GPS Modules for Raspberry Pi

Have you ever wondered how fast and far a Raspberry Pi robot runs throughout the day and night? With GPS capabilities and a Linux computer such as Raspberry Pi, you can track a robot or a multirotor and locate these on a map. But in general speaking, with a Raspberry Pi and a GPS unit you can build limitlessness indoor and outdoor applications.

In this article, I explored the most popular GPS systems compatible with Raspberry Pi boards and used in the DIY area. In the list are included GPS add-ons, expansion boards, dongles, shields and other modules such as RasPiGNSS, EM-506, NEO-7M-C, BU-353, the Adafruit Ultimate GPS, 3DR uBlox, and Navigatron v2 – I2C.

If some GPS units cost as much as four cups of coffee at Starbucks, there are also less accessible modules that exceed the price of 100.00€ ($113.00).

In this collection, I present you 14 GPS units with support for Raspberry Pi Model A+, B or B+. So fire up Raspberry Pi and get ready to get your hands dirty.

01. GPS add-on

The GPS add-on compatible with Raspberry Pi B and B+

The GPS add-on compatible with Raspberry Pi B and B+

The 25.75€ ($29.92) add-on for Raspberry Pi B is based on the NEO-6 GPS module. With an input voltage of 3.3V and UART interface, the module returns information such as the current location and time. The add-on is also compatible with the Raspberry Pi Model B+.

02. RasPiGNSS

The RasPiGNSS expansion board

The RasPiGNSS expansion board

If the price is a problem, the 149.00€ ($173.00) RasPiGNSS is an expansion board that certainly is not on the top of the shopping list for any maker. Otherwise, the board is one of the most advanced tracking modules that provide precise positioning for the Pi models A, B, and B+.

  • Installation guide here;

03. GPS expansion board

 Another tracking expansion board for Pi

Another tracking expansion board for Pi

Specially designed for Pi Model B+, the GPS board provides general information about the position and time. At a price of 47.00€ ($55.00), the board is based on the low power usage and high-performance positioning module called Ublox MAX-M8Q.

On top of the board can be attached a battery to keep on the settings in the event of power loss.

04. USB GPS Dongle

The USB GPS Dongle

The USB GPS Dongle

The easiest way to turn your fruit-named single board computer into a navigation device is to use a USB GPS dongle. At a price of 39.00€ ($46.00), the small piece of hardware supports Linux and ARM architecture. Also, it’s based on the high sensitive GPS chipset called SiRF Star III.

05. GPS shield

The stackable GPS shield for Pi

The stackable GPS shield for Pi

Using the standard NMEA protocol to provide information like speed, position and altitude, the GPS shield works great both inside and outside. It is available at a price of €82.00 ($94.00) and enables the data via serial port. It’s not cheap, but it has great features.

06. EM-506

The €35.00($40) GPS module is another receiver based on the SiRF StarIII chipset. Like the USB GPS dongle described above, the EM-506 provides the position very accurate even in urban canyon and dense foliage environment. The features include a position accuracy of 2.5m, and without any network assistance, it can predict for up to three days the satellite positions.

07. NEO-7M-C


With 56 receive channels and an IPX interface, the NEO-7M-C is easy to use and has a price of €24.00 ($28.00). The receiver is engineered to support a large variety of software like Google Earth, u-center and more.

08. Dexter Industries GPS

The stackable Dexter Industries GPS

The stackable Dexter Industries GPS

With an accurate position of 2.5 meters and a velocity of 0.1 m/sec, the Dexter Industries GPS is a good solution to build an all-in-one tracking application. The €39.00($45.00) shield can work on Raspberry Pi only with the Arduberry shield. The Arduberry shield is compatible with the Raspberry Pi and allows you to attach the receiver shield.

  • An instructables tutorial that shows you how to setup and start receiving the data from the Dexter Industries shield: GPS and the Raspberry Pi;

09. BU-353

The BU-353 USB dongle

The BU-353 USB dongle

Designed to work with any Linux computer, the €29.00 ($33.00) USB GPS receiver has a high sensitivity and an accurate position of 10 meters.

10. Adafruit Ultimate GPS

The Adafruit Ultimate GPS system

The Adafruit Ultimate GPS system

With a position accuracy of 1.8 meters and a velocity of 0.1 m/s, the Adafruit GPS Breakout is a very sensitive device for high speed movements. It has a price of €35.00($40.00) and a power consumption of only 20 mA during navigation.

11. 3DR uBlox

The 3DR uBlox compatible with  with 3DR APM 2.6 autopilot system

The 3DR uBlox compatible with with 3DR APM 2.6 autopilot system

Designed for multicopters and rovers, the €79.00($90.00) GPS module is based on the HMC5883L digital compass. And because it’s a system for flying robots, the uBlox supports configuration to work with 3DR APM 2.6 autopilot system.

12. GSM/GPRS & GPS shield

The GSM/GPRS & GPS shield

The GSM/GPRS & GPS shield

At a price of 11.50€ ($13.00), you have an expansion shield that provides you GSM, GPRS and GPS data. The shield is engineered to expand the Raspberry Pi functionalities for mobile applications, and because our focus is the GPS functionality, the stackable shield is definitely a good device for robot applications.

13. 3G/GPRS shield

A 3G and GPRS shield for Pi

A 3G and GPRS shield for Pi

The 3G/GPRS shield is a device designed for Internet of Things applications. And because we are talking here about GPS data, the shield also provides the location and stay connected to the 3G network. The price is huge, about €149.00 ($158.00), and it’s compatible with Pi, Intel Galileo and Arduino boards.

14. Navigatron v2 – I2C

The Navigatron v2 - I2C navigation system

The Navigatron v2 – I2C navigation system

With v2 – i2c we enter into the open-source area. The module has MultiWii 2.0 support and is a solution for low speed microprocessors. It has a price of €45.00 ($51.00).

7 comments » Write a comment

  1. Thanks for list, but do we have any practical specs for comparison?
    Which, if any, are suitable for a auto GPS application?

  2. 16.12.2016
    A good report but for GPS only.
    Since 15.12.2016 the positional satellite system Galileo is in operation offering a finer resolution and is not controlled by the military.
    I would like to see tests for Galileo receivers please

  3. Nigel,
    I take contact with RaspiGNSS today and says that the device is hardware galileo ready but not the firmware.
    You can take contact with the chipset manufacturer ( they have a beta version of Galileo firmware but it’s not yet in production

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