DNRGPS released – replaces DNRGarmin

The Minnesota DNR released DNRGPS on February 15, 2012 and has already issued an update to fix some functionality problems. DNRGPS is the long-awaited replacement for DNRGarmin 5, and is designed to address incompatibilities between ArcGIS 10 and DNRG. It will also work with GPS units not manufactured by Garmin, Inc, prompting the name change.

DNRGPS is written as an Open Source application, and utilizes other open source software for portions of its core functionality (notably gpsbabel and GDAL). The developers are still working on updates to the program – be sure to read the known issues, release notes, and help file found on the application’s web page.

DNRGPS requires Windows XP or Windows 7, and works with ArcGIS 10 and Google Earth. Long-time users of DNRGarmin will want to do some testing before using DNRGPS on a daily basis. The move to open source underpinnings has changed how the software operates, notably how projections are handled. The ArcGIS toolbar is no more, but Geodatabase functionality has been added.

Stay tuned for more impressions and tutorial data.

DNRGarmin and newer Garmin GPS models

Newer versions of Garmin GPS units (Colorado, Oregon) do not connect to your computer in the same fashion as the older models (GPSMap 76, GPSMap 62). These newer Garmins mount their internal storage as a drive letter, e.g., “E”, similar to mounting a flash drive or external hard drive.

To download data from one of these units to DNRGarmin, Go to File->Load From->File… Select “GPX” as the file type and navigate to your GPS’s drive (the drive letter that shows up when you plug in your device). You’ll find a folder housing a bunch of GPX files with time-stamp names. Those contain your waypoints. Select one to load it into DNRGarmin and then save out to a new file (text file for backup or shapefile for use with ArcGIS).

To upload from DNRGarmin to the GPS, go to File–>Save To–>File… and save a GPX file to the same location on your GPS as that you downloaded from above.

Transferring track history points should work in the ‘normal’ DNRGarmin fashion.

Note I do not have access to one of these newer units – these instructions are written from “help me” postings I have found online. If you have an Oregon or Colorado unit and would like help using DNRGarmin, I will be happy to do so (and can then verify these instructions).

mdhyslop at mtu.edu or 7-2308