GPS locations and tool PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rick Kirchhof - NG5V   

GPS location files for downloading to your GPS

These files are used to program points of interest to Travis County ARES into your GPS unit. They are broken into several files. Each may be loaded separately, several or all files may be loaded together. The only limit is the number of waypoints your GPS receiver will store.

To use the files in this package you will need a programming cable to connect your computer to your GPS receiver and programming software to use these files. I'm sure several types of programs exist. I got my cable used and didn't have any package of software to make use of the cable. Looking around on the Internet, I found a package that works with Windows systems. It is EasyGPS. This is a free program to database your waypoints and routes. To get the file, go to this site:

Click the Download box at the top. You will find it helps you greatly in removing duplicate waypoints, pulling in quickly saved sites and making proper notes on them, seeing where they are compared to each other. Double clicking any waypoint makes it "active". All other waypoints then show distance and bearing to that point. A display screen plots them all so you can see what is near what.

Suggestions for use are as follows:
1. Install the software on your system
2. Setup and connect your GPS receiver to the computer
3. Save your existing data points and routes. !!!!VERY INPORTANT!!!!!
4. Open the file you created when saving the points to validate a good copy
5. Erase all files in your receiver (this step is optional)
6. Load one or more data sets from this package.

These files are provided as .gpx files. This is a fairly common interchange format for GPS receivers. With a management program like EasyGPS (or anything similar) you can load the receiver with only those points that matter to you.

Testing with several volunteers has determined that a comment is usually available within your GPS receiver. This method can be used to expand from the 6 letter name limit on many systems to a more sensible comment.

An example is:
waypoint name: HS-PFL
comment: Pflugerville HS

I have one additional file beyond these. It is my personal points file. That way, I can load just schools, just low water crossings, everything.....

These are the files included:

COA low water crossings.gpx (6KB)
These match the City's named low water crossings.

High Schools.gpx (4KB)
Austin area High Schools. Named as HS-xxx. HS-AUS is Austin High School.

Hospitals and digital hosts.gpx (2KB)
ARCHES hospitals plus CTECC and the Red Cross on Pershing. Named as
OEM-7 (like W5OEM-7 or Brackenridge Hospital)

Unofficial low water crossings.gpx (4KB)
Some sites that we know flood, but that are not COA recognized sites.
All of these numbers are 100 and higher and end in U for the waypoint name.
Example: LW116U with a comment of: 2222 AT LAKEWOOD

All above files are together in this package:

These files are incomplete but I believe there is more than enough here to save you some time and effort. This will only help you if it is loaded BEFORE you need it.

It will be updating files from time to time. If you believe there are additional sites we should include, please contact me. Give me a call if you have questions or problems.

NG5V, Rick Kirchhof

Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2009 11:49