Part 1—Explore a PBO Station and Download GPS Data

Step 1 –
Explore the SEAT PBO GPS Station

NOTE: The instructions in this chapter all refer to the SEAT (Seattle, Washington) GPS Station. As the analysis procedures are the same for any GPS station, the instructions can serve as a model for analyzing data from any station. In a class setting, assigning unique stations to individuals or pairs of students will enable the class to compile a single map with many velocity vectors.

This list shows the four-character code and nearest city for stations in three geographic areas of the Pacific Northwest. If you are producing velocity vectors for multiple stations, choose roughly equal numbers from each of the three regions to facilitate comparisons among them.

Map of GPS stations in the Pacific Northwest. Click the image for a larger view.

Coastal stations

NEAH = Neah Bay, WA
PABH = Pacific Beach, WA
CHZZ = Tillamook, OR
NEWP = Newport, OR
CABL = Port Orford, OR

The Urban Corridor: Willamette Valley / Puget Lowlands

ALBH = Albert Head, CA
SEAT = Seattle, WA
TWHL = Tumwater, WA
CORV = Corvallis, OR
P446 = Kelso, WA
DDSN = Roseburg, OR

Eastern WA or Eastern OR

P020 = Lind, WA
GOBS = Goldendale Observatory, WA
P063 = Shaniko, OR
P022 = La Grande, OR
BURN = Burns Junction, OR
  1. Go to UNAVCO's Data for Educators page (more info) (will open in a new window).
  2. On the page that opens, look under the sub-heading GPS Data Products and click the link SEAT.

    UNAVCO Opening2
  3. On the page that opens you will see a Google Map interface, that is zoomed in on the Pacific Northwest. In the new Location Map that comes up, choose the Satellite view and zoom in to take a close look at the PBO station location.

    UNAVCO 2
  4. Under More links on the lower left-hand side of the page, click the PBO Station Home Page link.
  5. The SEAT Station Overview home page will display. This page provides information specific to the SEAT station including a photo of the station, a Time Series Plot, GPS coordinates and and a Site Log. Explore the different data available to gain an understanding of the station.

  6. SEAT Station Data
Talk about it...
What factors do you think need to be considered when deciding where to install GPS monuments? Discuss some of the criteria for station placement that you think would ensure the most accurate, continuous data.

Step 2 –
Download SEAT GPS Dataset and Open it in a Spreadsheet

  1. Go back to UNAVCO's Data for Educators page (more info) and click the SEAT label in the list or on the map again.
  2. Under the Download Time Series Data heading, right-click (control-click on a Mac) the Excel-compatible format (.csv) link.
  3. Depending on your browser program and preferences on your computer, clicking this button may:
    • open the file directly into a spreadsheet program such as Excel
    • prompt you to save the SEAT.pbo.csv file onto your computer
    • show you the data in a browser window
    In order to generate the graphs for this activity, you'll need to have the dataset open in your spreadsheet program. If necessary, use the tips below to save the file and open it. Note that the following instructions all refer to Microsoft Excel. If you are using another spreadsheet program, look for similar commands.
  • If the file is saved on your computer,
    1. Try double-clicking its icon to open it.
    2. If it doesn't open into a spreadsheet by double-clicking it, open your spreadsheet program first, then choose File > Open... and browse to where you stored the file.
    3. If a data-import "Wizard" prompts you when opening the file, go with the default choices.
    4. If the Wizard gets it wrong, try again, indicating that the data are delimited by commas.
  • If your browser displays the data in a browser window
    1. Go back to the Data for Educators page and click the SEAT label in the map again.
    2. Right-click (control-click with a one-button mouse) the Excel-compatible format (.csv) link. Choose your browser's command to Save Link As..., then save the file to your computer.
    3. Follow the instructions above to open the file.
  • If your computer refuses to save the file, but you can see the data in an html page
    1. Choose File > Select All then Edit > Copy.
    2. Start Excel and open a new document. Select (highlight) Column A then choose Edit > Paste.
    3. Choose Data > Text to Columns.... When prompted, indicate that the data are delimited by commas. Apply Date, Number (with 2 decimal places), and Text formating to the columns as appropriate.
    4. Click Finish, then save the file as a Excel Worksheet (.xls).
If you were unable to locate and download these CSV files for use: Right-click the link below and choose File > Save Link As... to download them to your computer.
Seattle CSV from UNAVCO (Comma Separated Values 126kB Apr21 11)

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