GPS track data

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Douglas Wilcox
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GPS track data

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:52 am

Hello, can anyone give me technical advice to help with Sean's request?

Thanks, Douglas

-----Original Message-----
Subject: Feedback - Scottish Sea Kayaking Photo Gallery
http://www.gla.ac.uk/medicalgenetics/seakayaking.htm

Hi,

I'm planning to do some sea kayaking around Ardnamurchan in May. I've been looking at various websites for information and ideas. Your website has been particularly useful.

One suggestion that I would make is that adding the GPS information (as well as the jpeg) might be helpful - there seem to be a lot more people using products like memory-map these days and having the track (or route) data would allow users to look at your trips on different maps and charts that they own.

Thanks for providing such a great resource.

Regards,

Sean


Hello Sean,

thanks for your comments about the Scottish Sea Kayaking Photo Gallery :o)

I hope you enjoy your trip to Ardnamurchan in May. I have also written up some trips in this area for Paddles magazine.

Loch Moidart Jan 2005
Loch Ailort April 2005
Loch Sunart May 2005.

publication date is one month before the cover date.

I think your idea about GPS data is great but I do not know how to do it!

I do not create many waypoints and never program routes before paddling so my gps data is track data only. I use Anquet maps and I can see no way of exporting GPS tracks. I use a Garmin gps and I can save the track to a .gdb file but you need mapsource software to read that and most basic garmin units do not come with mapsource. Also, I do not think the software that Magellan GPSs come with will read Garmin data files.

I could use GPS utility

http://www.gpsu.co.uk/index.html

but I am not sure how many users of anquet or memory map would have access to that program. Do you have any suggestions?


Best wishes,
Douglas :o)

willsc1
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Post by willsc1 » Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:40 am

I have used GPS Trackmaker for a few years now and find it rather useful.

http://www.gpstm.com/

I use it mainly as a database for my routes so I can look through them later if I want to know timings/distances etc. of specific trips. It is also useful as an easy way to enter/modify large numbers of waypoints.

You can overlay the GPS info on to imported/scanned maps, though I do not know if it would work with Memory-Map.

For folks that take their GPS into the hills it also gives a pretty Altitude Profile to make you feel good about yourself when you return home!

Anyway, it is worth a look and is free to boot!

JW

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Geoff Seddon
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Post by Geoff Seddon » Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:49 pm

Mailing tracks is one of the facilities in Memory-Map though because all my mates, strangely enough, also use Memory-Map, I don't Know what happens if you send to someone on another mapping system. You can also scan into M-M.

SeanJ

Re: GPS track data

Post by SeanJ » Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:59 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Hello, can anyone give me technical advice to help with Sean's request?
Hello all. This is my first post to the forum, so I hope that I don't repeat anything that is already included on another thread.

I'm pretty new to GPS (bought a Garmin ForeTrex201 just two weeks ago) and I'd rather assumed that the various devices and software packages would be able use some sort of standard format to interchange data. Sadly, it looks as if this is far from the case!

I decided to use Memory-Map. According to the help files, this can support the following formats:
MMO - Memory-Map's proprietary overlay object format.
SHP - ESRI Shapefiles. Only points, polygons and polylines are supported, without any M or Z data.
CSV - Memory-Map's Comma Separated Value file. Data can be viewed and manipulated in Microsoft Excel, or other custom applications.
MXF, RXF, TXF - Maptech's mark, route and track formats for use with Terrain navigator.
TXT - Maptech Chart Navigator / Offshore Navigator formats. The file must be named Marks32.txt, Routes32.txt or TlogN.txt (where N is a number, eg Tlog1.txt).

There doesn't appear to be any overlap between the formats used by Memory-Map and those used by Anquet. (I had a play with the demo download from Anquet and found that it was very limited in its import/export facilities. This software seems to be designed to minimise interoperability!)

I also had a play with the freeware version of GPS utility. This version is limited to 100 waypoints, 5 routes of up to 10 waypoints each, 500 trackpoints, bitmap image size of 2000x2000 pixels. This limitation seems OK for tracks of most trips.

There seem to be two options with regard to publishing the track data:
(a) Keep the number of points in a track file down to the level supported by the freeware version of GPS utility and post on the website in any format that is supported by GPS utility. Users can then use GPS utility to convert to a format that can be used by their software of choice. The Maptech TXF format might be a good option, as it is also supported by other software (although I'm biased here since this is one of the Memory-Map formats). GBD would be equally good from the viewpoint of GPS Utility alone.
(b) Post in the format that you use (e.g. Anquet .arf) and leave it up to the user to convert it into something that they can use. The problem is that the Anquet format is a proprietary binary format that is not intended for conversion to other formats. The solution may be to go via the GPS unit using a demo version of the Anquet software. Option (a) looks a lot better to me but won't work for Anquet users.

There doesn't seem to be an easy solution. Maybe one would have to post multiple formats (perhaps .arf and .gdb). This seems like more effort than should be required!

Cheers,

Sean

SeanJ

Re: GPS track data

Post by SeanJ » Sun Feb 27, 2005 7:04 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Hello, can anyone give me technical advice to help with Sean's request?
To clarify the question:

What is the best format to use when posting track data?

I believe that the most important criterion is interoperability between the various software packages.

Cheers,

Sean

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Douglas Wilcox
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What is the best format to use when posting track data?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:29 pm

I had only tried the freeware version of GPSUtility and it has limited capacity and I did not think many people would have paid $40 for the functional version.

However, JW's tip about GPS Trackmaker [:o)] provides a free solution for those with a GPS unit. I can post a .gtm file of my gps track on my site. If you download a copy of GPS Trackmaker, you can open it then upload it into your own gps unit (after clearing the active track log). Then you can open Anquet, memory map, mapsource or whatever and download the track into the program.

All bits of the software in this chain seem clever enough to know that my gps is set to WGS84 datum for marine charts but converts it for Ordnance survey maps which use a different datum (OSGB).


I have put a test.gtm file at:
http://www.gla.ac.uk/medicalgenetics/guide/test.gtm

This was the track of my paddle yesterday. I wonder who will recognise where I was quicker, someone with the appropriate hardware and software or someone who recognses the angle of the paps were shot from in the photos?

Douglas :o)

SeanJ

Re: What is the best format to use when posting track data?

Post by SeanJ » Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:38 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:I wonder who will recognise where I was quicker, someone with the appropriate hardware and software or someone who recognses the angle of the paps were shot from in the photos?
Looks like the technology is faster but it's less fun, so I won't give the game away.

Cheers,

Sean

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