Using GPS Info on the I Phone

gpsI have recently been making regular use of a simple tool available on my I Phone.

iPhones includes a GPS chip just like the one found in stand-alone GPS devices, and the ‘Compass’ app gives a clear display of GPS co-ordinates at any given location you happen to be. I have been using this data to record exact fieldwork locations, particularly when in Iceland on my trips for Rayburn Tours.


In order for your phone to provide this information, make sure of the following:

1)    GPS Location Services are enabled (found in Settings >  Privacy > Location Services)

2)    Compass app is open (calibrate if requested)

The GPS co-ordinates are clearly shown in degrees, minutes and seconds (DMS) format at the bottom of the compass app.

gps data

I usually take a screenshot of the co-ordinates, but sometimes copy the data (by tapping and holding and choosing copy) and then paste it into a text message, e-mail or Note – adding any other necessary information for future reference. When I get home,  the GPS co-ordinates can easily be pasted into a map programme (like Google Earth) to create a pin or see the chosen location on a map.

I presume Android users have a similar feature they can employ?

PS The iPhoto for iPad app also makes good use of GPS and location capability, and can automatically geotag photos and videos (you can turn off this feature) to help organize and find them by location.


About devongeography

Head of Geography and Assistant Vice Principal at South Molton Community College, North Devon. Exeter Chiefs supporter!
This entry was posted in Curriculum, Fieldwork, General Geo, Maps, Teachers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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