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Write trip reports on Macbook Pro # 1121 Back to Directory   Review Date:2014.05.21
Help Category: Trip Reports

Summary: What differences are there when using a Macbook Pro rather than a PC?

I just wrote my first complete report using my new Macbook Pro, so I thought I'd publish a few notes regarding the differences. I used the track pad entirely, rather than a mouse.

Starting the trip report is the same as always. The parts that required new skills on the Mac were handling the photos and the GPX file containing my track log.

I plugged the camera into the USB port on the laptop. This immediately started up iPhoto. I then copied them into iPhoto and then dragged the photos into my own folder which I created using Finder (the file manager). So at this point, I had 32 photos in my "Whirlwind" folder. I could see tiny thumbnails of them using Finder Icon view, but they were not big enough. Fortunately I discovered that I could expand the size of those tiny thumbnails by using "View..Show View Options..Icon Size. That enabled me to pick the photos I wanted, and change their names to something meaningful. Then I went back into my Safari window and used the standard "Upload Photo" link. This worked the same as on a PC, so I could upload each photo to bivouac, and copy and paste the filename into my trip report update form, and add the necessary [photo] and [caption] tags.

GPX Files and GMap
I plugged my Garmin GPS into the USB port on the laptop. After a few seconds the laptop recognized it.

  1. Plug in the Gpx, and go to Mass storage mode
     After 5 seconds, a garmin icon appears on the right side.

  2. Navigate down to the GPX folder and drag the proper GPX file into the Finder.

  3. Go to trip report, and upload raw GPX.
     To do this, up comes Safari in my Photo directory. So I have to navigate up to the parent folder (RTMaster) which I do with the up and down arrows that appear beside the folder name in the top row of icons. That shows the subfolders below the big folder view picture. When you get to the "Gpx" directory, you can see the GPX filename "Track_16-May-14 153309.gpx".

  4. Double click on the GPX Filename
     This causes it to appear in the "Form for Upload Raw GPX" dialog.

  5. Push "Upload File" button

  6. Click "View Raw GPX"
     This brings up GMap and displays the raw track log. It is always best to redigitize along the track log, so you can label key points, and also get rid of bad waypoints. My track logs often contain extra waypoints at the beginning and end of the trip which I just ignore when I redigitize.

  7. Redigitize using GMap "Draw and Save"
     When looking at the raw track log on GMap, I clicked "Draw and Save". I then "" the points. I switched back and forth from satellite view to My Topo view in order to get good labels for key waypoints. To label a point, do a two finger click (secondary click) on the waypoint.

    For my Whirlwind trip, I did several hundred waypoints. Several times GMap went into a mode such that I could no longer pan the map. Perhaps GMap can only handle some number of points at a time, such as 50 points. So the strategy is to copy the points out in small batches. Fortunately even when the map no longer will pan, you can still get your existing waypoints using the normal procedure.