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Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Borrow a GPS unit

Borrowing a GPS Unit

  • GPS units can be checked out from the Rotch Library circulation desk by members of the MIT community.
  • Units can be checked out for 1 week. If you need the unit for longer, email and explain why you need an extension.
  • 2 AA batteries are required to run each unit. They are not provided by the library.
  • If you lose the unit, you are responsible for replacing it or paying a replacement fee.

About the GPS Units

The following units are available to borrow:

Three Garmin Oregon 600

  • save 200 routes and 4000 waypoints
  • memory: 1.7 GB (microSD slot for expandable memory)
  • high-speed USB and NMEA 0183 compatible
  • compass and altimeter
  • color screen
  • touch screen
  • display size: 1.5"W x 2.5"H
  • 16 hour battery life
  • dimensions: 2.4" x 4.5" x 1.3"
  • weight: 7.4 oz
  • wireless unit-to-unit transfer

Twelve Garmin GPSMAP62s 

  • position accuracy: WAAS enabled 3 meters (high sensitivity quad helix antenna)
  • save 200 routes and 2000 total waypoints
  • memory: 1.7 GB (microSD slot for expandable memory)
  • USB connection to a PC
  • compass and altimeter
  • color screen
  • display size: 2.2 x 1.6 inches (sunlight and nighttime readable)
  • 20 hour battery life at 70 degrees
  • dimensions: 6.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches
  • weight: 9.2 oz

City Navigator software is installed on select GPS units. If you will be working in an urban location, you may want to request a unit with this software.

  • Includes detailed information about streets and points of interest
  • Can be used to provide turn by turn directions
  • Includes data for North America

Transferring Data to your PC

DNRGPS Application can be used to download data from the GPS units.

  • Free, downloadable software
  • Can download waypoints and save them in a variety of formats, such as .shp (ESRI - ArcMap), .kml (Google Earth), .txt, etc.
  • DNRGPS is also installed on the machines in the GIS lab.

Putting basemaps onto the GPS unit

Data from OpenStreetMap can be added as a basemap to a GPS unit to help in your navigating and data collection.

You can find extracts of maps from different countries around the world and download them in different formats.

  • GPX format data can be read by Garmin GPS units as vectors, so it can be read as tracks and waypoints.
  • The .img format is recognizable as a basemap on the GPS units.

Read more about how to contribute data you've collected to OpenStreetMap by uploading it.