Importing Activities

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Importing Activities

Postby gerhard » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:36 pm

This section explains some special cases to importing activities to SportTracks

Question:

How can I import data from the device to SportTracks?

Answer:

You can import data to SportTracks from various devices and formats. This post explains some ways (the list is not in suggested order).

A Many Garmin devices with USB or serial interface
Requires the Garmin USB drivers
Supported by default in ST
As the Garmin protocol is similar, you can try a another device if your specific model is not displayed.
(For some newer devices, see below)
More info further down this thread.

B Garmin Fitness devices
This includes devices like Edge 705 "mass storage USB" or ForeRunner 405 (50?) "ANT agent" that is not supported by the Garmin USB drivers in addition to the older direct USB access like the ForeRunner 305.
This SportTracks plugin could probably be extended to other Garmin devices too.
More info further down this thread:
http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTr ... 4342#25179

C Other SportTracks device import plugins
A number of devices are supported by other plugins. This includes Globalsat, Polar and many others.
See the SportTracks plugin list:
http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/Plugins/

D Import by file
If the device works as a USB mass storage device like the Edge 705, you can import directly from the device using files.
Some formats are better than other, see below.

E Import from device with another application, then import file
Use for instance the native application that comes with the device, export a file, then import according to D
This works with for instance many Polar devices.
Some Garmin 405 users prefer this way as well, importing the files the ANT agent leaves behind when importing to Garmin Training Center.


The standard import procedure into SportTracks (from files or directly from devices) is explained in detail in this this Daily Activity FAQ entry points 5) to 20)
Last edited by gerhard on Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:39 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Postby gerhard » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:37 pm

Question:

What fileformat is best to import from?
Why is not heart rate included when importing from .gpx files?

Answer:

There is no universal standard for handling fitness data. Most applications are using their own format. SportTracks native format is .fitlog. This is the only format that will include all information for an activity (except for plugin data, like old_man_bikings Weather in GPS2Power).

Just GPS information is described in the .gpx format, that most GPS enabled applications supports. However, there exists many separate extensions to .gpx for just handling heart rate. SportTracks handles the (undocumented) Garmin extensions for heart rate and cadence as used in the Colorado and Oregon devices. Other information like lap information and calorie information is generally not handled in .gpx. Even pauses in GPX tracks are not standardized. GPX track segments are normally handled as separate activities.

As Garmin is the dominant GPS device manufacturer, the most used format for fitness is Garmin's .tcx format. The .tcx also describes the major functions in SportTracks but not SportTracks specific information like category and equipment.
Last edited by gerhard on Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby gerhard » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:38 pm

Question:

I can see activities in my Garmin device. Why cannot I import them?

Answer:

Garmin 305/205/405/310/705 devices stores data for between 12-24hours (when recording in Smart mode, only 3.5h in per second recording). When exceeding that time, the device will purge older activities, but keeping the laps with the summary. On the device, you can see when no breadcrumb trail connects the laps, there is no GPS track point data. Most applications will not import activities without track points. The Garmin x05 devices can store up to 1000 laps (the laps must be manually purged).
The Garmin USB/serial importer will not import activities with summary only.

The Garmin Communicator can import the activities without GPS data. You will get summaries and lap information, but not GPS or HR data:
http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTr ... 4342#25179

Note: If HR and GPS is set to off, the Garmin device will not record speed/cadence track. Only summary will be saved, similar to purged activities.

The following application also imports activities with the position in lap points as a sparse GPS track. So if you have used auto-lap, you will get an approximate GPS track as well, (where the distance normally is much shorter than the real distance):
http://hem.bredband.net/gerhardnospam/gpsbabel/

A tip: You can extend storage with the following tricks:
* Before 18h recording (see http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTr ... 4342#22057), reset activity and make courses of the activities
* Delete all history
* If you risk exceeding another 18-22 h, use extensive lapping using up to the 1000 laps until there is a safe time to the end, then turn off auto-lap. The application above can help you get a little more of the history.
Last edited by gerhard on Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:07 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby gerhard » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:14 pm

Question:

How can I combine data from more than one device?
What is updating an activity doing?
Why is SportTracks suggesting that I should update an existing activity when importing new activities?

