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NGSread program

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I wrote a program to read either NGS .dat files or NGS shapefiles and produce .kml files and/or .gpx files with a PC computer.

 

My primary interest was to provide detailed information .kml files for viewing benchmarks with Google Earth (the free version). The .kml files that ngsread makes include all the information needed for benchmark hunting, including history data, box score information and the complete texts of the monumentation and all the recovery reports.

With Google Earth, all this information appears in the popup balloon for a benchmark when you click on its icon.

 

The program will optionally make a basic .gpx file as well. (Statewide .gpx files, from a state shapefile !)

 

The ngsread program is freeware.

 

The ngsread program works in either of two modes:

  • DOS window command line mode
  • ICON drag-and-drop mode (drag an NGS .dat file onto this program's icon)

There are several options that can be specified in either mode:

  • Labeling of the benchmark icons can be either PID, monumentation date, latest recovery agency, latest recovery date, monumentation code, designation, condition, and various combinations of these.
  • There are filters by monumentation date, latest recovery date, and by monumentation code to show only those PIDs not filtered out.

The benchmark icons and their labels are color coded by the last reported condition and by whether the source of the horizontal data is adjusted, scaled, or handheld.

 

The .kml files made from NGS county .dat files include most of the datasheet in the icon's popup window.

(The statewide .kml files made from shapefiles have a lot less information than the .kml files made from NGS .dat files because the NGS shapefiles are not full datasheets.)

 

The program's documentation explains how one large .dat file can be made from several county .dat files.

 

The download site for NGSREAD is here.

 

The NGS source of .dat files ("ARCHIVED DATASHEETS") and shapefiles ("ARCHIVED ShapeFiles") is here.

 

The download site for Google Earth is here.

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I gota tell you the program crashed my computer.

 

Don't know what happened. I download it, opened with winzip and the dos window opened and then bang, screen went black and locked up, something flashed just as that occurred but I don't know what that was, then the pc rebooted. Just before it rebooted I saw the dos cursor?

 

Don't know if I clicked something that triggered that or what, it happened so fast I can't recall exactly what took place.

Afraid to try it again.

Edited by Z15

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It crashes Winzip. Do you have the source so I can compile it for Mac (if it doesn't have win32 stuff)?

 

Thanks,

Brendan

Edited by Team Fawlty

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I tried it using my Vista machine and didn't have any problems (other than having to read the directions :unsure: ). It seemed to work well. The only thought that I have is that when I imported the GPX file into GSAK, the icons were not benchmark icons.

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Well, tired it again and nothing crashed BUT I cannot get it to work. On the dos screen it says "hit any key to continue" and when I do, it closes?

 

I just tired to drag and drop but the program opens and snaps closed right away. I just cannot figure it out so I give up. It may be a fine program but it got me baffled.

Edited by Z15

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If ngsread is run with no .dat file or shapefile to run on, it will just show a help screen and finish.

The idea is to give it a .dat file or shapefile to read, either with DOS mode like:

ngsread VA057.dat

or in windows icon mode (like in My Computer or Windows Explorer) by dragging a .dat file onto the ngsread program's icon.

In both cases, a .kml file will be made.

 

I didn't expect anyone to try to run the program from within winzip, but I tried it that way on some computers and it had no problem, but it just showed the help screen and then finished (and winzip then closed the DOS window), since within winzip there is no way to give it a .dat file or shapefile to run on. :unsure:

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Z15 -

 

I just tired to drag and drop but the program opens and snaps closed right away. I just cannot figure it out so I give up. It may be a fine program but it got me baffled.

 

It probably did what it was supposed to do and you should have a .kml file there ready to use.

To use it, open Google Earth, and in Google Earth, click file, then open, then open the .kml file.

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I wasn't running it from winzip, just trying to unzip it. I got by using unzip from the command line.

 

Brendan

Edited by Team Fawlty

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I figured it out, things were happening so fast I though it was not working but found this strange icon on my desktop and opened it to Google earth. Works nice once you figure it out.

 

btw - I never read instructions. LOL

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Z15 -

 

Excellent! I'm glad it is working for you. :unsure:

I was wondering what had happened, but couldn't've guessed that it was just being fast.

