Buoy Drifting

Oceanography/marine mapping

Start with an Excel file with data that looks something like this. 

month day hour min temp sal Londecdeg Latdecdeg
8 13 14 10 26.21 16.23 -76.4988 39.00317
8 13 14 15 27.09 16.35 -76.4985 39.00302
8 13 14 20 27.2 16.19 -76.4983 39.00289
8 13 14 25 27.2 16.25 -76.4981 39.00281
8 13 14 30 27.2 16.18 -76.498 39.0028

Rename the fields in Excel.

Download shoreline for the area, (from NGA, or one of the other options).  Unizp it.

  Open shapefile map with NGA shoreline.

 Open Database  for the CSV file with the drifter data.  It will be converted to a DBF file, which you should use for further operations.

KML database export.  If you export as a KMZ file, a single file will have the entire map and icons and can be displayed in viewers like Google Earth.

The crabs have correct icon transparency., but the rubber duckies do not.


Plot, connect sequential points to see the track (and highlight any bad positions in the data)

Stats, 2D graph to see a plot of the oceanographic parameters by time
Plot, Color code by DB field to get map of the drifter.

Grid adds or removes a grid, either UTM or Lat/Long. Set a grid and neatlines with  Prepare printer image


Last revised 3/29/2011