GeoDB Data Tools
Version 1.0*

Introduction

The GeoDB Data Tools archive (geodbtools.zip) is an adjunct to Palm OS GeoDB.

This page documents the available means to install, create, and edit GeoDB Databases, and how to convert location data stored in a GPS into GeoDB databases and vice versa.

The GeoDB Data Tools archive provides databases and PC tools to work with GeoDB and with GPS devices.

The provided databases include over 700 world wide locations.

The provided PC tools are four PC applications to work with location data. These are:

Table of Contents

GeoDB Databases

GPS Device Locations


Available GeoDB Databases In The GeoDB Data Tools Archive

In the GeoDB Data Tools Archive is a collection of world location data. They have been collected from many different sources.

WARNING -- Without a doubt some of these data are inaccurate!!!

These completed databases are provided so that you can get started putting locations in your GeoDB. However it is strongly recommended that you personalize your own locations using the tools provided and documented here.

The GMT Offset in these completed database are set to what it should be based only on the geographic longitude -- not actual civil GMT Offsets. Also, Daylight Time is set 'none' in all of these data sets.

Check the GMT Offset of the ones you keep and adjust the Daylight Time setting.

Databases Ready to Install into GeoDB

NameWorld AreaComments
World.pdbAllAll data available in GeoDB Data Tools
USA.pdbUSA/CanadaUSA and Canada
Europe.pdbGreater EuropePositive Latitudes and 24W > Longitude < 50E
Canada.pdbCanadaCanada data
NonUSA.pdbWorld w/o USA/CanadaWorld data without USA and Canada
East.pdbEastern HemispherePositive Longitudes
West.pdbWestern HemisphereNegative Longitudes
North.pdbNorthern HemispherePositive Latitudes
South.pdbSouthern HemisphereNegative Latitudes

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Installing GeoDB Databases In Your Palm OS Handheld

Databases are installed in your Palm OS in just the same manner as you install an application.

Open your Palm Desktop, click on the Install icon, add the databases you wish to install, and then perform a synchronization.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Create and Edit Databases In GeoDB

The GeoDB Documentation geodb.html (which came in the geodb??.zip archive) gives complete instructions on how to create and edit a GeoDB Database within the GeoDB application.
If you cannot find it on your computer, you can read it online by clicking here.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Making Your CSV Location Data Files

In making your location data files you can start with the CSV data files provided in the GeoDB Data Tools Archive. These files contain all of the data in the available GeoDB Databases. These file names are list below.

These data are in a comma separated value (CSV) format. There is a problem with this format because of the European use of ',' for the decimal point, but this format was chosen because it is easy to create/import to other database software, such as Excel.

To create the collection of locations you want in your database, use your favorite text editor (e.g. NotePad, WordPad, etc.) or Excel, and open one data file. Edit this file by deleting the locations that you do not want. Check the GMT Offset of the ones you keep and adjust the Daylight Time setting. This is because GMT Offset in these files are set to what it should be based only on the geographic longitude -- not actual civil GMT Offsets. Also, Daylight Time is set 'none' in all of these data sets.

Save the edited file as some appropriate name. If you use Excel be sure to save the file in CSV format.

Continue to cut and paste locations from other location files until you have all the locations for your database together in one CSV file.
If you want to add your own locations use the exact format as in the supplied files. This is documented in Technical Information below.

WARNING -- Without a doubt some of these data are inaccurate!!!

They are only to help you to get your personal database started. Use this data as an estimate ONLY! Check it if it matters!

Raw Data FileCSV Data FileComment
worldcity.datworld.csvAll the data
uscity.datusa.csvAll of the Canada/USA data
europe.dateurope.csvPositive Latitudes and 24W > Longitude < 50E
canada.datcanada.csvCanada data
nonuscity.datnonus.csvAll of the rest of the world
nonusEast.datnonusEast.csvSubsets of nonUSA data
nonusWest.datnonusWest.csv
nonusNorth.datnonusNorth.csv
nonusSouth.datnonusSouth.csv

Back to Create a GeoDB Database on your PC


Create or Add To a Geodb Database Using Palm Memos.

GeoDB Version 1.1 has the capability to import locations into a GeoDB database via a Palm MemoPad memo.

This allows one to create a GeoDB location database from memos synchronized from the Palm Desktop.

This method is somewhat cumbersome because of a limitation to the Palm OS import/export size. Palm OS memos are limited to 4000 characters. Therefore be sure that any memo to be imported/exported meets these limit. This limit is about 110 CSV format location lines.

Create your location file for importation in a manner discussed above -- Making Your Location Data Files.

Rules for Synchronization and Import:

  1. Memos to be constructed in the Palm Desktop are limited to 4000 characters.
  2. This limit applies to the synchronization process from/to the Palm Desktop to the Palm OS.
  3. GeoDB can hold an 'unlimited' amount of data. Thus to build a large database in your Palm OS, synchronize a number of memos to the Palm OS's MemoPad then import them into GeoDB.

