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OS/2 - General => Polls => Topic started by: RobertM on 2007.10.23, 22:26:15

Title: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.23, 22:26:15
Hey gang, I've been working on some software for some companies we deal with, and one of them is related to mapping and GeoCoding (via eCS - as a server solution)... so I am wondering if people see the need for stand-alone apps with mapping and routing features.

The app would be designed to work with (most) Garmin GPS units, though could be easily modified to work with others that support sending the appropriate data to the PC (location, routing info) - mapping data would be stored locally and easily updatable.

Currently our plans do not include making a standalone version [the eCS server will be given the info from the remote workstations and GPSs (including route info, location, zoom level, etc), create and orient the maps, include the routing info, and send it back to the client PCs - which will be running Windows - to draw the maps].

If there is enough interest, we'd consider making an OS/2 interface (both GUI and USB connectivity) and make the databases available so that the program can work as a standalone program on an OS/2 machine. As much as I'd love to see OS/2 have this capability, I currently don't need it, and our clients (though running eCS on their servers) will be running Windows on their remote clients (ie: laptops), so there currently isnt a need to do so... unless there's sufficient demand in the OS/2 community.

The mapping data will be easy enough to import new information with or without our help in the future, though we plan on updating it regularly.


Let me know!!!!

Thanks,
Robert

FEATURES PLANNED FOR FIRST RELEASE:


FEATURES BEING CONSIDERED FOR FIRST RELEASE:

FEATURES PLANNED FOR LATER RELEASES:

FEATURES REQUESTED SO FAR (AND ADDRESSED ABOVE):

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

NOTE: Some of these features may change or not be included in the initial release (though it is unlikely), and other features may be added or make it into the first release (more likely), but if we go ahead with this project (ie: enough interest) that is what is planned at this point.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.24, 02:43:36
C'mon folks... Vote (Yes or No), suggest features, whatever...
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: BigWarpGuy on 2007.10.24, 03:40:05
It would be nice if it works with the gps devices that plug into the usb port. There are UMPC's that would be nice to try eCS on and use with a gps device.  ;D
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.24, 03:56:30
USB support is planned in the FIRST version (with some help from some of the USB test tools and driver dev tools out there).

Currently, I have tech/programming manuals for Garmin GPS units and a Garmin to test with. Supporting other GPS units will require being able to get a hold of programming/communication info and a GPS to test with.

As for UMPCs... that will depend on whether eCS works with it. If eCS runs on the machine (with working USB support) then the software should work on it...
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Saijin_Naib on 2007.10.24, 05:33:14
Yeah, what GPS software? The Garmin suite? Or were you talking about GIS software like ArcGIS?
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.24, 05:42:51
Yeah, what GPS software? The Garmin suite? Or were you talking about GIS software like ArcGIS?

Neither... it will be custom. Getting communications/technical docs are one thing... they arent going to give us their code to recompile (and I dont like working with Windows code). The mapping engine will be entirely custom written by us, the data used to create the maps will come from the same source virtually everyone's data comes (originates) from. We will only have data for the US though (at least initially), and routing (initially) will only be possible on the GPS models that support it (which is most of the Garmins). Eventually, routing will be possible on all of them that work with the software.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Saijin_Naib on 2007.10.24, 06:58:03
Will you include Serial port support as well?
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.24, 07:19:15
Will you include Serial port support as well?

Well, the plan is to make the entire thing modular. That includes the communications module, renderer and more. Serial should be supported (but I am not sure if I can test it unless the GPS we have has a serial option I can find and purchase). There isnt any technical reason it cant support serial, and I will attempt to implement it if someone can test it or find me an adapter for ours.

The same goes for other GPS units (non-Garmin). If someone can arrange for us to borrow them, or help arrange with manufacturers for us to get loaners to test and code with (as well as the technical docs we need) then we'll go for other manufacturers/brands as well.

First step though is to get a working version for the Garmin working before we even look at others.

Later plans include topgraphical information/drawing/mapping (mountains, valleys, waterways, and eventually coastal waters).


-Robert
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Saijin_Naib on 2007.10.24, 07:57:18
Sounds like a great project Robert. If I had money, it would definately get my support :C
Right now, Im concerned if I can even renew my subscription services  >:(
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.24, 08:09:23
Hang in there and best of luck to you.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.25, 05:04:39
FEATURES PLANNED FOR FIRST RELEASE:


FEATURES BEING CONSIDERED FOR FIRST RELEASE:

FEATURES PLANNED FOR LATER RELEASES:

FEATURES REQUESTED SO FAR (AND ADDRESSED ABOVE):

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

NOTE: Some of these features may change or not be included in the initial release (though it is unlikely), and other features may be added or make it into the first release (more likely), but if we go ahead with this project (ie: enough interest) that is what is planned at this point.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: abwillis on 2007.10.25, 14:23:42
I really like the sound of it... the problem I have with answering the poll is that it is kind of a chicken and egg thing.  I might buy a garmin and I would then be willing to pay for the software if the software exists but having no GPS unit I am not willing to say I would pay for the software without having the unit... and I probably wouldn't purchase a GPS unit until the software exists.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.25, 20:44:53
I really like the sound of it... the problem I have with answering the poll is that it is kind of a chicken and egg thing.  I might buy a garmin and I would then be willing to pay for the software if the software exists but having no GPS unit I am not willing to say I would pay for the software without having the unit... and I probably wouldn't purchase a GPS unit until the software exists.

