Field GPS Collection
- Camera options:
- If you have a smart phone with GPS, or a
camera with GPS, download the pictures to a directory on your computer and create
a database with GPS
locations of photos from the File,
Tools menu. Setting up the phone.
- If you are not using a smart phone or a camera with a GPS receiver, use the
hand held GPS and collect waypoints to record the location for each
record you will have in the data base.
- Clear the unit of
existing waypoints before you collect data. If using a
unit, follow these directions. While in the field, write down the attributes
that will go into each field of your database. If you do not want to
have to connect your GPS to a computer and perform a data download, you can
write down the coordinates. If you do not trust the GPS unit (or
yourself) you can write down the coordinates to prevent having to return to
the field if something happens to the data download. You will want to use decimal degrees if
you are going to record the coordinates and enter them manually. If you opt
for the manual method, go directly to
Excel to create your data table.
- Download the waypoints to the computer. Remember the file name,
and the directory where you saved it. With a Garmin, Use
Garmin and save as a Point
shapefile. From the point shapefile, you need just the DBF table
because it includes the lat/long data and it is much easier to deal with
a single file. You can easily recreate the SHP and SHX files if you
want to use the database on a GIS program which requires the complete
shapefile even for point layers.
- You can add fields in MICRODEM, but it is probably easiest
to do that step in Excel. You can do all the edits in MICRODEM,
but using Excel will be more familiar and forgiving. Start with the
DBF file from the EXIF import.
- Open dBase table
or CSV file in Excel. Insure that the first row has the
field/attribute names, and follow
the rules for these names.
- Add attribute data and any new fields
- Delete unneeded fields. The phone download can leave empty
fields if the camera did not record the information, or used a different
format than MICRODEM expected.
- If you did not use the smart phone or GPS enabled camera,
Link photos to the database.
This will add an IMAGE field, and you should have just the file name. Edit:, String field operations,
and Extract file name will remove the path.
- Save dBase file in Excel and CSV format. This may be overkill, but if you
didn't follow directions completely, you will be glad you did. The CSV
format works best overall.
- Button on
toolbar and open the CSV file for on the fly conversion to
dBase. Verify that your points plot where expected (common mistakes include
not believing in a negative sign for west longitude if you let users type in
coordinates). After the first
time import you want the resulting DBF file instead of the CSV because any
edits will only occur in the DBF file.
- Merge point databases if several people
collected data independently.
If you want integrated data collection, try
- the EpiCollect
- GIS Cloud Mobile Data Collection --commercial
- MapIt GIS - GPS Data Collector (Android only, ads and in-app purchases)
Last revised 10/1/2018