GeoDB Application for the Palm OS
Version 1.1*


GeoDB Location Display GeoDB is an application for the Palm OS based handhelds to store Earth location information.
This information is available to be imported by all of the geographic oriented programs at the Bray Palm OS Page, as well as third-party applications designed to accept data from GeoDB.

GeoDB stores the following data:

GeoDB allows the locations to be organized into multiple databases. You can build these databases on your Palm by:

See more about the sources of data and databases below in the section called Memo.

Why GeoDB

By storing ones favorite locations in GeoDB it is a trivial task to change the reference for Earth & Sun, GeoMagneticInfo, or any of the three stored location in RiseSet. An additional feature provides the computation of Daylight Time when a location is imported. GeoDB returns the state of daylight time to the importing application.

Its is also easy to compute great circle distances with GreatCircle and GeoDB.

There are other database applications that can store similar information such as in GeoDB. However, none of these offer sufficient accuracy to take full advantage of the accuracy in RiseSet and Earth & Sun.

To allow long location names to be displayed, the main display screen rounds all coordinates to the nearest whole degree. However, the latitude and longitude values may be entered to an accuracy of better than 0.1 inches (0.25 cm). This may seem like 'overkill', but it allows for future use of GeoDB for high precision data applications such as surveying. Each application which imports data from GeoDB can use as much of the precision as it needs.

We hope you find GeoDB a useful adjunct to your Palm applications.


Installation is simple. Unzip the file. Use your Palm installer to install geodb11.prc.
GeoDB will be placed in the 'Unfiled' category. You may move it to any category.
The archive file includes:
The executable file to be installed in your Palm.
This file -- geodb.html
gdbdls.gif, gdbedit.gif, gdbeditdls.gif, gdbempty.gif, gdbmain.gif, gdbmenu.gif, gdbmenum, gdbmenud, gdbmenme.gig, gdbnew.gif
Images for geodb.html
A zip archive of data and databases to assist making your own GeoDB databases.

GeoDB First Opening Screen

Using the Program

When you first open GeoDB the main screen has no data locations defined. You will see the default database name, GeoDBData, the data headings at the top and five buttons along the bottom.
These button are: Other controls are available in the menus -- discussed below.

New Dialog You create a location entry by taping the New button.

This pops up a dialog box, as shown to the right, with all of the record fields empty.
The rules for filling the fields are as follows:

This ends the discussion about the buttons.

Enter Your First Location

To begin entering data into GeoDB tap the New button. Follow the instruction discussed above.
The completed dialog box when finished entering data should look something like this:

Completed Edit Dialog

GeoDB Command Menu

Menu Items

There are three major menus: Command, DataBase, Memo -- they are discussed next.


Actions of the menu items:


It is important to understand the rules of GeoDB databases before discussing the controls of the databases.
Because any Palm OS application can make a query of GeoDB to obtain a location. If GeoDB is installed in a Palm OS memory, there must also be a non-empty GeoDB database in memory. Therefore GeoDB takes steps to insure that a non-empty one exists. This is done by the following rules: GeoDB Database Menu
Actions of the menu items:


These menu items are used for creating and storing database via synchronization to/from the Palm Desktop using the MemoPad.

Included in the geodb??.zip you downloaded is another archive: This includes CSV data for locations worldwide. You can use this data with the menus discussed here. Also, more documentation is in

There are a number of restriction to the actions of importing and exporting data to the MemoPad.
It is fine for a small number of locations, but a much easier way to put data into GeoDB is to use the tools in GeoDB Data Tool archive mentioned at the beginning of this page. The GeoDB Data Tools archive contains over 740 locations in both text, CSV form, and 9 ready to install GeoDB databases.

If you do not have GeoDB Tools you may download it by clicking here.

GeoDB Export Menu GeoDB Memo Menu
Actions of the menu items:

Import/Export, along with examples of usage, are discussed next.

GeoDB Import/Export Limits and Examples

There is a limitation to the import/export size. Palm OS memos are limited to 4000 characters. Therefore be sure that any memo to be imported/exported meets these limit. This limit is about 110 CSV format location lines.

The data to be imported must be in a comma separated values CSV format. There is a problem with this format because of the European use of ',' for the decimal point, but this format was chosen because it is easy to create/import to other database software, such as Excel.

