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Basic Field Documentation

Basic Field Documentation

If you encounter problems with the file provided on this page, please contact Soil Survey at 406-587-6818.

The information on this page is also available in Microsoft PowerPoint format. Once you have saved the file to a local drive, open Microsoft PowerPoint, then open the saved file on your local drive.

Basic Field Documentation (PPT; 109 KB)

Instructions for Uploading Points and Photos for Linking

Uploading GPS points requires the following:

  • At each site or transect note, stop, “mark” a GPS waypoint, and label it using the 3 digit transect number and 2 digit stop number or your chosen numbering scheme (Example: 00601).
  • Using MN-DNR Garmin application, save the points to a text (.txt) file (Example: 06FG.txt) to appropriate survey area folder on your system (Example: C:\pedon\gps_upload). See “Using MN-DNR Garmin” (below) for expanded instructions.
  • You do not need to be concerned with uploading duplicate points. The database will only upload points from the .txt file that do not already exist as records in the database.

Using MN-DNR Garmin

Use the MN-DNR Garmin stand-alone application to upload waypoints and save them as a .txt file.

Here is the most recent version of the MN-DNR Garmin application.

  • Plug GPS into the serial port of computer.
  • Turn GPS on.
  • Open MN-DNR Garmin application.
  • Navigate to Waypoint >> Waypoint Properties
    • On the projection tab, set projection using the dropdown list (Example: NAD_1983_UTM_Zone_12N)
    • On the waypoint tab, REMOVE the checkmarks from all BUT the following fields: type, ident, lat, long, y_proj, x_proj, comment, altitude.
  • Navigate to Waypoint >> Download
    • Records from GPS should appear in the dialog window.
      • Once records are as you want them to appear (you can remove unwanted records, rename records, etc.) navigate to File >> Save To >> File and save as .txt file.

Linking Photos

Start the Pedon PC

  1. Select Forms >> Drill Down Analysis form on the forms menu
  2. Once the Analysis form is open, click on the launch GPS form button to open the GPS import form.
  3. Browse to the location of the text file of points that you just created using DNR Garmin. Notice that the records from the text file are loaded and show up in the table within the form. Similar to DNR Garmin, you can delete or change any records that you want to before they are imported to the database. Select the proper settings for the remaining fields on the form.
  4. If your initials do not show up in the dropdown list for "describer," you will need to add them to the custom choice lists by going to Setup on the main menu >> Customize Choice Lists >> Edit Choice Lists. Once the form opens, click on the plus sign next to the soil_survey_personnel domain and either overwrite an existing record of initials and name or create a new record at the bottom of the table.
  5. The import process will take the 4 to 6 digit number logged in your GPS unit and will build the user site ID based on your entries to the fields on the form. For example, I selected my user site ID format as Date, Survey Area, Garmin Ident Field. The date is “07,” the survey area is “MT645,” and the point number in my GPS is 1001, so the user site ID in the database will be 07MT6451001.

Instructions for Uploading Points and Photos for Linking

Date-matching photos to GPS points in the Pedon PC requires the following:

  • That you synchronize the date/time on your camera with the date/time that your Garmin GPSmap 76 receives from the satellites. The format of the camera date is not important for this to work).
    • Remember: Each time you change the batteries in your camera you will need to check and resynchronize the time.
  • Try to take any photo documentation within minutes of marking a GPS waypoint. Photos will be matched to the nearest site or transect stop by date/time based on a time window that you specify (5 minutes, 15 minutes, etc.)
  • Copy photos directly from camera to common location on shared (S) drive. You are responsible for maintaining your original full resolution photos locally.
    • Important: Do not use a third-party application (such as Cammedia, etc) to move, rename, rotate, or otherwise modify the photos until they are linked to stops.
  • In order to avoid cross-linking of photos when the pedon.mdb file is in a shared location, it is recommended that you set up a file structure that will not allow this to happen (See "File Structure" below).
    • Recommended: Picture Quality should be set to “Best” and Picture Resolution to “High” on your camera.

File Structure for Storing Photos

  • Create a folder and label it with the year, and then create a named folder for each project member within it at a common location on the shared drive. (see below)
  • Plug in your camera and copy your photos directly from your camera into the folder with your name on it.

Screen shot of shared drive

Linking Photos

  1. Start the Pedon PC
  2. Select Forms >> Analyze Point Data on the forms menu
  3. Once the Analysis form is open, create and save a filter that pulls only records you have added to the database for that year by uploading your GPS points.
    • To do this, go to the shortcut dropdown in the upper left of the form and select the field Describer then go down into the PickList and click on your initials. Notice the filter moves into the filter box (pedon.descname = 'JMS')
    • If you want to further reduce your selected set to only those points with your initials and user site IDs that have the year 07 in them, then add the following: (pedon.descname = 'JMS') AND (site.usiteid LIKE '07*')
    • You can copy and paste this filter into the box and then change the initials.
  4. Now save this filter (Example: JMS_2007 points) and use it to filter to your points each time you wish to link photos to your points. Each project member should create a similar filter and save it.

Linking Photos

  1. Click on the Open Photo Manager button.
  2. Go to the dropdown in the upper left hand corner of the form and select Selected Sites
  3. Drill Down Analysis Form to load the filtered set from the analysis form.
  4. Go over to the dropdown on the upper right hand corner of the form and check that only your sites were loaded and appear in the list of site observations.
  5. Browse to the folder with your name on it where you have stored your photos.
  6. Go to the dropdown in the upper left hand corner of the form and select Directory (Link by Nearest Date-Match). This will start the date matching of photos in the specified directory location to the site records in your filtered set from the analysis form.
  7. A prompt will confirm what you are about to do, click yes if you are ready to create the photo link records.

Linking Photos

  1. A message will appear that tells you the date match tolerance (time window) that you are using to link the photos, how many sites had new links created for them, how many sites already had links, and the number of photos that remain unlinked. Click OK to all of these and then click Yes to show all photo categories.
  2. Photos will be loaded on the left side of the form. Click on the Site Observation dropdown list and select a user site ID to view the photos that are linked to that site on the right hand side of the form.
  3. Click on an image on the left or right sides of the form and it will load into the center frame. You can change the photo category of a photo to describe what the subject of the photo is and you can enter a short caption (20-character limit).