Recently there have been several questions about how to manage all of the GPS data that people collect while they are out exploring. The screenshot below shows how valuable it can be to store your GPS tracks, waypoints, and routes in an organized way for reference during future planning activities. This particular project contains all of the track and waypoint data for a canoe trip in Baxter State Park that a group of us at DeLorme have enjoyed over the years. You can see by the notes that Grand Lake Matagamon is very shallow in parts, making the track logs valuable records of successful paths… and some not so successful paths. The waypoints mark camp sites and other favorite attractions we’ve found over the years. I highly recommend Second Lake camp site if you ever plan a trip of your own.
We use the term “project” in Topo USA to describe the file that stores the current map center and zoom level along with links to route, waypoint, track, and other draw files that have been added to the project. Project files are valuable—they let you organize related files like the yearly canoe tracks and waypoints shown in the Baxter example and return to them later for review and planning.
To create a new project, use the options available in Topo USA’s Map Files tab. Select File>New to ensure that no previous GPS data is present in the new project file.
Once you create a new project, you can add existing data to the file by clicking the Map File tab’s Add option and selecting either Draw or Route.
You can also use the Draw and Route tabs to create new waypoints, tracks, and routes that you can later transfer to a PN-Series device.
By connecting your PN-series device to your computer, you can transfer GPS data from the device to Topo USA with the Exchange dialog for use on your desktop. Consider using the “New>Waypoint or Track” options within the Exchange Dialog to better manage your data.
Once you add the GPS data to the project, you can manage the information in the Draw and Route tabs. Each track and waypoint layer appears in the File view—the More button exposes details for the data.
When finished editing, return to the Map Files tab to use the File menu and save your project. In this example I’ve saved the project as “Baxter Canoe Trip.”
You can use your project any time to review past outings, plan new trips, and send resulting waypoint, track and route information to your GPS device. Our Baxter Canoe Trip has repeatedly shown the value a good planning process can bring to an expedition. Here are some photos from past years…
They bring back fond memories of adventures with good friends… I can’t wait for spring!