GBA GPS mapping receiver

From GameBrew

GBA GPS mapping receiver
AuthorMikhail Sharonov
Last Updated2005/04/04
TypeOther apps

GBA GPS is an aplications that allows you to use Game Boy Advance as a mapping receiver and scan maps with a GPS device.


  • Up to 20 maps (raster images (scanned maps, satellite images, whatever) of any size.
  • Automatic (searches appropriate map when position is out of the current map) or manual switch between maps.
  • Always holds current position on the map at the screen center by fast (but in dependence on the speed) and precise scrolling of the map).
  • Browse mode allows to view maps (pretty similar to GPS picture viewer).
  • GPS fix can be shown/hidden (Time, Number of satellites, Latitude, Longitude and Altitude).
  • Adjustable parameters of serial port.
  • Shows NMEA messages for debug.
  • zoom out to 2x, 4x, 8x.
  • Gamma correction of the images.

User guide

What is needed:

  • GBA console.
  • GBA flash cartridge.
  • Any GPS sensor/receiver with NMEA 0183 output (serial (RS232) at 1200, 4800, 9600, 38400, 57600 or 115200 bps).


  • There are many different sensors available, from inexpensive stamp size modules with the price less than $40, GPSR/sensor from Garmin or Magellan and others. Almost all sensors/receivers have NMEA output, but some of them operate only at 4800 bps, this baud rate is currently unsupported. This limitation is due to limitations of GBA UART mode.
  • All tests are done with Magellan Meridian GPS.



gbagps4.png gbagps5.png



  • Based on your comments new features are implemented in v.2: a) speed b) heading c) auto saving the settings and the last position on the map.
  • New menu items are added to the GBA program.
  • New default settings are added to the ROM maker program to turn on and off the heading marker and to select units for the speed (MPH, Km/H).
  • Screens (GPS fix - (GPS fix+speed) - (speed only) - nothing) are switchable in turn with the "R" button.
  • Auto saving works with flash card with the RAM.
  • If no RAM exists or the RAM is not as expected, the map will be loaded with the default settings (not tested, I do not have flash card without RAM). When signal disapears 0 satelites are shown (bug of previous version). I still keep the old version in case ver. 2 has bugs.


  • Pat Crowe have connected Trimble LassenSQ module to GBA . Please see Appendix C for details.


  • Several bugs were fixed in GBA GPS ROM maker.


  • Tested with Garmin Etrex. Works fine.


  • I attached GPS sensor from the Microsoft Street and Trips 2005 bundle (see Appendix B for details). It has slightly different NMEA output format, I did support of NMEA more flexible, now my program reads both Meridian GPS and Microsoft GPS fine.
  • Minor bugs fixed in GBA GPS ROM maker.


  • 1200 and 4800 baud rates are added.
  • Algorithm of movement is improved (more smooth scrolling).
  • Menu "settings" is added to GBA maker program to change default settings.

External links