Rules for Synchronization, Import, and Export:

  1. Memos to be constructed in the Palm Desktop are limited to 4000 characters.
  2. This limit applies to the synchronization process from/to the Palm Desktop to the Palm OS.
  3. This limit applies to the export from GeoDB to a memo in MemoPad.
  4. GeoDB can hold an 'unlimited' amount of data. Thus to build a large database in your Palm OS, synchronize a number of memos to the Palm OS's MemoPad then import them one at a time into GeoDB.

Example of importing the entire US data into the GeoDB database:

  1. In the Palm Desktop create a new memo. Call it, say, 'us1' on the first line. Save it.
  2. Edit memo us1. Cut about 1/3 of the us.csv file and paste it into us1 starting on the line following 'us1'. (us.csv is 321 line so 1/3 is very close to the memo size limit.)
  3. Repeat this for the other two parts into memos us2, and us3.
  4. Synchronize the Palm Desktop and the Palm OS device. This will move the three memos us1, us2, us3, into the Palm's MemoPad. This will also save the current GeoDB database(s) to your Palm Desktop.
  5. Open GeoDB. Use any or the 'New', Rename', or 'Delete' memu items discussed above to obtain an empty GeoDBData base.
  6. Open GeoDB again (if necessaary). The GeoDBData database will active and empty.
  7. Open the 'Memo' menu. Import the three us1, us2, us3, memos.
  8. Rename the GeoDBData database to be, say, 'USA'.

Note on Database Backup

When you synchronize your Palm with your desktop the GeoDB database(s) will be backed up. Should you have to reload your Palm you can install the backed up GeoDB database(s). They will be have an extension of '.pdb'.

Use of GeoDB by other Palm OS Application

Any Palm application may use GeoDB to hold data for importation to the application.
Contact David W. Bray for a simple C subroutine and instructions to do importing.

Contact Info

GeoDB was created by David W. Bray, Potsdam, NY;
Copyright © 1999-2004 David W. Bray, All Rights Reserved.

The Bray Palm OS Page can be found at:


GeoDB is freeware no registration is required. We hope you enjoy using it.

This archive may be freely redistributed, provided it is made available only in its complete, unmodified form with no additional files. It may be distributed for commercial use if it accompanied by an application that imports its data.
Any other use must have prior written authorization from David W. Bray.

Unauthorized commercial use includes, but is not limited to:


This program is provided without warranty and the user accepts full responsibility for any damages, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from any use or misuse of this application.

Foot Notes

Examples of GMT Offset

GMT Time Zone Offset is the number of hours the Palm's local clocks differ from that of Greenwich Observatory in England. Set the Time Zone menu to correspond to the following table according to your location.

United StatesAround the World
Time ZonesOffsetTime ZonesOffset
Eastern 5 West British Isles 0 East
Central 6 West Western Europe 1 East
Mountain 7 West Eastern Europe 2 East
Pacific 8 West So. Africa 2 East
Alaska 9 West Russia 3 East
Hawaii 10 West Japan 9 East
  Eastern Australia 10 East

Back to "GMT Offset"


I wish to thank Michael Kilby for many valuable suggestions for GeoDB.

*Program Changes starting at Version 1.0

Version 1.0 Bld:249 is the original release.
  1. An empty database is completely deleted upon closing GeoDB.
    This eliminates requiring at least one location in the database to prevent access errors. (V1.0 Bld:301)
  2. Improved error messages. (V1.0 Bld:303)
  3. Added dummy button for refresh, and other fixes for OS5 (V1.0 Bld:308)
  4. Fixed a bug in the Daylight Time computation. (V1.1 Bld:315)
  5. Added commands: 'DataBase/Find', 'DataBase/Selected', 'DataBase/Top', 'DataBase/Open', 'DataBase/Rename', 'DataBase/Info', 'DataBase/New', 'DataBase/Delete', 'Meno/Import', 'Memo/Export' (V1.1 Bld:315)
  6. An import error message corrected to '9 fields'. (V1.1 Bld:316)
  7. Changes to improve OS4/OS5 compatibility. (V1.1 Bld:316)
  8. Changed focus on 'Find'. (V1.1 Bld:402)
  9. Changed allowed database file name size. (V1.1 Bld:402)
  10. Changed North American daylight savings rule to 2007. (V1.1 Bld:704)
Future releases will change the version number only for major changes. All changes will have an increasing Bld: (build) number.
To be sure that your version is up-to-date a check the Bld: number shown in the 'About' screen.

The current Bld: is 704.