Collector can make use of the GPS built into your device or add an external GPS receiver to obtain high-accuracy data. There are many GPS receivers available on the market; however, not all of them work directly with Collector. To use a GPS receiver with Collector, it must support the output of NMEA 0183 sentences. If you are using an iOS device, you must also choose one of the GPS receivers supported on iOS. While Esri doesn't publish a list of supported GPS receivers for Android or Windows, a list of receivers used in testing Collector on Android and Windows is provided.
Collector supports NMEA versions 4.00 and 4.10. It can read the following NMEA sentences:
- GGA: Time, position, and fix-related data
- GSA: GNSS DOP and active satellites
- GSV: GNSS satellites in view
- RMC: Recommended minimum specific GNSS data
- VTG: Course over ground and ground speed
- GST: GNSS pseudorange error statistics
If Collector receives GST sentences, which contain accuracy information for a particular coordinate, it uses them to determine accuracy. By default, the horizontal and vertical accuracy numbers are specified in root mean square (RMS). The level of confidence using RMS is 63 percent to 68 percent for horizontal accuracy, and 68 percent for vertical accuracy. If the 95% confidence accuracy setting is enabled, Collector applies a conversion factor to the RMS calculation and reports horizontal and vertical accuracy with a 95 percent confidence level.
If Collector doesn't receive a GST sentence from a GPS receiver, but does receive a GSA sentence, Collector estimates accuracy using horizontal dilution of precision (HDOP) and vertical dilution of precision (VDOP). The estimated horizontal accuracy is calculated by multiplying HDOP by 4.7, and the estimated vertical accuracy is calculated by multiplying VDOP by 4.7.
The internal GPS of some Android devices outputs NMEA. If a device outputs invalid NMEA, Collector uses the accuracy reported by the device's location service.
GPS receivers supported on iOS
To directly connect a Bluetooth receiver with an iOS device, the receiver has to be part of the MFi program as well as support the output of NMEA sentences. The following receivers can be used directly with Collector on supported iOS devices.
To find out the version of firmware your GPS receiver uses, pair your receiver with your device, open your device's About settings, and select the name of your paired receiver.
Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor, GPS Pro, and GPS
The GNSS Surveyor and GPS Pro+ require firmware version 2.1.40 or later, and the GPS Pro requires firmware version 2.0.90 or later.
- CHC X20i—firmware version 2.0.251 or later
- Dual XGPS150A and XGPS160—firmware version 2.0.0 or later
- Eos Arrow Lite, Arrow 100, Arrow 200, and Arrow Gold—firmware version 2.0.251 or later
- Garmin GLO—firmware version 3.00 or later
- Geneq SxBlue II and SxBlue III—firmware version 2.0.251 or later
- Trimble R1 and
The Trimble R1 requires firmware version 5.03 or later and the Trimble R2 requires firmware version 5.14 or later.
Trimble's GNSS Status app is required to receive corrected positions.
Additional receivers that can output the NMEA messages listed above but are not directly supported through a Bluetooth connection may be used by purchasing the Aman Enterprises NMEA-BT device. For detailed requirements and supported receivers, visit their site.
GPS receivers tested on Android and Windows
Collector works with any receiver supported on Android or Windows that outputs NMEA 0183 sentences. While the development team doesn't certify any device, the following is a list of devices it has used:
This list is not a comprehensive list of all devices that work with Collector.
- Bad Elf GNSS Surveyor, GPS Pro, and GPS Pro+
- Dual XGPS150A and XGPS160
- Eos Arrow Lite, Arrow 100, Arrow 200, and Arrow Gold
- Garmin GLO¹
- Geneq SxBlue II and SxBlue III²
- Juniper Geode
- Leica GG03¹, GG04, and Zeno 20¹
- Septentrio Altus NR2 and Altus GeoPod²
- Spectra Precision SP60¹ and MobileMapper300¹
- Trimble Catalyst¹
Trimble Mobile Manager for Trimble Catalyst is required.
- Trimble R1, R2, R8s¹, and R10¹
For the Trimble R1 receiver on Windows, Collector can't access differential GPS fixes with RTX. However, Collector can get the location with autonomous GPS fixes, as well as SBAS corrected and local base station corrected locations via NTRIP.
For the Trimble R2 receiver on Windows, Collector can't access locations with RTX or local base station corrected locations via NTRIP. Collector can only access autonomous GPS fixes and SBAS corrected locations.
The development team has had issues pairing the Trimble R10 with Samsung Galaxy S5 and S7 devices.
¹Android only; ²Windows only