 

Anyway, most of what the instructions are for is in case you want labels other than the PID, or want to scale the icons or labels, or apply filters to see just the oldest marks, or just the newest marks, or maybe just the rarer types of monumentation codes (by filtering out the common ones), or want to make a .gpx file. The normal PID-label .kml-file mode works without needing to specify any options.

 

Butano -

 

The .gpx file that the ngsread program makes is just a basic .gpx file. I think that GSAK uses a special kind of .gpx file that includes special extensions of gpx that I didn't program in because BMGPX already makes a .gpx file with all those special extensions and it works fine, so I just made the basic .gpx type of file.

The .gpx file that ngsread makes is good enough for another program (like EasyGPS) to read it to send the benchmarks' location data to a GPS receiver.

My main interest in writing this program was not the .gpx file, but instead to make a .kml file for viewing locations in Google Earth and to provide large detailed popups that show all the datasheet information relevant to benchmark hunting.

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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I have a question about the kml output. Is there anyway to output by color code? I see that you have a codesin option, but I do not know what the numbers in your example refer to. For example, I would like to output all monumented but not found markers (green), or all found (yellow). I do not have a large interest in the not found (red) ones, which unfortunately take up most of the map.

 

Thank you.

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I added this filtering capability. :)

 

You can either specify a list of which types of status to include, or a list of which kinds of status to not include.

 

Benchmark statuses are:

GOOD, POOR, MONUMENTED, SEE DESCRIPTION, FIRST OBSERVED, NOT FOUND.

I also added summary statuses: FOUND, NO RECOVERIES.

 

The command line version also reports the number of PIDs that pass the filter.

 

The program can be downloaded from the ngsread page.

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(Statewide .gpx files, from a state shapefile !)

 

Ok, color me clueless about shapefiles, but from the Archived Datasheets and Archived Shapefiles area, I don't seem to be able to get anything that actually comes back in a .dat format. Anyone want to point me in the right direction?

Edited by piper28

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(Statewide .gpx files, from a state shapefile !)

 

Ok, color me clueless about shapefiles, but from the Archived Datasheets and Archived Shapefiles area, I don't seem to be able to get anything that actually comes back in a .dat format. Anyone want to point me in the right direction?

 

Ok, I guess I can find .dat's of the counties, so I'm back to my original question I edited out originally, any way to get the whole state without assembling it from counties?

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Ok, I see what I was doing wrong now, I'd downloaded the file from the archived shapefiles section, and though I was looking for a .dat file in there, when I was in fact looking for the "MI_dbf.txt" file. Using that and all is well. This will definitely make it easier to find lines of benchmarks :(.

 

Many thanks.

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Been playing around with this a little more and came up with another question. I don't think there is, but is there any way to change what the color labels are? Basically I'm just looking to change either the yellow or green to something else, since I have trouble distinguishing them in google earth (somewhat color blind).

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Been playing around with this a little more and came up with another question. I don't think there is, but is there any way to change what the color labels are? Basically I'm just looking to change either the yellow or green to something else, since I have trouble distinguishing them in google earth (somewhat color blind).

 

When in Google Earth you can.

 

Right click or choose the mark>

select >properties...or several options

select >style/color...and or several options

click on the color box for color

 

You can also customize the Icon,I have mine as a benchmark.

Edited by GEO*Trailblazer 1

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piper28 -

 

There is something funny in Google Earth in the color control mode for the pushpins - the blue part of the color specification area seems to be non-functional. When I request blue, I get black. The result is a partial color spectrum that is sort of limited to the 'fall colors' part of the color wheel - yellow to red and green. I'm hoping they will fix this bug sometime. I know this is irritating to red-green color blind folks. mloser found that a blue pushpin could be obtained by grabbing a picture of it with an URL. I guess I should put that in the ngsread program, but that is SUCH a kludge. :/

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Is there anyway to change the icon for all similar icons, or do you have to change them all one by one?

 

Also, I was able to change my pushpin to a blue pushpin. Is this what you couldn't do or was it something else you were trying to make blue?

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Is there anyway to change the icon for all similar icons, or do you have to change them all one by one?

 

Also, I was able to change my pushpin to a blue pushpin. Is this what you couldn't do or was it something else you were trying to make blue?

 

Forget it. I figured out how to do all at once by choosing the category in My Places.

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