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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How would one integrate data from your basic handhelds into GIS? Can someone edumacate me please?:D

Scenario. Our bike club is working on a big open space/trails project. We've got a good GIS parcel map that one our members has put together. One of our first tasks is going to be doing a full trail/jeep road inventory and somehow getting it combined and added into the existing gis stuff ( shape file?)

any tips on doing this? I visualize a gps work day at the site, everyone riding/hiking around getting the tracks, uploading the data into ?? and then sending it on to our GIS guy.

here's the project if anyone wants to check it out. We have a National Park Service grant to put together a trail plan for this one open space are that has a well used but unrecognized trail system.
http://www.fttrc.org/beacon-rtca.cfm

thank you
Formica
 

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It depends on what gps and what gis program you are using.

To put garmin gps data (waypoint, route, track) etc. into arcgis you can simply open your data in mapsource, import your route, waypoint, track data onto the map and go to "save as" and choose DXF *.dxf format and save the data. That dxf file can then be added to arcgis. If I remember right they come in as point and line files. It generally has to be cleaned up a bit and of course coordinate systems might need to be adjusted but your GIS person should be able to do this without too much problem. It would probably be easier for your GIS person if you ended up with one track file, even if you end up having to stitch a few of them together in another program before you export to a .dxf file.

So far arcgis has not made it simple to just attach your handheld gps to the computer and bring stuff strait into the gis program. I would guess it's probably a licensing issue and they'd have to make sure it worked with several manufacturers etc. However I am amazed that this has not been integrated into arcgis. Even if it was a stand alone extension to the program. If you think about it getting GPS data into arcgis is probably one of the most common and useful features that data goes hand in hand with everything gis was intended for. Yet it's a total kludge to get gps data into arcgis cleanly. For a program that costs thousands of dollars with extensions this just should not be an issue.

Hope that helps

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If one doesn't have mapsource? I was reading in Rich Owings' book last night that Oziexplorer will do this too (?) Right now I've only got NG TOPO, which I know autoconverts to a proprietary format, but I've got funds to buy other software if needed.
 

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A very simple way is get a copy of GPS Utility http://www.gpsu.co.uk/. Connect your gps unit to your computer and download the track. Once the track is downloaded then save as shapefile. Bring shapefile into gis software and go from there. Also google on DNR garmin, if you have access to arcview3.x there is a free extension you can download and bring the tracks directly into arcview.

greg
 

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Consider taking a look at Topofusion as well. If you map out all the trails on different days and such - thus creating some ugly "overlapping" of multiple tracks on trails you covered twice - topofusion can merge all these individual tracks into a single, clean trail network.

Plus topofusion handles these files in the GPX format - which is an open XML based format.

And once you have that nice single clean gpx file, you can use several different utilities to get them into something your GIS can use. Off the top of my head:

gpx2shp = http://gpx2shp.sourceforge.jp/ - little program that converts gpx to esri shapefiles

GPS Utility = yawg mentioned above

GPSbabel = http://www.gpsbabel.org/ Can convert pretty much every GPS format to any other format. Except it does not handle any GIS formats :) But it might come in handy somehow or another!
 

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formica said:
How would one integrate data from your basic handhelds into GIS? Can someone edumacate me please?:D

Scenario. Our bike club is working on a big open space/trails project. We've got a good GIS parcel map that one our members has put together. One of our first tasks is going to be doing a full trail/jeep road inventory and somehow getting it combined and added into the existing gis stuff ( shape file?)

any tips on doing this? I visualize a gps work day at the site, everyone riding/hiking around getting the tracks, uploading the data into ?? and then sending it on to our GIS guy.

