SQLite as an alternative to shapefiles, and some GPS fun in R

May 24, 2010

(This article was first published on dylan's blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Finally made it out to Folsom Lake for a fine day of sailing and GPS track collecting. Once I was back in the lab, I downloaded the track data with gpsbabel, and was ready to import the data into GRASS.

# import GPX from GPS:
gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f /dev/ttyS0 -o gpx -F trip1.gpx

I was particularly interested in how fast we were able to get the boat going, however my GPS does not keep track of its speed in the track log. Also, I had forgotten to set GPS up for a constant time interval between track points. Dang. In order to compute a velocity between sequential points from the track log I would need to first do two things: 1) convert the geographic coordinates into projected coordinates, and 2) compute the associated time interval between points.

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