GPS track advice

In case anyone has some knowledge of this:

I am using Garmin eTrex10s to GPS track visitor movement around the zoo. I have it on the highest setting so that it tracks points as often as possible so that I will be able to create heat maps of hot spots around the zoo where dwell time is spent.

So far I have spent a lot of time teaching myself QGIS and getting the data I want to look how I want but it’s very convoluted and so there must be an easier way that I don’t know about.

The tracks in the Garmin are .gpx format and I upload this into Basecamp to export as a .csv file. I then have to go into this file and delete irrelevant data before uploading it into QGIS. This is the only way I have found to see the track as lat/long co-ordinate points rather than a continuous track. Also I have found I can only do this with the currenttrack.gpx from the Garmin and that previous tracks on the device are stored differently.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

HI Hannah, Are you using the Garmin GPS youself to observe visitor movement, or is it the visitors themselves that have the GPS device to track their own particular movements?.
It seems as though there might be a bit of confusion between using the GPS to generate “tracks” (linear features) or “waymarks” (point features). Can you explain a little about exactly how you are using the GPS to capture the location of the visitor you are tracking ?

If you are using .gpx format, you can import these directly into QGIS without the need to generate the CSV file as an interim format.

They are given the Garmin device in a small bag and they just cary it with them during their trip around the zoo. This records a track and waypoints every 30 seconds I believe is the most often increment.

Ah ok, that makes sense. Use of the GPX file direct in QGIS should give a linear vector features rather than a series of “points” which you would get by putting it into a CSV format.

Do you know if there is a simpler way to convert these to .csv than what I am currently doing? (stated in original post) Thank you for all your help!

HI Hannah, can you clarify why you need to convert to CSV ? If you are using GPS devices, then these should store the GPS locations as GPX files which can be imported direct into QGIS without the need to convert to CSV and thereby create a shape file or other geospatial format direct in QGIS. In general, the simplist way of handling data is not to do stuff you dont need to do!.

Just to have those waypoints rather than just a track so that they can be viewed as clusters to make heat maps. Maybe I can do this from .gpx but when I uploaded them they didn’t have that co-ordinate data to show dwell times, just the path.

When you added your .gpx to QGIS, did it ask you whether to import tracks and waypoints, or just bring in the tracks? If you’ve only got tracks, I’d suggest using QGIS’ ability to extract vertices from lines: Vector > Geometry Tools > Extract Vertices...