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Creating an “Honesty Trace” Using a Garmin GPS Device

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Presentation on theme: "Creating an “Honesty Trace” Using a Garmin GPS Device"— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating an “Honesty Trace” Using a Garmin GPS Device
By Cpl Matthew Ellis CLB-3 S-2 Analyst 20 May 2009

2 Purpose: This manual was created for all units of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Most mounted patrols in southern Afghanistan occur not on roads, but across deserts, through riverbeds, and around mountains. An “Honesty Trace” is a map plotted with all the actual (vice planned) routes taken by previous patrols. Without them, Marines often kid themselves that their routes vary sufficiently from patrol to patrol to avoid setting patterns. The truth is that our routes set patterns that the enemy routinely exploits. Honesty Traces are the only way to keep accurate account of where you (and where your sister U.S. and British units) have been Honesty Traces plainly tell us which wadi crossings we gravitate toward, which stretches of desert we have traversed before, and which contours and chokepoints we and our sister units tend to repeatedly navigate. Hence, the traces keep us honest. They indicate where we should sweep for IEDs, where we might employ snipers, and where we should consider changing our route altogether. In short, Honesty Traces are the single most effective tool you have for route planning A decade ago these had to be painstakingly plotted by hand on tracing paper. Today, with an off-the-shelf Garmin GPS device, our routes can be automatically recorded and plotted by plugging the device into a USB port and downloading the data onto FalconView, C2PC, GoogleEarth, or some other mapping software This manual shows patrol leaders the simple steps they can follow to record their actual routes. It also explains how they, or their S-2 shops, can create Honesty Trace maps based on the routes recorded on their Garmin GPS devices.

3 Part I: Familiarizing Yourself With the Garmin and Recording Your Actual Route.

4 Familiarization with the Garmin
USB CORD FRONT BACK Note: You’ll need a Garmin that is compatible with a USB port.

5 ON/OFF AND BRIGHTNESS ADJUSTER
Garmin Buttons LEFT SIDE RIGHT SIDE BACK/STOP BUTTON ZOOM OUT ON/OFF AND BRIGHTNESS ADJUSTER NAVIGATIONAL STICK MENU BUTTON SCREEN LEFT FRONT RIGHT

6 TURN LEFT AND PULL TO ACCESS BATTERIES
Back of Garmin USB PORT COVER USB PORT BATTERIES (AA) TURN LEFT AND PULL TO ACCESS BATTERIES

7 USB Cord Like we said, we’re busting it down Barney style.
THIS END GOES INTO A USB PORT ON YOUR COMPUTER THIS END GOES INTO THE BACK OF THE GARMIN Like we said, we’re busting it down Barney style.

8 ON/OFF AND BRIGHTNESS ADJUSTER
Powering Up the GARMIN Hold the “On” button located on the right side (the one with the light bulb icon) for 1.5 seconds. BACK/STOP BUTTON ON/OFF AND BRIGHTNESS ADJUSTER RIGHT

9 Powering Up the GARMIN A screen showing cardinal directions will appear; “Acquiring Satellites” will also show at the top the screen.

10 SETTING YOUR GARMIN TO TRACK YOUR ROUTE
Depending on your location it can take seconds to acquire enough satellites to triangulate your position. If you are in a location that is closed or has cover you will not be able to acquire satellites. “Poor Satellite Reception” will appear. If this occurs move to a new location and click on the navigational stick, then click on the fourth selection “Continue Acquiring”. Continue this process until the screen shows a blank map with a North-seeking arrow in the upper left hand corner. This indicates that you have acquired a link with the satellites.

11 SETTING YOUR GARMIN TO TRACK YOUR ROUTE
2) After turning on your Garmin, press the menu button twice (located on the left side of the Garmin).

12 SETTING YOUR GARMIN TO TRACK YOUR ROUTE
3) A “Main Menu” screen will appear. The battery life indicator will be in the upper right hand corner.

13 SETTING YOUR GARMIN TO TRACK YOUR ROUTE
4) Navigate to the “Tracks” icon. Press the navigational stick once.

14 SETTING YOUR GARMIN TO TRACK YOUR ROUTE
A Track Log will appear (it will be on “Off”).

15 SETTING YOUR GARMIN TO TRACK YOUR ROUTE
7) Use the navigational stick to select “On” (“On” will appear with a yellow highlight when selected). Once “On” is selected, press once on the navigation stick.

