a figure window

Compute latlim and lonlim with a .05 buffer.

[latlim, lonlim] = geoquadpt(lat, lon);
[latlim, lonlim] = bufgeoquad(latlim, lonlim, (max(lat) - min(lat)), ...
    (max(lon) - min(lon)));

Create a map of the points.

usamap(latlim, lonlim)
geoshow(lat, lon, 'DisplayType', 'line')

Plot the points on a satellite image from the USGS national map

The USGS National Map provides ortho-imagery over the United States.

info = wmsinfo('');
layer = info.Layer(1);

Obtain a base map from the server for the region of interest.

[A, R] = wmsread(layer, 'Latlim', latlim, 'Lonlim', lonlim);

Plot the points on the base map.

geoshow(lat, lon, 'DisplayType', 'line', 'Color', 'red', ...
    'Marker', 'diamond', 'MarkerEdgeColor', 'blue');

Plot the speed

Plot the speed vs. time.

plot(t, sp);

Calculate various distances

Calculate the mean distances between points.

% Coordinates are from a GPS and referenced to WGS84 ellipsoid. WGS84 major
% axis is in units of meters.
e = wgs84Ellipsoid;

% Compute distance from point-to-point. dist is in units of meters.
dist = distance(lat(1:end-1), lon(1:end-1), lat(2:end), lon(2:end), e);

% Remove any NaN values.
dist(isnan(dist)) = [];

% Mean value.
meanDistanceBetweenPoints = mean(dist)
meanDistanceBetweenPoints =


Calculate the total distance traveled.

% Total distance traveled.
totalDistanceTraveled = sum(dist)
totalDistanceTraveled =



When you are done, the object should be deleted to free up the resources occupied by the object.