Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Some Tips on Using the Tablet PC with GIS Software (ArcGIS 9.1)

Using the GPS receiver

1. Connect the GPS receiver to the USB port on the side of the tablet PC. A red light should start blinking on the receiver indicating that it is being powered from the tablet.

Hold the GPS receiver until the light stops blinking and becomes solid red (may take a couple of minutes). When this occurs, the GPS unit is telling us that it is seeing the overhead satellites and is now receiving data.

2. In ArcMap, go to View > Toolbars and select the GPS toolbar (as shown below).
Once open, pull down the GPS menu to GPS Connection Setup (see screenshot below). Make sure that the Baud rate is set to 4800, that Parity is set to none, that Data bits are 8 and Stop bits are 1. Click the Detect GPS port button. You may get an error message that says the port can't be detected. If this happens, try clicking the Detect button a couple more times. If it still doesn't work, change the Communication Port from COM3 to COM4 or vice versa and try again. Click on the Test Connection button to make sure you have a connection. 3. Once you are sure that the computer is seeing the GPS receiver, go to the GPS menu again and drop down to Log Setup (see next screen shot). This will create the new file that holds all of the points you're going to be creating.

Click the New button and then navigate to the your working directory on the C:/ drive and give your new log a name.

Tell the tablet that you want to use points and then click OK.

Once back in the Log Setup dialog box, tell the tablet that you want to record your data every second as you walk along by clicking on the Sampling rate check box and making sure you have 1 in the box. Finally, hit OK.

4. On the GPS toolbar, click the walkie-talkie looking button with the green triangle next to it. You've now told ArcGIS to establish a link to the GPS receiver.Now click the icon that looks like a yellow hockey puck with an arrow pushing down on it (also called "Stamp current position to log"). Congratulations! You've just marked your position on the globe. Let's see where we are.

Go to the add data button (black plus sign, yellow background, shown below) and navigate to your log file to add it to the view. You should see a point where you are.5. Now, click the hockey puck icon with the triangle next to it. This launches the continuous logging every second. Start walking and your mapping has begun. You'll note that an arrow has appeared on the screen and that as you walk, its direction changes as you change direction.If you want to stop walking, hit the hockey puck symbol with the square next to it to stop logging (called "Stop streaming to log").

Notice that you don't see any data yet even though you've been walking. If you hit the globe button on the main toolbar to resize the view, the data will appear. You can occasionally hit the globe as you walk along if you want to keep track of your progress while you walk. Note that when you want to start walking again, you need to turn the logging on again.

6. While you are walking and streaming GPS points, hold the receiver flat in the palm of your hand. Don't let it swing around. Don't drape it over your shoulder. You may get inaccurate locational data if you do not take care to keep the receiver flat and in front of you. And please…TAKE CARE NOT DROP THE TABLET!!!

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