Answer:

SportTracks allows you to import data from more than one source, for example HeartRate and GPX route from separate sources.
When importing, just make sure that you select Update activity instead of Create a new activity. If you synced the start of the devices well, select "Adjust data start times" - Yes (to make both activities start the same date time), if the time sources in the devices were well synced with eachother, select No. The standard update procedure is explained in detail in this this Daily Activity FAQ entry points 17), 19), 20)

Occasionally, ST will offer you to update activities even when the activity importing is new sine the time is close enough to an existing activity.

Note: When data for an activity exists, ST will warn that you may overwrite existing data. However, GPS info has precedence over separate Elevation and Distance information (for instance info from Polar with barometer and footpod). See this post below for more info:
http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTr ... 5200#35200
Last edited by gerhard on Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gerhard » Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:50 pm

Question:

How can I import data from Garmin mass storage devices?
How can I import data from my Garmin Edge 705 or Forerunner 405?
What is up with Garmin Communicator and Vista 64bit?


Answer:
Garmin has released a web application that can access devices that will not work with the direct USB communication utility. This web application has been adapted to run within ST and is also used when exporting courses to Garmin and by the Garmin Fitness plugin.

Requires the Garmin Communicator Plugin (that includes USB drivers)
http://www8.garmin.com/products/communicator/

To test the installation, try the following links:
http://www8.garmin.com/products/communicator/test/
http://developer.garmin.com/web/communi ... lDemo.html

When importing, select device "Garmin - GPS [Communicator Plugin]". If this device is not listed on My devices, click on the little icon for "Show all devices", and it should be listed there.
Then select it, click next and it should detect your Forerunner and the activities on it, and you can choose which to import.

The Garmin Communicator has a number of problems:
  • It does not work in 64 bit browsers (Vista/WinXP). ST versions before 2.1.3465 will not work. See this thread:http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/Forums/viewtopic.php?t=5040
  • The internal interface change quite often, which breaks the ST adaptation
  • The Garmin Communicator has often none or cryptic error messages
  • The functionality is different from device to device. For instance exporting courses to most devices will add courses to the device (as expected), but for the GF 405 exporting will replace the courses.
  • It requires internet access to import (even if data is just imported from the device to ST). Workaround: Set "work offline" in IE Tools menu


Many mass storage device users therefore import directly from the device instead.

ANT Agent only users (ForeRunner 405, 310) can import from hidden folders if imported to Training Center first. The history is normally put in the folder "%APPDATA%\GARMIN\Devices\number\History" (where number is the device ID). So do import from file in SportTracks, and pick the TCX file from that folder.
Last edited by gerhard on Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:13 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby gerhard » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:17 pm

Question:

Why is importing from Garmin slow (especially for older serial devices)?

Answer:
The Garmin protocol requires that all activity data is downloaded, it is not possible to fetch just one activity.
So the download time will be faster if activities on the device is purged regularly.


Question:

Why is flight records not recorded from Garmin USB devices?

Answer:

ST is intended for sport activities and has a speed filter when importing (something like 250 km/h) to ignore points. However, the filter is not active when importing from .TCX files so importing to Garmin Training Center (or possibly importing using the Garmin Communicator) should import the activity.
Last edited by gerhard on Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gerhard » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:48 pm

Question:

My 18h+ activity gives a zig-zag pattern when importing to ST2?
I did not reset between rides, the activity now looks very strange in ST2?

Answer:

ST2 has a limit of 18h 12min 15sec for activities (65535 seconds). Longer than that cannot be handled as time "wraps" and you may get "zig-zag" pattern from 0 to 65535+1 to 2 to 65535+4 etc.
This is corrected in ST 3.0.

