Working with GPS Units

The Garmin Communication Plugin is no longer available due to technical issues beyond the control of CalTopo. Therefor the "Connect Directly to GPS" options are no longer working. Work is underway on a replacement process, but in the meantime you can still import from and export to GPS Units that support a USB mass storage interface.

USB mass storage interface means that when you plug the GPS into your computer, it appears as a USB drive, like a thumb drive or external hard drive. A list of Garmin GPS units that support a USB mass storage interface can be found here. In addition the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx can be accessed as a USB storage device with a little work, see this article.

These instructions assume a Garmin GPS, but similar steps will work with other GPS units that support a USB mass storage interface.

Importing From a GPS

Importing GPS Tracks and Waypoints as Lines and Markers

  1. Connect the GPS to the computer with a USB cable. It may take the GPS a minute or two to save the tracks and establish a connection. Once the connection is established, the computer may chime and/or a file explorer window will open for the GPS in Windows. On a Mac, a Garmin folder will appear on the desktop.

  2. On the CalTopo top menu bar, click "Import" and "Choose Files".

    import_choose_files.png

  3. Navigate to the Garmin unit, and then the Garmin / GPX folder, select the desired track and/or markers and click "Open".

    win_open_gpx_file.png

  4. Un-check any waypoints or tracks you do not want to import and click "Import".

    import_data_selection_2.PNG

  5. Track will appear in the "Lines & Polygons" folder, waypoints will appear in the "Markers" folder.

    lines_and_polygons_and_markers.png

Exporting Lines, Polygons and Markers to GPS Units

  1. Connect the GPS to the computer with a USB cable. It may take the GPS a minute or two to save the tracks and establish a connection. Once the connection is established, the computer may chime and/or a file explorer window will open for the GPS in Windows. On a Mac, a Garmin folder will appear on the desktop.

  2. On the CalTopo top menu bar, click "Export" and "Download GPX File".

    export_download_gpx.png

  3. Un-check any objects you do not want to import and click "Export".

    export_select_objects.png

Depending on your browser and how it is configured, you may be prompted where to save the file or it may be automatically saved in your downloads folder.

If you are prompted where to save the file:

  1. Navigate to the Garmin unit, and then the Garmin / GPX folder, change the file name as desired and click "Save".

    winsave.png

If the file was automatically saved in your "Downloads" folder:

  1. In the bottom bar of the browser (the example shown is Chrome) click the menu beside the file and choose "Show in Folder" .

    show_in_folder.png

  2. Now drag the file to the Garmin\GPX folder on the GPS Unit.

    drag_to_GPX.png

Ejecting the GPS

In Windows, eject the GPS by clicking on the USB icon in the System Tray and then selecting the Garmin unit.

win_Eject_Garmin.png

In MacOS, eject the GPS by right-clicking on the GARMIN folder on the desktop and click "Eject "GARMIN".

mac_eject_garmin_right_mouse.png

SARTopo Specific Features

Importing Tracks/Waypoints Into an Assignment

  1. Click the assignment name in the Assignment Folder.

    assignment_name.png

  2. Click “Import Tracks”

    click_import_tracks.png

  3. Click “Choose Files”

    choose_files.png

  4. Navigate to the Garmin unit, and then the Garmin / GPX folder, select the desired track and/or markers and click "Open"

    win_open_gpx_file.png

  5. Un-check any that tracks or waypoints you do not want to import, and click "Import".

    import_data_selection_2.PNG

  6. The imported objects will appear in the "Tracks" and "Waypoints" folder below the "Assignments" folder.

    track_and_waypoints_in_folders.PNG

Convert Line to Assignment Track

A GPS track that was previously imported as a line, can be converted to an assignment track.

  1. Right-click the line on the map, click “Convert”, “Convert to track”.

    convert_to_track.png

  2. Select the assignment and click “OK”.

    select_assignment.png

Clean Assignment Track

The Clean Tracks tool removes portions of the track sufficiently outside of the assignment boundary.

  1. Click the assignment name in the Assignment Folder.

    assignment_name.png

  2. Click “Clean Tracks”

    click_clean_tracks.png

  3. Enter the distance from the assignment in kilometers you would like to clip the track and click "Go".

    clean_go.png

    Any tracks that intersect with the assignment area will be clipped the specified distance outside of the assignment. Any tracks completely outside of the assignment area and are the specified distance away, will be deleted.

Additional Cleanup Method

If further cleanup of the travel path to and from the assignment is desired:

  1. Right-click the point on the track where the task actually started, and click "Modify", "Split here".

    split_here.png

  2. Delete the unwanted portion of the track

  3. Repeat for where the travel begins at the end of the task.

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