here's the project if anyone wants to check it out. We have a National Park Service grant to put together a trail plan for this one open space are that has a well used but unrecognized trail system.
http://www.fttrc.org/beacon-rtca.cfm

thank you
Formica
I am a GIS Specialist by trade (currently unemployed) and can help you out but will need a bit more info When you refer to your GIS parcel map is it actually linked to a database or is it merely a map in some sort of CAD format (autocad, esri, microstation etc...)? Ideally what you will want to do is download your GPS info onto your computer (likely using software that came with your handheld). Once it is on your computer you can import your handheld files into some sort of CAD/GIS application (autocad map, esri, microstation etc...). Try to keep in mind that the data collected will all have to be in the same map projection or converted into the same map projection otherwise the data will show up "all over the map" as they say. Once it is in your chosen CAD application the data can be 'cleaned up' and prepared to be linked. This can be done using map cleaning tools or manually. It is at this point where you will need to know what you will want the finished GIS application to display so you can prepare the linework accordingly. Once the map data is prepared you will want to create your database tables (oracle, access etc..) and your corresponding database records. Once that is complete you have to "tell" the GIS application what graphical records correspond to the what database records. I suspect that what you want will not actually require GIS but rather a topology of linework with attributes....but I could be wrong. Does any of this help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
update - I met with our local utility in regards to this project yesterday, and they said they would make all their resources available to us. They have these incredible maps that are so detailed you can count the trees and see the trails easily. They are thinking that with their technology it will be easy to directly digitize the trails and skip the hand helds.
f.
 

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Damn dude...

crankpuller said:
I am a GIS Specialist by trade (currently unemployed) and can help you out but will need a bit more info When you refer to your GIS parcel map is it actually linked to a database or is it merely a map in some sort of CAD format (autocad, esri, microstation etc...)? Ideally what you will want to do is download your GPS info onto your computer (likely using software that came with your handheld). Once it is on your computer you can import your handheld files into some sort of CAD/GIS application (autocad map, esri, microstation etc...). Try to keep in mind that the data collected will all have to be in the same map projection or converted into the same map projection otherwise the data will show up "all over the map" as they say. Once it is in your chosen CAD application the data can be 'cleaned up' and prepared to be linked. This can be done using map cleaning tools or manually. It is at this point where you will need to know what you will want the finished GIS application to display so you can prepare the linework accordingly. Once the map data is prepared you will want to create your database tables (oracle, access etc..) and your corresponding database records. Once that is complete you have to "tell" the GIS application what graphical records correspond to the what database records. I suspect that what you want will not actually require GIS but rather a topology of linework with attributes....but I could be wrong. Does any of this help?
You're still unemployed? I went through that hell a couple of years ago but things are booming in front range of CO. Dunno where you are but if you're willing to move to CO, shoot me a resume or troll some job sites like geosearch.com, there's jobs all over the place.

Once the map data is prepared you will want to create your database tables (oracle, access etc..) and your corresponding database records. Once that is complete you have to "tell" the GIS application what graphical records correspond to the what database records.
That's a bit of overkill for what they're trying to do which is just overlay some linework on air photos and parcel maps. Oh you ArcGis generation types, things were so much simpler back in the day! Don't forget who the audience is and who's doing the work (a classic mistake), these guys aren't hardcore GIS nerds well, like me. :rolleyes:

Seriously though, they can do that with Arcexplorer, Global Mapper or something similar.
 

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bulletbob said:
That's a bit of overkill for what they're trying to do which is just overlay some linework on air photos and parcel maps. Oh you ArcGis generation types, things were so much simpler back in the day! Don't forget who the audience is and who's doing the work (a classic mistake), these guys aren't hardcore GIS nerds well, like me. :rolleyes:

Seriously though, they can do that with Arcexplorer, Global Mapper or something similar.
We've been using the Minnesota DNR stuff where I work.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mis/gis/tools/arcview/extensions/DNRGarmin/DNRGarmin.html
So easy even a geologist can use it.:D Plug the rectangle-y end of the wire in the computer and click the button that looks like the gps.
IMO easier than digitizing and easier to share if you want to use way points or convert to .kml for use in google earth, that a lot of folks use.

dp
 
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