The GPS Tracklog

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The GPS Tracklog in ArcPad is stored in a shapefile format. The GPS Tracklog can be started or activated when the GPS is active. ArcPad automatically records each GPS position it receives as a point feature in the GPS Tracklog shapefile, as long as the GPS Tracklog is running and the GPS is active. The GPS Tracklog is an electronic breadcrumb trail that shows the path that you have traveled. ArcPad uniquely displays these GPS positions, or points, in the tracklog as a red line.

The GPS Tracklog points are always captured in latitude and longitude degrees using the WGS84 datum. ArcPad automatically projects the tracklog points using the projection of the current ArcPad map when displaying the tracklog. Although ArcPad treats the GPS Tracklog point shapefile in a unique way, the tracklog is still a standard PointZM shapefile that can be used in the same way as other PointZM shapefiles. The Tracklog shapefile can be added to an ArcPad map by using the Add Layer(s) dialog box.

When adding the tracklog shapefile with the Add Layer tool, ArcPad treats the shapefile as a standard point shapefile. ArcPad displays the points as points and does not perform on-the-fly projection of the tracklog’s point data—which is in latitude and longitude degrees using the WGS84 datum.

For each point in the tracklog shapefile, ArcPad captures an x, y, and z coordinate with a user-specified m value. ArcPad also captures a variety of information received from the GPS receiver and stores this information in the attributes associated with the point. These attributes can be viewed by using the Add Layer tool to add the tracklog shapefile to an ArcPad map and then by using the Identify tool to display the selected point’s attributes.

The GPS information captured for each point in the tracklog, and the associated field, is as follows:

LATITUDE: Latitude in the datum of the GPS receiver

LONGITUDE: Longitude in the datum of the GPS receiver

ALTITUDE: Altitude in the datum of the GPS receiver (in meters)

EASTING: UTM easting

NORTHING: UTM northing



SOG: Speed over ground (in km/h)

COG_TRUE: True Course Over Ground (in decimal degrees)

COG_MAG: Magnetic Course Over Ground (in decimal degrees)

SATS_USED: Number of satellites used

HPE: Horizontal position error (in meters) (only when using a Garmin GPS receiver)

VPE: Vertical position error (in meters) (only when using a Garmin GPS receiver)

EPE: Estimated position error (in meters) (only when using a Garmin GPS receiver)

HDOP: Horizontal Dilution of Precision

VDOP: Vertical Dilution of Precision

PDOP: Position Dilution of Precision

QUALITY: GPS fix quality, where:

0 represents no fix.

1 represents GPS or SPS (Standard Positioning Service) fix.

2 represents DGPS (Differential GPS) fix.

3 represents PPS (Precise Positioning Service) fix.

DIFF_AGE: Age of DGPS fix (in seconds)

DIFF_ID: ID of DGPS station used

DEPTH : Depth (in meters)

DEPTH_OFF: Depth offset (in meters)

WATERTEMP: Water temperature (in degrees Celsius)

The size of the GPS Tracklog shapefile’s dBASE® table can get fairly large if the Tracklog is active for a long period of time. You can reduce the size by deleting fields from the tracklog shapefile’s dBASE (*.dbf) table. You can use ArcGIS Desktop (ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo) to delete fields in the shapefile’s dBASE table.

The x, y, and z coordinates, together with the m value, can be viewed by using the Geography tab of the point feature’s properties.

The GPS Tracklog points can be captured simultaneously while using the incoming GPS positions to capture other point, line, or polygon features. Consequently, the GPS Tracklog captures points independently from the ArcPad editing tools.

The GPS Tracklog layer is always displayed as the first layer on the Layers page of the Table of Contents.

The GPS Tracklog layer can be displayed, or made visible, whether the GPS is active or not. The GPS Tracklog has its own set of unique properties, which can be displayed by using the Layer Properties button in the Table of Contents.

Using these properties you can:

Any changes to the tracklog properties only take effect the next time the tracklog is started. Changes do not take effect if the tracklog is currently running.