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Author Topic:   Transfering waypoints between platforms using Expert GPS
Landlocked posted 05-07-2007 09:58 PM ET (US)   Profile for Landlocked   Send Email to Landlocked  
As I mentioned in another thread, I just purchased a Lowrance LMS 525 C DF. I have several hundred waypoints saved on my old Magellan GPS that I need to transfer over.

When I purchased the unit, the sales person at Bass Pro told me there was no automated way to transfer the points and that I would have to enter them manually. I had a pretty stong gut feeling he was [wrong] so I bought the unit anyway.

Today, I dusted the moth balls off my old copy of Expert GPS and low and behold found that it does support the Lowrance .usr file protocol. Transferring the points is as simple as viewing the waypoints, selecting export to GPS, and then choosing to save them to a SD card rather than exporting them directly to the unit.

Expert GPS, available for download at never ceases to amaze me. The program is available for free trial and can be purchased for $59.95. (a little more if you want to add the GIS option pack) It links to and allows any points uploaded or entered to the program to plotted on USGS aerial photographs or topographical maps. You can also bring in and georeference any map you want if you have two known points. I have even played around with converting the free NOAA ENC charts to Tiff images with world files (using a free utility available from NOAA) and bringing them into the program. They work surprisingly well and when linked to a handheld make a pretty good version of a redneck chartplotter assuming you have an expendable laptop at your disposal.

I have absolutely no connection to ExpertGPS but I have had more positive experiences with the program and with the company's support staff than I can mention here over the years. Even though I've now converted over to making most of my maps and plotting most of the Resource boundaries I work with in ESRI's ArcView, I still find myself using Expert GPS when I need a quick aerial, or when I need to download a handheld GPS and convert the points quickly to a shapefile format.

For those of you with older GPS units considering an upgrade but not knowing how to transfer the data you've collected over the years, I strongly suggest you check out this program. I'll be happy to help or provide more info. Feel free to email me or [much preferred] post here. There is also a discussion forum on their site that might answer a lot of questions.

Dan Foster is the administrator of the Forum and as best as I can tell the main programmer. I once had a problem and needed a new coordinate system added to the program (TN state plane Nad 83 feet). I sent an email and within 24 hours recieved a response that an update to the program was available on their website. You can't ask for better support than that.

Again, I have no connection and I'm recieving no Kickbacks. This is just something I think many of you could bennefit from.


jimh posted 05-08-2007 09:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the very informative article on Expert GPS. It sounds like a great program for manipulating GPS data.
Chuck Tribolet posted 05-08-2007 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Another solution, if you have the manufacturer's software, is
to upgrade it to the latest version and see if it supports
.gpx (GPS Exchange) format. Most do now. Save a .GPX file
from the old unit's software, and load it with the new unit's
software. And then you have a backup.

Buddy of mine's father-in-law dropped my buddy's really old
Garmin while "helping" get the boat ready the other day. All
the waypoints are gone, no backup. ;-(

I make a backup most every time I hook the unit to the computer (which is only every few months lately), and save
it in a file with a name like GPS162.2007.05.08.gdb (I use
Garmin .gdb files for the backup because they handle a few
things .gpx doesn't).


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