How to Export GPS Information From a Smartphone to a Laptop

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Many of today's Windows Mobile Smartphones are manufactured with an internal GPS receiver, making these devices even more versatile and useful if you're an outdoor enthusiast or frequent traveler. Some cell phone carriers install GPS tracking software on these Smartphones, and there are several independent third-party programs that provide the same functionality. By initiating the software and activating the GPS receiver in your Smartphone, a log of your movements is created, which you can later export from the device to overlay your path on a mapping program.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Mobile Smartphone
  • Laptop computer
  • Micro SD storage card
  • USB data cable
  • Mobile Device Center
  • Storage card reader

Direct Connection

  • Connect the Smartphone to your laptop. Plug one end of the USB data cable into your Smartphone and the other end into an available USB port on your laptop. Your laptop will automatically detect the presence of your phone and prepare itself for proper communication with the device.

  • Start Mobile Device Center. Double-click the Mobile Device Center icon on your laptop, or click the "Start" button, highlight "All Programs," then select "Mobile Device Center" from the list of available programs. Mobile Device Center will also detect your connected Smartphone.

  • Locate the GPS file. Double-click the "My Computer" icon on your laptop computer's desktop, then double-click the Smartphone icon to begin browsing the contents of your device. The Smartphone icon will appear below the hard drive and CD-ROM drive in the "My Computer" window, and may even be displayed with the name of your device and a graphic icon that resembles your phone. Navigate through the folders on your Smartphone until you arrive in the one containing the GPS track log you wish to export. Right-click the GPS file and select "Copy" from the options list that appears.

  • Export the GPS file. Browse your laptop computer's folders by double-clicking the "My Computer" icon again, then navigate to the folder in which you want to store the GPS data. Right-click in the folder window and choose "Paste" from the menu that appears. This will initiate the transfer of the GPS data from your Smartphone to your laptop computer.

  • Disconnect your device. After successful completion of the GPS data export, unplug the USB data cable from your laptop and from your Smartphone.

Storage Card

  • Transfer the GPS file to a storage card. Press the "Start" soft key on your Smartphone to open the list of installed programs, then scroll down and select "File Explorer" to begin browsing the contents of your device. Navigate through the list of folders on your device until you locate the GPS information you want to export. Highlight the file, press the "Menu" soft key, select "Edit" from the list of options, then select "Copy" from the secondary options list. Navigate back through your Smartphone's folders and access the micro SD storage card. Choose a folder on the storage card, press the "Menu" soft key, select "Edit" from the options list, then choose "Paste" from the secondary options list. This process will create a duplicate GPS info file on your storage card.

  • Remove the micro SD storage card. Power off your Smartphone and remove the micro SD storage card. On many devices, the storage card is located beneath a small plastic cover on the side of the phone. Lift the cover with your fingernail, gently press down on the card until it releases from the locking mechanism, then remove the card by pulling it up and out of the slot. On other devices, the micro SD storage card is located beneath the battery. Remove your Smartphone battery cover door by following the instructions in your manufacturer's user manual. Gently lift out the battery, locate the storage card, then slide it out from beneath the small metal clasp.

  • Insert the micro SD card into your laptop. Many laptops contain a built-in storage card reader slot on the side or front of the machine. Insert your micro SD storage card into the larger SD adapter that accompanied your initial purchase, then insert the SD adapter into the laptop's card reader slot. Your computer will automatically detect the presence of the SD card and open a window displaying the files and folders.

  • Locate the GPS file. Browse the contents of your storage card until you locate the GPS information, then right-click the file and choose "Cut" from the options list that appears.

  • Export the GPS file. Double-click the "My Computer" icon on your laptop's desktop, navigate to the folder where you want to store the GPS data, then right-click in the folder window and choose "Paste" from the list of options. This will export your GPS file from the micro SD storage card to your laptop computer.

  • Remove the SD adapter from your laptop and replace the micro SD storage card into your Smartphone. Install the battery and replace the cover, then power on your device as normal.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your laptop computer does not have a built-in SD card reader, you can use an external card reader unit. This device gets plugged into one of your laptop's USB ports and is treated identically to the built-in type of card reader once your Smartphone's micro SD card is inserted.
  • Do not turn off your Smarthphone or unplug the USB data cable during the file transfer process. This may result in an incomplete transfer of your GPS file and permanent data loss.

References

  • Photo Credit Cellphone image by maxime prunet from Fotolia.com
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