16 SETTING YOUR GARMIN TO TRACK YOUR ROUTE
The black dot will appear in the blank circle to the left of “On”. Your Garmin is now tracking the route.

17 Placing the Garmin In a Turret
A good place to put the Garmin is in a vehicle turret. To mitigate dust or to prevent the device from getting wet, you can place the Garmin in a plastic bag. Using duct-tape to fasten the Garmin to the turret works fairly well. The key thing is to ensure the Garmin is atop the vehicle with clear line-of-sight to the satellites. The Garmin will not work well from inside the vehicle.

18 Saving Your Route on the Garmin
Once at your destination remove the Garmin from the turret. Navigate to the “Tracks” icon in the main menu (see slides “Setting Your Garmin to Track Your Route”). Set the track log to “Off”.

19 Saving Your Route on the Garmin
Navigate to the “Save” selection (it will be highlighted in yellow when selected). Click once on the navigational stick.

20 Saving Your Route on the Garmin
A screen asking “Do you want to save entire track?” will appear. Ensure “Yes” is highlighted yellow. Click once on the navigation button.

21 Saving Your Route on the Garmin
A “saved track” screen will appear. Ensure the date is correct. Navigate to the “Ok” in the lower right hand corner (it will be yellow when selected). Click once on the navigational stick. Your route is now saved. All you have to do now is hand the device to your S2.

22 Part II: Downloading a Saved Route to the S-2 Computer and Plotting the Route on FalconView or C2PC.

23 First step is to download the Garmin “MapSource” software to your computer. MapSource allows you to download routes from the handheld GPS and to create GPX files, which may be stored or sent to higher. MapSource also allows you to plot the routes on FalconView and C2PC. MapSource comes with the Garmin. Alternatively, you can get a copy from the RCT S-2 Shop’s imagery analysts, Sgt Spurling and SSgt Warren (they’re based at SPMAGTF-A headquarters at Kandahar Airfield through May 2009, and then will relocate to FOB Leatherneck). Also, the 1st CEB S-2 Officer at FOB Leatherneck, 2ndLt Bryan Warner, has copies. Their contact information:

24 Connecting the Device to Your Computer
Connect the small end of the USB cord to the back of the Garmin. Connect the large end of the USB cord to a USB port on your computer. Turn on the Garmin once both sides are connected. The Install Wizard will appear on your computer screen.

25 Installing The Garmin Hardware On Your Computer
If this is the first time connecting the device to the computer, “Found New Hardware Wizard” will appear. Ensure the “Install the Software Automatically (Recommended)” circle has a black dot in it. Click “Next”.

26 Installing The Garmin Hardware On Your Computer
This will begin the install (this can take up to 60 seconds).

27 Installing The Garmin Hardware On Your Computer
When complete, “Completing the Found New Hardware Wizard” will appear. Click on “Finish”. The Garmin is installed.

28 Transferring Routes From Garmin To MapSource
Once the device is installed, open MapSource program. MapSource will appear. Click on “Transfer” in the upper left corner. A drop down menu will appear. Click on “Receive from device”.

29 Transferring Routes From Garmin To MapSource
A “Receive from device” menu will appear. If your Garmin does not appear in the “Device:” drop down menu, follow the directions given. Ensure the “Tracks” selection is checked. Click on “Receive”.

30 Transferring Routes From Garmin To MapSource
A “Receiving from eTrex VistaCx software version 2.50” will appear. After a few seconds a “Transfer complete” will appear. Click “Ok”.

31 Transferring Routes From Garmin To MapSource
The transfer is complete and the boxes will disappear. All of the routes saved on the Garmin will appear on the map and in the left hand side.

32 At this point, you have the option of saving your recorded routes as GPX files. We recommend you do so: GPX files can be easily ed to other people. In fact, you should turn all your recorded routes into GPX files and them to the RCT S-2 shop, which will store them along with those of adjacent units and create Honesty Trace maps for you. The following three slides show you how to convert your recorded routes into GPX files using MapSource.

33 Saving route file as a GPX
Click on the file you wish to save as a GPX. Once the track is selected, click on File in the top right corner. Click on “Save As”.

34 Saving route file as a GPX
A “Save As” window will appear. Select the drop down menu “Save as type”.

35 Saving Route File as a GPX
Select “GPS eXchange Format (*gpx)”. Save the file as “Location DDMMMYY”. The saved GPX files can now be ed to the RCT S-2 shop, which will make Honesty Trace maps from them.

