John McGee, Virginia Tech
DNR Garmin was developed as an easy-to-use “point and click” software application that allows you to manage, manipulate, and save data from a Garmin GPS receiver for use in GIS programs such as ArcMap, MapWindow and AccuGlobe. DNR Garmin is shareware created and maintained by staff at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. DNRGarmin works with ArcGIS 9.x, and was developed primarily to support Garmin GPS receivers. DNRGarmin received a major update revision, and has since been renamed DNRGPS. DNRGPS is compatible with ArcGIS 10.x, Google Earth, Most Garmin GPS's, and is not only just compatible with Garmin GPS receivers, but other NMEA output GPS receivers as well. While DNRGarmin and DNRGPS are very similar, this article will focus on DNRGPS.
While there are a number of things that DNRGPS software can do, some of the functions most applicable to Extension agents include the following:
DNRGPS unfortunately does not have any self-contained mapping functionality that allows you to view your data before you save it to your computer. This guide is written using the Garmin GPS60 GPS receiver. All other GPS receivers will follow the same protocols. A more indepth user guide has been provided by the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program and is available from here: http://gep.frec.vt.edu/pdfFiles/DNR_GPS_manual.pdf
The instructions in this handbook assume the following:
Starting DNR Garmin Software
Start DNRGPS by selecting it from the program list on your computer, or (depending on how you have installed the software) clicking on the DNRGPS icon (it looks like a small calculator) on your desktop.
Connecting Your GPS
Once connected, the status bar on the top of DNRGPS window will tell you that your device is connected.
DNRGPS will also list the projection information that your data will be projected into once downloaded. Step 4 tells you how to change this projection to one of your choice.
Your GPS should now be properly communicating with your PC through the DNRGPS Software.
Setting up the Datum
Unfortunately, DNRGPS does not allow you to download more than one type of data at the same time. You must download and save waypoints, trackpoints, and routes individually. However, the same method is used. Depending on which type of data you have, you go to the corresponding menu (<Waypoint>, <Track>, or <Route>)and then <Download>. DNRGPS will automatically download the selected type of data and will display the data as shown below.
Review of terms:
One feature of DNRGPS allows you to choose what fields that you want your data table to have once it has been saved. To do this, access DNRGPS's Property dialog box through any of the methods mentioned in Step 4. Go to the tab that is related to the type of data you are working with (e.g., tracks). Under the "Properties”option (i.e. "Waypoint Properties" is your list of fields associated with your data. You can uncheck/check the combination of fields that you want, or just choose to leave all fields checked. The checked fields will be the fields in your attribute table and database once you have saved the data.
Note: Some fields, such as x and y coordinate fields are required by DNRGPS and cannot be unchecked. You will be prompted with a message telling you if it is required, though.
You can save the data that you have collected on your GPS receiver directly to a “GIS readable” file (e.g., shapefile) or in an array of other formats.
Presto! You have created a GIS-compatible file from your GPS data.
Your waypoints and tracks can also be saved as a GoogleEarth KML file, a GPX file (which is a standard file format that allows the sharing of GPS data between an array of GPS receivers), and an array of other formats (text, etc.).