While the use of GPS in browsers on Android and iOS devices is pretty much standard, it seems that support in 'desktop' browsers (say, Edge on Windows 10) is lacking.

I have a Windows 10 tablet with a USB GPS device connected to it, and I installed GPSDirect (a Windows GPS sensor driver) that reads NMEA sentences from the GPS COM port, In its testing app, I can see the exact coordinates coming in.

However, when I try to get a precise location in Edge (Google Maps), it looks far from accurate, and I suspect that it is based on Wifi access points only.

I have not been able to find any information about Edge, or any other browser, supporting the Windows GPS sensor. Does anyone know if this is actually possible? And if not, does Cordova support physical GPS devices?

Years ago, we had to use GPSGate to use a GPS in a desktop browser, but I was hoping those days were over.

  • I don't really have a GPS device on my laptop, but it sounds like you need to allow the browsers to give permissions to the website you're visiting to use GPS.. In Chrome, a website should pop up a message, or click the (i) button on the left to the address bar and allow the Location setting
    – Sanny
    May 19, 2017 at 12:49
  • Yeah, but that doesn't say anything about the source of the location. It may be a gps device, it may be based on ip address only. That's what I'm trying to find out.
    – Berend
    May 21, 2017 at 10:38
  • How about testing the location using the native Map app in Windows? would it give you the exact location? I suspect that the Map app and other programmes like web browsers would use the location calculated by the system and not directly by the GPS driver.
    – Sanny
    May 21, 2017 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


I have tested this on a Windows 10 tablet, with an external GPS device connected to the USB port.

I am glad to say that it works, and that the exact location is available in Edge. It also works in a Cordova app. I haven't tested any other browser.

Prerequisites are:

  • A USB-to-COM driver
  • Windows Location Sensor software (GPSDirect). This costs €10 per device

If anyone knows about other browsers, or the use of internal GPS devices, please add that information.

  • I'm testing with on board GPS with Panasonic toughpad, edge is working but chrome and Firefox ignores the GPS
    – Yehuda
    Apr 30, 2018 at 10:14

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