Easy Basics: Project 081j ESP8266 ESP-12E module, NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module - GPS data from Thingspeak

of Lex C in ESP8266 ESP-12

Basics: Project 081j

Project name: ESP8266 ESP-12E module, NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module - GPS data from Thingspeak on Google Maps

Tags: Arduino, Arduino Uno, ESP8266 ESP-12E module, ESP, ESP8266, WI FI module, ESP-12E, LoLin NODEMCU V3, NODEMCU, NEO-6M GPS module, GY-NEO6MV2 GPS Module, GY-GPS6MV2, NEO6MV2, TinyGPSPlus library, TinyGPS++ library, UBOX, GPS data, Thing Speak, Google Maps, Thingspeak

Attachments: sketch1 and library1, library2 and webpage

In this project, you needed these parts (Dear visitors. You can support our project buy clicking on the links of parts and buying them or donate us to keep this website alive. Thank you):

1. NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module (it comes with an external antenna, and does’t come with header pins. So, you’ll need to get and solder some) 1pc

2. Jumper cables F-F

3. Arduino IDE ( you can download it from here  )

4. ESP8266 ESP-12E module with micro USB cable 1pc


We will learn how to use ESP8266 ESP-12E module with NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module to read GPS data from Thingspeak and show it on the Google Maps.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System and it is used to find out location, altitude, speed, date and time in UTC. In this project we are going to interface a GPS module with NodeMCU.

Projects steps:

  1. NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module will get GPS data from satellites;
  2. ESP8266 ESP-12E module will upload the GPS data (Latitude and Longitude) on Thingspeak server. 
  3. GPS data from Thingspeak server will be parsed on web page with Google Maps using the Google Map API key.

Understanding the NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module

You can read more about it here.

Understanding the ESP8266 ESP-12E WI FI module (LoLin NODEMCU V3)

You can read more about it here.

Signals and connections of the NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module

The NEO6MV2 GPS module comes with 4 connections: RX, TX, VCC and GND, which is quite easy to incorporate with using SoftwareSerial on an Arduino Uno or a serial interface on an Arduino Mega. The power supply of the NEO6M should be 3.6V at max according to the datasheet. The typical China-produced breakout-boards contain a voltage regulator so that 3-5V VCC so it does not harm the board. Since the digital pins also produce 5V, the voltage divider is used on the receivers RX channel since this is not regulated.

RX (or RXD) - receive pin. Connected to Arduino board TX pin.

TX (or TXD) - transmit pin. Connected to Arduino board RX pin.

VCC - power supply. Can be connected to +5VDC or +3.3VDC pin of Arduino board.

GND - ground. Connected to Arduino board GND pin.

PPS - Pulse per second. This is an output pin on some GPS modules. Generally, when this pin toggles, once a second, you can synchronize your system clock to the GPS clock.

Signals and connections of the ESP8266 ESP-12E WI FI module (LoLin NODEMCU V3)

TX - transmit pin. GPIO pin

RX  - receive pin.  GPIO pin

3V3 (or 3V or 3.3V) - power supply pin (3-3.6V). 

GND ( or G) - ground pin.

RST - reset pin. Keep it on high (3.3V) for normal operation. Put it on 0V to reset the chip.

EN - Chip enable. Keep it on high (3.3V) for normal operation.

Vin - External power supply 5VDC.

D0-D8 - GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) pins 

D5-D8 - SPI interface

D1-D2– I²C/TWI Interface

SC (or CMD) - (Chip Select) - the pin that the master can use to enable and disable specific devices. GPIO pin

SO (or SDO) - Master In Slave Out (MISO) - SPI communication. The Slave line for sending data to the master. GPIO pin

SK (or CLK) - SCK (Serial Clock) - SPI communication.The clock pulses which synchronize data transmission generated by the master. GPIO pin

S1 (or SD1) - Master Out/Slave In (MOSI). SPI communication. The Master line for sending data to the peripherals. GPIO pin

S2 (or SD2) - GPIO pin

S3 (or SD3) - GPIO pin

VU (or VUSB) - external power 5VDC.

A0 - ADC output.

RSV - reserved



D1 (GPIO5)
D2 (GPIO4)


ESP8266 ESP-12E module -> NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module

3V3            VCC
GND           GND

Step by Step instruction

1. Adding ESP8266 platform to Arduino IDE

The Arduino environment has to be set up to make it compatible with the ESP8266 ESP-12E module. We are using PC with Windows 7 OS.

  1. Download and install the Arduino IDE. You can download it here 
  2. Open Arduino IDE. 
  3. Open the Preferences window from the Arduino IDE. Go to File -> Preferences.
  4. Enter http://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json into Additional Board Manager URLs field and click the “OK” button. If you already have a URL in there, and want to keep it, you can separate multiple URLs by placing a comma between them. (Arduino 1.6.5 added an expanded text box, separate links in here by line.)
  5. Open Boards manager. Go to Tools -> Board -> Boards Manager…

  6. There should be a couple new entries in addition to the standard Arduino boards. Look for esp8266. or scroll down to the ESP8266 entry (usually at the bottom). Select the ESP8266 entry. When you click it an install option will appear. Select the latest version and click install
  7. The board definitions and tools for the ESP8266 include a whole new set of gcc, g++, and other reasonably large, compiled binaries, so it may take a few minutes to download and install (the archived file is ~110MB). Once the installation has completed, an Arduino-blue “INSTALLED” will appear next to the entry.

2. Registering with Thing Speak and creating a channel

Thing Speak (ThingSpeak.com) allows you to send and publish your sensor readings to their website and display them in a plot with time stamps. You can access your readings from anywhere in the world. Of course this project can be easily modified to publish the values to your home automation hub or another application instead of Thing Speak. 

