Garmin Communicator Plugin API


The Garmin Communicator Plugin is an exciting new software program that transfers data between websites and Garmin GPS Devices. The Garmin Communicator Plugin API allows developers to integrate the Communicator Plugin into any website.

The API is a JavaScript library that provides user interface components that will transfer GPS data between a website and a Garmin device. The result is a toolkit that can connect any website’s visitors to Garmin devices with very little development effort.

API Features

  • Auto-detection of devices connected to a computer
  • Access to device product information like product name and software version
  • Read tracks, routes and waypoints from supported recreational, fitness and navigation devices
  • Write tracks, routes and waypoints to supported recreational, fitness and navigation devices
  • Read fitness data from supported fitness devices
  • Geo-code address and save to a device as a waypoint or favorite
  • Read and write Garmin XML files (GPX and TCX) as well as binary files.
  • Support for most Garmin devices (USB, USB mass-storage, most serial devices)
  • Support for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome on Microsoft Windows.
  • Support for Safari, Firefox and Chrome on Mac OS X.


The Garmin Communicator API is a JavaScript framework that hides the details of working directly with the underlying browser plugin. It consists of three tiers, each more user-friendly than the one it builds on.
The easiest to use is the DeviceDisplay which can be added to a web site with just a few lines of configuration code. The next tier down is the DeviceControl which is for JavaScript programmers who need more control over the event model. Lastly the DevicePlugin is a low-level plugin wrapper for developers who need bare-metal access.

Garmin Communicator Plugin API Architecture

Getting Started

Anyone is free to write software to do cool stuff using Garmin GPS data via the API. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Download and Install Garmin Browser Plugin
  2. Sign up for an API account key
  3. Try the cut-and-paste examples from the DeviceDisplay
  4. More advanced users can work at the DeviceControl level.

Developer Resources


The JavaScript source files are all you need to integrate most features into your website. The source files may be accessed in three ways:

  • Distribution (Recommended) – Download the distribution file and deploy the necessary scripts on your own site and access resources locally.
  • Specific Hosted Version – Reference a specific version of the API hosted at the Garmin Developer website with the following URL format: .
  • Latest Hosted Version (Use only for testing) – Reference the latest version of the API hosted at Garmin Developer website. Please note that referencing the latest version of the scripts has potential of breaking your code when files are updated on our server.

Note: Source code is distributed under the Apache 2.0 open source license. Find out more about the licenses.


Changes between releases are found in the Release Notes. The latest stable release may always be found at if you don’t want to risk breaking your page with each new release, point at the specific version that you developed against. However we recommend that you host your own copy of the distribution.