This also affects imports, if the difference between the first start time and last end time is longer than 18h. (So the activity length including pauses must be shorter than 18h). Reset between activities (for Garmin, hold the Lap key for a couple of seconds).

The workaround is to split the activity in shorter activities (after importing to another application). For Garmin for instance:
1. Import the activity in Garmin Training Center (GTC). Delete the laps for the second activity.
2. Export the activity as .tcx file and import the file in ST.
3. Delete the activity in GTC.
4. Import the activity in GTC again. Delete the laps for the first activity.
5. Export the activity as a .tcx file and import the file in ST. Possibly edit the start time/date.

If you have only one lap, edit the activity in an editor. In some situations another workaround will work too:
viewtopic.php?p=19599#19599
Last edited by gerhard on Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby gerhard » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:27 pm

Question:

Why do my activities from another timezone change time of day when I move to another time zone?

Answer:

Note: This applies only to ST2, ST3 stores the timezone with the activity when importing.

Most GPS devices records data using UTC but has no information about the timezone (at least, that is not transferred from the device).
ST stores the time in UTC and presents it using the current PC timezone and daylight savings settings.

Most non-GPS devices has no information about timezone and are assumed to have same timezone as the local PC. (This is normally hard-coded in the importer.)
Last edited by gerhard on Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gerhard » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:29 pm

Question:

When I import/draw a GPS route, the speed/distance and/or elevation I have already imported is no longer visible?

Answer:

SportTracks always uses the GPS information if it exists. Separate speed/distance tracks (for instance from a bicycle sensor or a footpod) or elevation track (for instance from a barometric altimeter without GPS) is then ignored, even if the GPS track has no time stamps (thereby no speed/distance) or no elevation.

If all you want to do is see the speed or distance in the device, there are plugins that can display that:
* Custom Data Tracks http://www.sporttracks-plugins.com/Spor ... index.html
* Trails https://code.google.com/p/trails/wiki/Features#Device

However, this can be handled in a plugin.
* Waypoints and Courses plugin can have a separate GPS route that is not related to normal speed/distance data. http://www.sporttracks-plugins.com/Spor ... index.html
* ApplyRoutes can apply the distance track when applying routes to activities:
http://code.google.com/p/apply-routes/wiki/ApplyRoutes
* MiscPlugin can apply both speed/distance and elevation to GPS tracks.
http://code.google.com/p/sporttracks-mi ... SetTimeGPS
http://code.google.com/p/sporttracks-mi ... _elevation
Last edited by gerhard on Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gerhard » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:11 pm

Question:

I used my GPS device indoor (or bad reception) (possibly with a foot-pod) and the device time and distance is strange. What can I do?

Answer:

SportTracks always uses the GPS track for time, distance and elevation. ST has no possibility to determine that the GPS info is unusable for instance for an indoor activity, the information displayed can be of no use.
The "time as recorded" from the device is then better.

In some situations (for instance when using a foot pod), the separate distance track may be of more relevance. Garmin Training Center (GTC) never makes calculations and uses the device distance track.

A workaround if you record an activity where GPS info is of no use:
* Import normally
* If you were using a foot-pod or speed sensor, import a second time, updating the activity adding a Distance track
* Delete the GPS points. In explore mode, select a point close to the start of the activity, drag to the end of the activity. Go to Edit mode, press red X. Select possibly stray points manually, press delete. Restart ST. For ST2 this was easier: Go to Route, Select Edit, "Stop" button to mark all, press delete.
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Postby gerhard » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:54 pm

Question:

How can I control the category suggested at activity import?
The category when importing is different from my Garmin device. What can I do?


Answer:

SportTracks automatically assigns categories importing. The suggestion is based on average activity speed for the categories. ST does not use the category in a Garmin activity.

Some tips to get the auto suggestion to work well:
* Assign categories based on speed, especially if you mix sports ( so not slow MTB rides are confused with fast runs or so).
* If you are importing many activities, start with importing a few "typical" activities for each category. Mass importing should then require less manual interaction.
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