  1. Go to ThingSpeak.com web page.
  2. If you don’t have an account on Thing Speak you need to make it. Enter your email address, User ID, password, first name, last name and select the place you leave. Tick on box for I accept Online Services Agreement:
  3. Press Continue button. Email will be automatically sent to your email address.
  4. Go to your inbox for your email address.
  5. Click on the link in email which you received from mathworks.com.
  6. After your account is ready, sign in and open the Channels tab.
  7. Press the New Channel button to make a new channel. Create a new channel with two fields - Latitude and Longitude.
  8. Click on Save Channel button on the bottom of the webpage.
  9. Go to API Keys tab.
  10. Copy Write API key, Read API key and Channel ID. We will use them further in our sketch.
  11. Go to Private View tab.

3. Uploading sketch to ESP8266 ESP-12E development board

If you’re using an ESP-12E NodeMCU Kit, uploading the sketch is very simple, since it has built-in programmer. 

Before use ESP8266 ESP-12E WI FI module (LoLin NODEMCU V3), you need to download the manufacture's driver (CH340)  for this chip and install it in your PC. Here is the link. See the description of driver installation package below: CH340 / CH341 USB to serial WINDOWS driver installation package that supports 32/64 bit Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8/7 / VISTA / XP, SERVER 2016/2012/2008/2003, 2000 / ME / 98, through Microsoft digital signature authentication, support USB to 3-wire and 9-wire serial port, with the product release To the end user. Applicable scope: CH340G, CH340C, CH340B, CH340E, CH340T, CH340R, CH341A, CH341T, CH341H chips.

If you have CP2102 chip then  you need to download the manufacture's driver for this chip and install it in your PC. Driver for MacWindowsLinux or more.. 

  1. Do wiring.
  2. Open Arduino IDE.
  3. Plug your ESP8266 ESP-12E module into your PC USB port.
  4. Choose your NodeMCU board. Go to Tools -> Board -> NodeMCU 1.0 (ESP-12E Module)
  5. Select the correct com port.
  6. Open and modify the  sketch1 . Type your WiFi network ssid and password, type your Thingspeak Write API Key and Channel ID.
  7. Compile and upload  sketch1  to your ESP8266 ESP-12E module. If everything went as expected, you should see a “Done uploading” message. 
  8. Press RST button on your ESP8266 ESP-12E module to reset it.

  9. Open the Serial Monitor at 115200 baud. You will see the GPS data and local IP address (in our case IP address -
  10. It will take some time before you will get the proper data (when blue led on GPS module starts to flash).
  11. If everything is correct you can see the updated GPS data on your Thing Speak charts.

4. Getting the API key for Google Maps

  1. You need to have a GMAIL account and be logged in to it.
  2. Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console.
  3. Tick the box on and click on Agree and Continue.
  4. Create or select a project. Click on Create.
  5. Type the project name (you can have up to 12 projects) and click on Create button.
  6. Click on +ENABLE APIS AND SERVICES button to enable the API and any related services.
  7. Click on Maps JavaScript API.
  8. Click on Enable button.
  9. Click on Credentials.
  10. Click on Create Credentials button and select API key.
  11. The API key will be created.
  12. Click on Close button.
  13. You can rename and set the API key restrictions. 
  14. Click on Save button.
  15. Copy the entire API code from this page to your text editor.
  16. To prevent quota theft and secure your API key, see Using API Keys. (Optional) Enable billing. See Usage Limits for more information.

5. Modifying the webpage

  1. Download the webpage. Unzip the file, it will be index.html inside. Open index.html with Notepad++. You can download it here.
  2. Modify index.html file - You will need to insert the Google Maps API key, Read API key and Channel ID from Thing Speak.
  3. Save index.html file.
  4. Open index.html file with any web browser (Google Chrome, Microsoft Explorer...)
  5. You will see the Google map with your position marker.



We learnt how to use ESP8266 ESP-12E module with NEO-6M GY-GPS6MV2 GPS module to read GPS data from Thingspeak and show it on the Google Maps.


  • It takes for about half a minute or one to read the data by the GPS module initially when you run it, so do not panic for this it’s very usual.
  • It happens in some case that it is unable to detect the data that might be the issue with antenna, so unplug the antenna( if it is detachable) and attach it again.
  • If, code says “Check Connection”, then you should definitely check it twice, before giving up. Also, sometimes interchanging the TX and RX pins is preferable and surprisingly works.


  • See attachments on the begining of this project description.
  • TinyGPS++ library. Download, unzip  and add to libraries in our PC, for example C:\Users\toshiba\Documents\Arduino\libraries. This link you can find in Preferences of Adruino IDE program which installed in your PC. 
  • SoftwareSerial library included in Arduino IDE. The library has the following known limitations: If using multiple software serial ports, only one can receive data at a time;Not all pins on the Mega and Mega 2560 support change interrupts, so only the following can be used for RX: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 50, 51, 52, 53, A8 (62), A9 (63), A10 (64), A11 (65), A12 (66), A13 (67), A14 (68), A15 (69);Not all pins on the Leonardo and Micro support change interrupts, so only the following can be used for RX: 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 (MISO), 15 (SCK), 16 (MOSI);On Arduino or Genuino 101 the current maximum RX speed is 57600bps; On Arduino or Genuino 101 RX doesn't work on Pin 13
  • ESP8266WiFi library included in Arduino IDE.
  • ThingSpeak library. Download, unzip  and add to libraries in our PC, for example C:\Users\toshiba\Documents\Arduino\libraries. This link you can find in Preferences of Adruino IDE program which installed in your PC. You can read more about it here.

Project resources:

  • See attachments on the begining of this project description

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Published at 05-05-2019
Viewed: 3749 times