Example of importing the entire US data into a GeoDB database:

  1. In the Palm Desktop create a new memo. Call it, say, 'us1' on the first line. Save it.
  2. Edit memo us1. Cut about 1/3 of the us.csv file and paste it into us1 starting on the line following 'us1'. (us.csv is 321 line so 1/3 is very close to the memo size limit.)
  3. Repeat this for the other two parts into memos us2, and us3.
  4. Synchronize the Palm Desktop and the Palm OS device. This will move the three memos us1, us2, us3, into the Palm's MemoPad. This will also save the current GeoDB database(s) to your Palm Desktop.
  5. Open GeoDB. Use any or the 'New', Rename', or 'Delete' menu items discussed above to obtain an empty GeoDBData base.
  6. Open GeoDB again (if necessary). The GeoDBData database will active and empty.
  7. Open the 'Memo' menu. Import the three us1, us2, us3, memos.
  8. Rename the GeoDBData database to be, say, 'USA'.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Export Data From an Existing Geodb Database To a Palm Memo

GeoDB Version 1.1 has the capability to export locations from a database in GeoDB via a Palm MemoPad memo.

This capability is most useful if you have created a database in GeoDB and wish to extract it so that you can add it to another database.

Rules for Synchronization and Export:

  1. Memos to be constructed in the Palm Desktop are limited to 4000 characters.
  2. This limit applies to the synchronization process from/to the Palm Desktop to the Palm OS.
  3. This limit applies to the export from GeoDB to a memo in MemoPad.
  4. Thus to extract portions of a GeoDB database you may have export the data to several memos and then synchronize them to the Palm Desktop.

Example of Exporting a part of the USA database:

  1. Assume that you wish to export locations starting at Chapel Hill, NC. Open the USA database and highlight: Chapel Hill NC.
  2. Tap Menu/Memo/Export. Choose a name for the memo, say USChap. Then tap From HighLighted. This is fill memo USChap with all of the USA database from Chapel Hill, NC up to Menominee, WI. Do not discard the memo.
  3. If more data is needed that was not included in memo USChap, hightlight the desired starting location and export it to a new memo name. Repeat as needed.
  4. Synchronize the Palm Desktop and the Palm OS device. This will move all of your Palm's MemoPad memos to the Palm Desktop.
  5. You can now cut and paste the data from the memos you exported to a PC file for making your new database.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Create a GeoDB Database On Your PC

The easiest way to create a GeoDB database is to use the supplied csv2gdb.exe application on your PC.

You do this by creating a file containing the location descriptions in CSV format, and running the csv2gdb.exe application in a Windows Command window.

Create your location file in a manner discussed above -- Making Your Location Data Files.
For this example, call the CSV file you created: myLocations.csv

Build your database by running csv2gdb.exe in a Windows Command window:

  1. Open a Windows Command window. Change the directory to the directory where you saved myLocations.csv. (Use the cd command.)
  2. Run csv2gdb.exe by entering at the prompt: <path to csv2gdb.exe>\csv2gdb (E.g. \Palm\GeoDB\csv2gdb)
Follow the application prompts. An example follows:

Create a GeoDB database for Palm OS GeoDB from a CSV format location file.

Enter the name of the CSV location file [.csv]: myLocations

The GeoDB Database name and the .pdb file name will the same.
Enter GeoDB Database file name (case preserved -- 12 chars maximum) [.pdb]: Favorites

Sort the database in ascending name order [y/n]: y

Convert ddd.ddd to ddd:mm.mmm [y/n]: y

Note: Upon completion you can install the database (Favorites.pdb) into your Palm device using the Palm Desktop.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Extract Location Data From a GeoDB Database On Your PC

The easiest way to extract all of the location data from a GeoDB database is to use the supplied gdb2csv.exe application on your PC.

To do this we use the USA.pdb for an example:

  1. Open a Windows Command window. Change the directory to the directory where the USA.pdb is located. (Use the cd command.)
  2. Run gdb2csv.exe by entering at the prompt: <path to gdb2csv.exe>\gdb2csv (E.g. \Palm\GeoDB\gdb2csv)
Follow the application prompts. An example follows:

Convert a Palm OS GeoDB database to a CSV format file.

Enter the name of the GeoDB database file [.pdb]: USA

Extracting location data from GeoDB database: USA

Data saved in file: USA.csv

Note: The file extension .pdb was automatically supplied for your file: USA

Upon completion edit the .csv file as desired.

If the database you wish to extract location data from was created in your Palm OS you can get it into your PC by synchronization. After synchronization, all of the GeoDB databases in your Palm OS can be found in a sub-directory of your Palm Desktop. It will be found in, for example: .../PalmDdesktop/<name>/Backup. <name> is the HotSync User Name.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


What Is EasyGPS and GPX files.

EasyGPS is freeware that makes it easy to create, edit, and transfer waypoints and routes between your PC computer and your Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance GPS, and probably other GPS's.

The data file used by EasyGps is GPX (GPS Exchange Format) -- an open source format. Using EasyGPS you can download/upload your GPS locations in GPX format.

Provided in the GeoDB Data Tools Archive are two PC programs to convert GeoDB CSV format files to the GPX format, and vise versa. Thus it is easy to work with your GPS and GeoDB.

