Configurable Shapefile Output, better GPS detection

New Mysticetus version

This version has a couple new features:

1. Configurable Shapefile Output
2. Better GPS detection

The major new feature for this release is highly configurable Shapefile data export. With this feature, you can configure exactly how Mysticetus populates your Shapefile exports, including not only environmental information but also sighting and anything else that has a Time field that can associate the data with a GPS track mark.

In addition, this Shapefile output is not limited to “continuous” data items (such as environmental or effort parameters), but the output data can be configured to include “Single Point” data items (such as sightings), and these Single Point items will be associated in the Shapefile attribute table with the appropriate Track Mark.

And, just for good measure, you can name these data items however you want. By default Mysticetus will use the name in the entry sheet, but you can choose any other name (well, up to 10 characters – that’s all the Shapefile attribute table allows).

Here’s how to do it:

First, load or create a Mysticetus file containing some entry definitions – this can include Mysticetus files that already contain data. Then go into Configure -> Entry Sheets. For each field you want to be included in the Shapefile export, choose the Export Format dropdown…

And change things how you want them – the default is to not export a field to a shapefile – change that to True for it to be exported. Note the difference between a “Single Point” item and a “Continuous” item – that’s important.

Also note that Mysticetus uses the left-most Time field it finds to correlate entries with Track Marks. Make sure the left most Time field in your sheet provides relevant information about the time of that event or state (e.g. Sighting Time or Environmental Time, and so on).

Also note the * in the Shapefile Field Name setting – this tells Mysticetus to use the existing field name in the export. If you want your field to be named something different, here is the place to do it Note that Shapefiles can only contain 10 characters of data in their field names.

Now choose Data -> Export -> To ESRI Shapefile, and that’s all there is to it. Here is a quick example of the attribute table from one I slapped together. In this case, you can see I not only told it to grab some environmental info in continuous fashion (a record per trackmark), I told Mysticetus to grab some sighting information (observer, sighting location, etc.) as Single Point information, so these fields are associated with the closest GPS trackmark to when the Sighting happened.


The other nifty feature this release is much better GPS detection. Previously, you needed to restart Mysticetus if you forgot to plug in your GPS (or it’s battery died and you replaced it, or whatever). With this release, Mysticetus will just keep trying to find a GPS, forever. When it finds it, the little globe will turn green.

No more need to worry about when you turn your GPS on, or plug it in, or anything. Just do it in any order.


There are also quite a few bugs fixed with this release (including some appearances of the Red X). Go get it, and let me know what you think.

Hope everyone’s northern hemisphere summer / southern hemisphere winter is off to a great start.


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