I'm looking for a GPS logger to create tracks whilst walking that I can later use to geotag photos. I have been using a Q-Starz BT1000P for this for several years, but would like to replace it for the following reasons:

  • I can't trust that it will work for more than 1-2 days as there are no indications of failure - I once lost an entire day's track because it had frozen completely early on, and lost another day trying to fix it - ultimately I needed to pull the battery for an extended period to reset it, losing all data that was on it. As a consequence I download the log daily
  • Accessing/downloading the tracks requires using Q-Starz's proprietary software - this requires Windows (for driver and software), and a working internet connection (to actually do anything) due to a dependency on Google Maps API. This software hadn't been updated in quite some time, and uses an embedded Internet Explorer instance to display the map, which given that Google Maps doesn't support IE any longer means that it is just a matter of time before it stops working completely.

Therefore, what I'm looking for is something that records logs in a format that is easily readable and doesn't require special OS-specific software/drivers to access - e.g. exposing itself as a flash drive, or recording to an SD or micro SD card - that I could then access via USB-OTG with my Android smartphone, or preferably backup automatically to my WD My Passport Wireless Pro (which is a self-contained battery-powered HDD with a USB port and SD card reader for automatic 'headless' importing/backing up of SD cards and USB flash drives).


  • Log position frequently enough to create an accurate walking track (every few metres/seconds)
  • Battery life of at least 1-2 days walking whilst tracking (min 12 hours per day), preferably longer
  • USB chargeable, or with user replaceable batteries (if replaceable then non-proprietary), to allow for longer term (e.g. week-long) use
  • Log format is readable on Windows/Android, and easily converted to GPX
  • Currently available to purchase in UK/EU - emphasising this as all of the options I've seen recommended (for example in Recommended driverless GPS loggers? on GIS Exchange) have long been impossible to buy
  • How do you feel about DIY? Raspberry Pi 3 (or etc), usb gps, sd card, some code which many other people have done similar projects, and of course USB battery packs. If you get a 64gb sd card you may never have to delete a file ever. A bit of programming and you can add basically whatever features you want. Pi 3 has built-in wi-fi and bluetooth (use significantly more power if left on continously)
    – cybernard
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 0:05
  • @cybernard May be worth looking into - do you know of any examples that people have documented online? Commented May 21, 2018 at 20:13

2 Answers 2


portable logger


  • 51 channels MTK chipset with enhanced positioning system technology (up to 1.5m accuracy with EPS Technology
  • Voice-Tag function with built-in microphone allows adding live voice labels to any waypoint
  • MicroSD Slot with support up to 2GB* capacity (about 25,000,000 waypoints, more than 2 years) *NOTE: 1GB microSD card is optional in the package
  • Push-To-Log (POI anchor key) enables you to mark a POI at any time Unique SPY mode allows continuous standby logging of more than one month

    Battery Life:

  • Navigation & Track Log Mode: 13-15 hours
  • Navigation Mode: 15-17 hours
  • Track log Mode: 18-24 hours
  • Spy Mode: 15- 30 days
  • Full charge should take about 2 - 3 hours.
  • Beeping can not be turned off. (This may not be true)

enter image description here http://www.cbgps.com/download/Columbus_V-900_User_Manual_V4.0_ENG.pdf Which kind of beeping is it? Page 9 section 2 step 4 if it the over speed alarm use the software to configure the over speed alarm. Setting it to max value should shut it off. The max value is 300km/h

  • Beeping can not be turned off? What beeping?
    – Michael
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:16
  • @Michael I have no idea what beeping, I copied and pasted it from somewhere. Back in May 22, I could have given you the source, but its been too long. I have a different logger, but my model has been discontinued so I had to recommend another.
    – cybernard
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:03
  • Thanks for the update! I was concerned it would be more like "Beeps every time it takes a sample" or such nonsense. I once had a cordless phone that beeped every time it switched channels, which was at all hours of the night, and there was no way to turn it off either - wound up opening it up and cutting a wire.
    – Michael
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:16
  1. Your existing cell phone
  2. GPS app
  3. save to phone/sd card
  4. extra USB battery packs to keep cell phone charged.


Cell phones use different GPS chipsets, therefore I can't say you will get reception or how good it will be. Your cellphone's GPS may or may not be accurate and enough for you. Also get an app that logs in the background so screen can be off.

  • I had though of that, but unfortunately the battery life of my current phone makes it only suitable for short-term tracking, even with an external battery pack. I could probably use for a day or two with external power, but certainly no longer than that. Commented May 21, 2018 at 20:08
  • Ugh. I came here looking for an alternative to cell phones because of the problematic nature they pose (i.e. the software stack doing a lot of things mediocre rather than one thing really well, the difficulty determining how good GPS actually is on any given phone, and the decline of good phones with removable batteries)
    – Michael
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:13

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