[talk-au] New member, need a mentor.

Peter Ross peter at emailross.com
Tue Oct 7 02:00:00 BST 2008

On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 8:08 PM, Graeme Wilson <wanderer55 at live.com.au> wrote:
> Hello All,
> I need a mentor, preferably in the Canberra region.
> I am a drive test technician and monitor mobile phone coverage across
> Australia. I do approx 120,000km + per year and I have been collecting
> masses of GPS data in two formats.
> Firstly, which I will process last, from October 2007 to June 2008 is data
> in Excel format. The 'problem' with processing this is how to eliminate the
> periods of time when I am stopped. I'll worry about that later, but I will
> need someone to advise me on how to convert Excel format data to gpx or
> whatever it is, and then up load it.
> Secondly, which I want to do firstly, all data recorded since June is
> straight ASCII text from the RS232 port of a Garmin eTrex. I can process
> this info to eliminate the stationary info, and can extract lat and long
> easily to form another text file, from which I could import to Excel and
> then up load, or even to directly make gpx files myself. I can write console
> applications in Delphi to do simple conversions of text to text, and I would
> prefer to make the gpx files directly from the straight text.
> I need to know:
> 1: Just what is needed in the gpx files, particularly the header? I have a
> basic understanding of xml and html (it's all text). The header is what's
> holding me up at the moment.
You can download a simple gpx file which I got via gpsbabel from my
garmin GPS.  It has a fairly minimal header.


> 2: Is the date and time stamp needed? I presume not.
Actually it is, OSM will not accept tracks without timestamps.
Note the timestamps don't need to be accurate, they just need to be there.
I think the idea is that in the future they may want one to be able to
only download recent gps points.

> 3: One of my main 'holdups' is that I wanted to upload altitude as well as
> lat and long, but I have been told that altitude is deleted by OSM. Is it OK
> to upload altitude or is this just overloading the system with unnecessary
> info? My thoughts are that lat long and alt will give 3D pix for some future
> generation of OSM, but if the general opinion is not to upload it, then I
> wont.
I don't know, but it can't hurt.  If you have the information you
might as well give it to OSM.  OSM can then decide whether to keep it
or not.

> 4: I see references to GPSBabel, but cannot make any sense of it. I
> downloaded something, but it doesnt work.
gpsbabel is a program for converting between different gps data formats.

For example (under linux) I run the following to get from my gps.
gpsbabel -t -i garmin -o gpx /dev/ttyS0 track.gpx

You should be able to do something like the following to convert your data

gpsbabel -i xcsv,style=mystyle -o gpx input.csv output.gpx

All you would need to do is define the file mystyle (see
http://www.gpsbabel.org/htmldoc-1.3.5/styles_intro.html) and save your
excel in the csv format.

If you are having trouble doing that I would be more than willing to
help out, just send me some example data.

> 5: Are there any clubs/groups/meetings of OSM people in the Canberra region
> who meet on a regular basis?
I'm in Melbourne so I can't help you with that one.


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