You can get EasyGPS at http://www.easygps.com

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Extract GPS Stored Locations and Create a GeoDB Database.

Following are the steps to create a GeoDB database from the locations stored in your GPS:
  1. Connect your GPS to your computer.
  2. Execute EasyGPS. Download the locations from your GPS by clicking on the Receive icon.
  3. Save the GPX file. For this example, call it: GPSfile.gpx
  4. Open a Windows Command window. Change the directory to the directory where you saved GPSfile.gpx. (Use the cd command.)
  5. Run gpx2csv.exe by entering at the prompt: <path to gpx2csv.exe>\gpx2csv. (E.g. \Palm\GeoDB\gpx2csv)

    Convert a EasyGPS GPX format file to Palm OS GeoDB CSV format file.

    Enter the name of the GPX location file [.gpx]: GPSfile

    Enter the name of the GeoDB CSV file (case preserved) [.csv]: GPSfile

    Enter optional CSV triple (GMT offset,E/W,DLS number e.g. 5,W,4): 8,W,4

    Note:
    The final prompt is requesting a 'GMT triple'. That is, what you would like the GMT Offset, GMT E/W and the Daylight Time information for each location in the CSV file. This is because your GPS does not store this data. Make it a value that is most common for all of your locations.
    The format to enter is (e.g.): 5,W,4 -- meaning the GMT offset is 5, it is west of Greenwich, and the Daylight Time is North American. (The values for the Daylight Time number is shown below in Technical Information.)
    If you do not enter a value it will be set to: 0,W,0.

  6. The file GPSfile.csv will be saved in the same directory as GPSfile.gpx.
    Since the added GMT triple is set for all locations, you might want to edit this newly created GPSfile.csv file for some of the locations.
  7. To create the GeoDB database, in the Windows Command window, run csv2gdb.exe by entering at the prompt: <path to csv2gdb>\csv2gdb. (E.g. \Palm\GeoDB\csv2gdb)

    Create a GeoDB database for Palm OS GeoDB from a CSV format location file.

    Enter the name of the CSV location file [.csv]: GPSfile

    The GeoDB Database name and the .pdb file name will the same.
    Enter the name of the GeoDB Database file (case preserved) [.pdb]: GPSfile

    Sort the database in ascending name order [y/n]: y

    Convert ddd.ddd to ddd:mm.mmm [y/n]: y

    Note:

    In the GPX format the latitude and longitude data is always in ddd.ddd (E.g. 33.697 degrees) format. Thus the CSV format file created in Step 5 is in ddd.ddd format. If you would like it to be converted to the ddd:mm.mmm (e.g. 33:41.82) enter y. If you enter nothing it will be defaulted to 'y'.

  8. Connect your Palm OS to your computer. Install GPSfile.pdb in your Palm OS using the Palm Desktop.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Store a GeoDB Database In Your GPS.

Following are the steps to store a GeoDB database in your GPS:
  1. To do this, first change the PC's directory to the directory containing the GeoDB database. For this example we use USA.pdb. (Use the cd command.)
  2. Run gdb2csv.exe by entering at the prompt: <path to gdb2csv.exe>\gpx2csv. (E.g. \Palm\GeoDB\gdb2csv)

    Follow the application prompts. An example follows:

    Convert a Palm OS GeoDB database to a CSV format file.

    Enter the name of the GeoDB database file [.pdb]: USA

    Extracting location data from GeoDB database: USA

    Data saved in file: USA.csv

  3. To create the EasyGPS GPX file, in a Windows Command window, run csv2gpx.exe by entering at the prompt: <path to csv2gpx>\csv2gdb. (E.g. \Palm\GeoDB\csv2gpx)

    Follow the application prompts. An example follows:

    Convert a Palm OS GeoDB CSV format file to EasyGPS GPX format file.

    Enter the name of the CSV location file [.csv]: USA

    Enter the name of the EasyGPS file (case preserved) [.gpx]: USA

    The file USA.gpx was saved in the current directory along with USA.csv

  4. Connect your GPS to your computer.
  5. Execute EasyGPS.
  6. Open the USA.gpx file.
  7. Download the locations to your GPS by clicking on the Send icon.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


Technical Information

The GeoDB CSV format is:

name,latitude,N/S,longitude,E/W,elevation,gmtOffset,E/W,daylightCode

Example:

Potsdam NY,44.64,N,75.03,W,,5,W,4

The daylightCode is the same as that of the order of the menu:

0No
1Yes
2Australia
3Europe
4N. America
5S. America
6User Defined

Note that the CSV data order is exactly that of the order of these fields in the GeoDB defining dialog screen.

Back to the Table of Contents Links


*Program Changes starting at Version 1.0

Version 1.0 Bld:330 is the original release.
  1. Data and database for (greater) Europe added (V1.0 Bld:331)
  2. csv2gdb was changed to truncate long file name (V1.0 Bld:402)

Future PC application releases will change the version number only for major changes. All changes will have an increasing Bld: (build) number.
Be sure that your application versions are up-to-date. Check the Bld: number for the PC applications.
To do this, in a Windows Command window, enter the application executable filename followed by /h. E.g. gdb2csv /h

The current Bld: is 402.