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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 information desk by members of the MIT community.
  • Units can be checked out for 1 week. If you need the unit for longer, email gishelp@mit.edu to ask for 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. Many desktop GIS and online mapping programs can read .gpx files, which are outputed from GPS units.

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.