Author Topic: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images  (Read 8325 times)

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Offline SonarTRX

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QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« on: April 06, 2012, 05:50:14 PM »
SonarTRX produce image-tiles along track, or (merged) "Master Images" based on a collection of image-tiles. To create maps of larger areas, a tool to pull together multiple images, layer them in the right sequence, use background maps and vector layers is often needed. Many SonarTRX uses have access to commercial GIS / mapping products (ESRI, Manifold GIS, Global Mapper, etc.), but others might be interested in an open-source or free alternative. Here is one alternative:

QGIS (Quantum GIS):  http://qgis.org

QGIS has easy to use mapping tools and has variety of free plugins that will enhance its capabilities, including raster merge tools, contouring etc. It can also generate raster pyramids (Files containing multiple resolutions for improved performance: *.ovr files) Plugins also exist for connecting to a variety of image-servers (for background maps etc. QGIS can also be used with a GPS to display SonarTRX and other custom map-content as backdrop. It also has a "Print Composer" so the maps can be output to a variety of file-formats for presentations and sharing etc.

The following workflow can be used to build a sidescan map of a larger area, using SonarTRX & QGIS:

1. Use SonarTRX to generate MasterImages from logical sections ("clips") of your Humminbird sonar-recording. If the sonar recording has overlapping regions or parallel runs, these can be written to separate MasterImages, so the layering can be controlled by QGIS.

2. Add each MasterImage to QGIS as a layer. Drag the layers into the desired sequence. Configure layer transparency by defining the "4'th band" as the transparency channel: The SonarTRX PNG images are in the RGBA format, and the "alpha" channel is the 4'th channel.

3. Add any other content, such as background maps, vector layers, labels etc.

4. Use the Print Composer to create presentation-style output for use in reports and publications.

5. Optionally merge multiple raster images by using the GDAL plugin, or generate raster pyramids for improved performance.


Tore

tore@sonartrx.com

http://www.sonartrx.com


Offline fast talker

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Re: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 11:05:11 AM »
This is so discouraging to someone like me. I don't begin to understand any of the terms or names used in this explaination of usage. It appears that one needs to be a computer programmer to use these units and programs.
Isn't there any way for the layman to be able to tell the unit what I want done and have the unit display that without all the dedicated computer lingo? I will be reading and rereading the manuals that come with my units; hope I can understand enough to operate them.
Ted

Offline sonar2000

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Re: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 11:28:24 AM »
FT, indeed these fishfinders have become computers. But that does not take away from the basic use of them.
The fishfinder will do your everyday "stuff' and has improved over the years.

As with any product other vendors find a way to interface with the data and offer programs that will enhance the basic unit.

If this is not where you want to go then stay with the basic unit and use it as it is. There is nothing wrong with being basic and off the shelf for usage. You will be fine. Learn to use the unit as you want it to do.

The forum here has every one from novice to highly experienced guys (and girls) and the more creative do push the envelope.

Sticks with what works for you...

Chuck


Offline ITGEEK

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Re: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 11:44:48 AM »
You're not the only one discouraged Ted.
When Tore and Rickard post up something,
half the time, I don't know what they are
talking about, and I am a computer programmer. :-\
Those two could build their own sonar machines
and put Humminbird out of business. :)
They probably both work for NASA.

You don't have to know all that stuff.
Just use your unit, get experience with it, look through
your manual, do some Web searches, look at some
youtube videos of other people using their units.
Then, eventually do some recordings, then download
the Humviewer software to your PC to look at the recordings.
Take it slow.  The more you use your
unit, the more you will learn.
Ask as many questions as you like here.

Lots of people on this forum are willing
to help you.  We are all friends here.
There are no dumb questions.

Offline newkid4si

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Re: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 02:57:11 PM »
Ted
   Do not become discouraged by Tore's post. It is way over my head also. But that's OK.
   There are members here with all level of skills and needs.
   Chuck and ITG raise excellent points in that just because it's available doesn't mean you have to use it.
   I probably only use 50% of the capability of my unit. That meets my needs.
   The one program that has helped me the most is Humviewer.

                          Mike

Offline fast talker

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Re: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 03:11:22 PM »
Hey guys;
I appreciate the responses. I will start out slow and read the manuals over and over and over...LOL. I don't expect to use all the capabilities but just to master the most useful to me that I can do. I have decided to wait for the brighter LED units coming out in January (I hope). We have frozen waters for the first part of the year so will give me time to do installations and checking some of the functions. I have a nice heated 4,000 sq. ft. building that my fishing partner and I use to service the boat over the winter time so will practice in there while ol' man winter does his thing outside.

Thanks again for the advice;
Ted

Offline SonarTRX

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Re: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 04:04:00 PM »
Hi Fast Talker,

I am sorry if my post sounded too complicated, but please consider that it was posted under the "Software and Software Development" topic of this forum - ...where SonarTRX is one of the sub-topics.

I made the post, because some Humminbird/SonarTRX users might be interested in knowing about compatible mapping software for use with SonarTRX & Humminbird. Such mapping software is often just called a "GIS" (i.e. a "Geographic Information Systems").  GIS is a very broad term for a software system that deals with data that has a position associated with it (...such as a track-line with depth values, or an image showing Humminbird SI data that can be overlaid a map etc.)

Most GIS systems has tools to import depth values for gridding and contouring (i.e. to create a contour-map of the bottom), and they also are capable of importing "raster data" (images) that visualize data from your Side Imaging transducer.

You can find out more than you ever wanted to know ;-) about "Geographic Information Systems", or "GIS" from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_information_system


Tore

Offline fast talker

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Re: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 04:21:59 PM »
I hope I didn't sound negative to you. I am glad there those of you who can think along these lines so we have all these devices that do so much to make life easier for us. I'm just an ol' dog that is trying to learn a few new tricks...LOL.
I will keep browsing and trying to understand all this and a big Thank You to all that are helping me along the way.
Keep up the good work;
Ted

Offline Bob B

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Re: QGIS - A free program for creating maps with SonarTRX images
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 05:13:19 PM »
Fast Talker, I have a technical occupation and work with graphics software that utilizes layering.....but have no idea how this applies to the mapping software....it is nice to know others do, and one of these days my interest my branch into this area.
In the meantime, I just pay attention to details in the threads that I am most interested in, or where I have some experience that may help someone else....That is exactly what SonarTRX is doing, but what he is sharing is beyone what most of us are going to utilize.

If you try to absorb all the info on all the subjects....especially when you are just starting out, it will make your head explode.
Just keep plugging away at the basics....maybe chalk away a mental note that there is software that will allow you to make your own maps.

This thread is an example of why I like this forum so much ..... there is an amazing range of people that are active and many who use their units in very creative ways.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 05:16:28 PM by Bob B »
**Looking for the one that makes it all worthwhile**


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