PalmGrassSites - PalmGeoSurvey

What is PGS?

PGS stands both for PalmGeoSurvey and PalmGrassSites. It is a software for Portable Digital Assistants (PDAs) that, connected to a GPS device, allows to store punctual geographical data directly on the field. The data stored in the PDA can be transferred automatically to GRASS as a site file.

What is GRASS?

GRASS stands for Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, it comes with GPL license, you can find more information in one of the GRASS mirror sites you will find at

Supported PDA Platforms/GPS receivers

Since a completely free platform for PDAs is not current available, this program was designed to be portable to a large number of PDA available in commerce, building it on top of the WABA Virtual Machine. The supported platforms are listed in Wabasoft site. Currently WABA Virtual Machine runs on cheap Motorola Dragonball based PDA as on 3Com PalmOS, Handspring Visor, TI calculators and the more expensive ones as the IPaq or others based on the StrongArm CPU.

Almost all GPS receivers are supported, the only requirement being a NMEA serial port.

PGS has been tested with a PalmIIIxe and a Garmin eTrex GPS receiver of my own. Feedback on porting to other platforms is appreciated.


PGS Setup
PGS sytem setup The mainscreen with
PGS and Waba VM icons

Frequently Asked Question

None at the moment.


To begin with, you will need waba VM. WABA is licensed under the GPL and can be downloaded from WABA website. The PGS distribution includes the executables (pgs.pdb and pgs.prc) for palmOS. To compile yourself PGS, you will need WabaSDK and the wextras extension by Rob Nielsen, Australia.

Once you have PGS installed, just connect a GPS receiver to your PDA, using a serial nullmodem cable. Tapping on the "GPS" button of the GUI will read coordinates from GPS. The other fields are specific for structural geology surveys, but you can easily adapt them to your own needs.

To import data you collected on the field, you will need the pilot-link tools. The PDB file to be transferred to the PC is named "Grass.GrSi".

The Python script "", included in PGS distribution can convert the Grass.GrSi PDB file into a GRASS ASCII site file. depends on the PeepDB module by Alexey Vyskubov.

Where PGS is used?

Just read the Lat/Lon from PGS from the place you used it and send me an email, a map with PGS users will be added in this page.


PGS is distributed under the General Public License:

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

The text of GPL license is available here and together with the PGS distribution.


Bug Reports

Users that find a Bug can send informations by e mail to Alessandro Frigeri (

Known Bugs

Version 0.11
Version 0.10



WABAsoft Home
Here you can download the Waba VM (source and executables) for your PDA as well as the Waba SDK.

Alessandro Frigeri 2002 | Last Update: 3rd Oct 2003

surveyors since 1st Oct 2002.