36 Next, you will need to copy your saved routes to Excel
Next, you will need to copy your saved routes to Excel. The Excel files are what FalconView and C2PC will use to plot the routes. The following slides show how to complete this task.

37 Copying Routes to Excel Spreadsheets
1) Double click on the file and the track you wish to convert and the track properties will appear. 2) Once the “Track Properties” window appears, select one of the rows and press “Ctrl + A” to select all rows. Once all have been selected and are blue press “Ctrl + C” to copy all. Click “Cancel”.

38 Copying Routes to Excel Spreadsheets
Double click on the file and the track you wish to convert and the track properties will appear.

39 Copying Routes to Excel Spreadsheets
Once the “Track Properties” window appears, select one of the rows and press “Ctrl + A” to select all rows. Once all have been selected and are blue press “Ctrl + C” to copy all. Click “Cancel”.

40 Copying Routes to Excel Spreadsheets
Once the files are copied open a new Excel spread sheet. 10) Select the first cell in the first row. 11) Paste previously copied selection into the spreadsheet.

41 Copying Routes to Excel Spreadsheets
12) Select columns “A” through “i” by dragging the mouse across the letters. Right click on one of the selected letters and click “Delete” in the drop down menu.

42 Copying Routes to Excel Spreadsheets
This will leave only the MGRS coordinates in the first row. 15) Save the document to your designated folder as (location ddmmyy).

43 Excel to FalconView Once the spread sheet has been saved, open the Excel2FV folder on your desktop and open the file inside. Make sure the tab at the top says “Import to FV”. Ensure the import type is “Draw.” Click “Connect all records”.

44 Excel to FalconView A box will appear, click “Yes.”

45 Excel to FalconView Click on “Source.”

46 Excel to FalconView “Import Source_File” will appear.
Navigate to the location where you stored the spreadsheet you created from Map Source. Double click on the Excel file you wish to import.

47 Excel to FalconView “Save Location” box will appear.
Click on “Other Directory.”

48 Excel to FalconView A “Save DRW File” window will appear.
Name the file “Location DDMMYY.” Save the file to a location where you will be able to find it later.

49 Excel to FalconView Select “MGRS” in the coordinate format.
Go to where it says “Column One” and click drop down arrow and select “MGRS”. Click inside the coordinate format box so all the letters turn black. Click “Create.” The spread sheet will appear. Click on “Excel2FV.Doc” in the bottom tool bar.

50 Excel to FalconView “Import Summary” box will appear.
If you wish to view in FalconView select “Yes” if not, select “No”. Once the route is created it will be saved in the same folder as the spreadsheet you created earlier.

51 Converting to C2PC Open EXCEL2FV.
Click on the tab at the top that says “export from fv”. Select “Drawing” in the source file type portion. Select “C2PC MGC” in the “export file type” portion. Click on Source.

52 Converting to C2PC Navigate to the FV draw file you wish to convert.
Double click the route you wish to convert. The file will maintain the same name as the FV file. Click “Convert File!”

53 Opening in C2PC Open C2PC. Select the overlay tab.
Right click on the folder that says “imported”. Click on “import” in the drop down menu that appears. Navigate to the location where the C2PC mgc file you created is. Double click on the file.

54 Opening in C2PC The file will be imported into the “imported” folder in C2PC. Click on the “plus” symbol to the left of the file you imported. Double click on the Polyline. A Polyline input data window will appear. Click on the tab that says “Polyline”. Uncheck the “auto close” box.

55 Opening in C2PC Select the tab “Properties”.
Here you can adjust the color and thickness of the route to be displayed. The following slide will show you an example of what Honesty Traces look like when they’re plotted on a map.

56 This is what a map chip with Honesty Traces looks like
This is what a map chip with Honesty Traces looks like. (For OpSec reasons, we plotted these traces in a part of the country where we don’t actually drive.) We typically printed our Honesty Traces on 1:100,000 and 1:50,000 scale maps. For key sections of terrain, we’ll print Honesty Traces on 1:25,000 or 1:15,000 scale imagery.

57 This presentation was prepared for all units of 2nd MEB, and any other ISAF units, by the S-2 shop (1stLt Matt Pottinger and Corporal Matthew Ellis) of Combat Logistics Battalion 3, United States Marine Corps. Lt Pottinger is in Afghanistan until spring of 2010 and can be contacted at the following addresses: 1stLt Matt Pottinger


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