Records from Visiontac or Columbus

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Gilbert 21 - creating records from Visiontac or Columbus files

The Visiontac VGPS-900 data logger (also marketed as the Columbus V-900) was the first GPS data logger with the ability to record voice. The Gilbert 21 software was originally designed specifically to process the files produced by the this data logger. For information about using these devices in the field, see here. Gilbert 21 has also been successfully tested with the new model V-990 Columbus data logger.

The device produces two types of files - Comma Separated Values (CSV) files containing the 'tracks' - i.e. GPS latitudes and longitudes of where you've been - and WAV files containing the voice recordings. Each time you create a new track with data logger, it will produce one of these CSV files and a number WAV files corresponding to the number of 'voice tags' (i.e. records) you made.

To create records in Gilbert from your Visiontac / Columbus files, it is best to  copy the files created by your data logger onto your computer. There's no set way to organise these files. The only hard and fast rule is that CSV files and WAV files that belong together must be kept in the same folder - otherwise Gilbert 21 won't be able to associate them. As long as you obey that simple rule, you can organise the files from your data logger in any way you wish. But because, over time, you will generate so many, it pays to have some sort of system to do this.

Experience has shown the following system to work well:

From the Gilbert 21 File menu, select the Open files item. This should open the folder you previously set as the Default import folder. You should see the sub-folder you just created. Use the standard file open this folder and then select the CSV files you want to use to create records from. (Depending on how many CSV files you have in the folder, you can either select all of the CSV files or just some of them.)

Opening the a CSV file automatically produces a number of 'candidate records' corresponding to the number of tags you created on that track. All the location and date information is filled in automatically. This is because the GPS data logger file stores, for each tag, the location and time at which the tag was made. Of course this location information is just Gilbert 21's suggested locations based on the GPS location at which the tag was recorded and the data in its place name gazetteer. You don't have to accept any of these suggestions and you are free to edit any of the information.

The Columbus / Visiontac can create two types of tags: voice tags and simple geotags (without a voice recording). By default, candidate records are only generated from voice tags, but you can change this behaviour - so that candidate records are made from geotags too - by setting the appropriate option on the Input file options tab of Gilbert 21's options form.

Voice buttonTo complete the records, you need to indicate, for each one, what was seen. When you invoke What tab of the record details form for one of these records, it will automatically play the sound file (WAV file) associated with it. You can replay the sound from any tab of the record details form by clicking the Voice button. So you just listen to your own voice speaking what was seen and complete the form accordingly.

Note that voice tags may record much more than what was seen. For example it could include extra information about the location if the animal or plant was not seen exactly where the tag was made, or it may record information that can be recorded as a personal note rather that a biological record per se.

When you have finished creating records, save the new records (e.g. by selecting the appropriate item from the File menu). Note that you don't have to process all of the records at once. If you only do some of them, the next time you open the same data logger files again, any corresponding records that you have already saved to the database will be shown in full - so you can just pick up where you left off and start on the next unprocessed candidate record.

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