Well, you can take the question to mean "The software is written, would you use or buy it?" - my reasoning on that suggestion being if enough people say yes, it will be written (I dont care how many NO votes there are compared to YES votes... I do want to see how many people actively respond in decisions for eCS' future direction). If no one says yes, most of the work will be done anyway (see first post). So far, the results of the poll are kind of mixed (ie: of the people who voted, most who are showing interest are showing high interest... but many people who have read the poll didnt even bother to vote).

TO EVERYONE: Even if your answer is no, vote anyway. If it was written and ready for download and you would buy or use it, vote yes (not maybe). If you just arent sure whether you'd use it regardless, then vote "maybe" - and feel free to post messages saying "The feature you have planned for later should be in the first release" or "I dont think we need this feature at all"
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Saijin_Naib on 2007.10.25, 22:07:15
I wish I still had my Garmin eTrex Legend, I just sold it to make some money to buy a new GPU and 2gb of RAM. It was serial connection, and I gladly would have lent it to you :C
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: svobi on 2007.10.25, 23:01:22
I really like the sound of it... the problem I have with answering the poll is that it is kind of a chicken and egg thing.  I might buy a garmin and I would then be willing to pay for the software if the software exists but having no GPS unit I am not willing to say I would pay for the software without having the unit... and I probably wouldn't purchase a GPS unit until the software exists.


Hi, yes it sounds good !
I also agree with abwillis completely and add: Compatibility with leading system(s) !!
I would not buy brand XYZ knowing that Garmin, TomTom (just to name some) are best and most sold !!!

Serial first ? Why ??
Bluetooth and USB are more needed: IBM's, now Lenovo, Thinkpad have NO more serial port since T31 (about 2003 !!!)

Your pricing in the poll is too simple:
You provide a good product and service and should better ask for 25/50 or even more ;-)

There is a saying: For nothing one gets NOTHING !

Good luck
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.25, 23:33:41
Hi, yes it sounds good !
I also agree with abwillis completely and add: Compatibility with leading system(s) !!
I would not buy brand XYZ knowing that Garmin, TomTom (just to name some) are best and most sold !!!

Hi svobi,

Read the notes below... (PLANNED FEATURES (http://www.os2world.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,63/topic,477.msg1909/#msg1909)). Don't worry, (to summarize) but Garmin will be the first supported. Additional GPS units being supported depends on being able to get them to test with, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, being able to get the communications/programming specs (I doubt we will have the time to "reverse engineer" that portion). I doubt we would support no-name GPS units ever... though we do want to try to create a config tool where people can try to add their GPS' command sets and interface info to get them working themselves (ie: for non Garmin brands).



Serial first ? Why ??
Bluetooth and USB are more needed: IBM's, now Lenovo, Thinkpad have NO more serial port since T31 (about 2003 !!!)

To summarize the info below... USB will be supported FIRST, with serial planned IF we can get a hold of a unit that is true serial to test with. Bluetooth isnt planned. OS/2 needs bluetooth support for us to even consider it.


Your pricing in the poll is too simple:
You provide a good product and service and should better ask for 25/50 or even more ;-)

Because we don't plan on getting "rich" off it... We'd rather see more people willing/able to purchase it (assuming we charge for it, which depends on multiple factors, including time required to get all the features working). But thanks.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Robert Deed on 2007.10.25, 23:54:17
Wouldn't us (the end users) have to pay for the map data?  As far as I know of there are no companies which release the maps for free. 

I am also confused would this be for use with a non-interfaced gps?  Like the ones which come with the various windows programs that garmin and other companies sell, or is this for a regular gps with an interface.  If it is the later then I don't see the point of it since I could justice the unit directly. If this is for the USB gps then that would be cool since I could get gps support for my carputer, which is inching more towards windows everyday for this feature.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.26, 00:51:19
Wouldn't us (the end users) have to pay for the map data? 

Nope. No charge for the map data.


As far as I know of there are no companies which release the maps for free. 

You are correct. No COMPANY releases their maps for free. But the info comes from the same free source - which is where we got it from. We can, at our option charge for it (with no changes or additions) or give it away for free (as we decided) with the software (whether paid or not).  :)


I am also confused would this be for use with a non-interfaced gps?  Like the ones which come with the various windows programs that garmin and other companies sell, or is this for a regular gps with an interface.  If it is the later then I don't see the point of it since I could justice the unit directly. If this is for the USB gps then that would be cool since I could get gps support for my carputer, which is inching more towards windows everyday for this feature.

Theoretically, from what I am seeing, almost all the Garmin USB units will work (whether they come with a screen or not). I am still checking to see if they all support making routes... that may be the only obstacle to routing support in the first release. I do know most of the ones with screens will build the routes and send them to the PC to draw.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: BigWarpGuy on 2007.10.26, 17:26:31
http://gpsinformation.net/ (http://gpsinformation.net/)  Here is a site on gps information. It seems interesting. Are there any that could work with eCS if there was software for it?  ???
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.26, 19:17:55
http://gpsinformation.net/ (http://gpsinformation.net/)  Here is a site on gps information. It seems interesting. Are there any that could work with eCS if there was software for it?  ???

Probably. Most of the Garmins (a whole set of them use the same commands, or subset of those commands). The Garmin needs to be supported for our clients, we have it, and the references... I'll probably look into the rest once the first version of the software is complete.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: NNYITGuy on 2007.10.27, 07:14:23
Yes, I would definately use it personally.  I am in hopes of building a portable computer solution to be mounted in my personal vehicle in the near future.  I would base the portable computer on the LPWS type unit.  I would use GPS, PM123, OpenOffice and possibly WWW via my cell phone connection.  The cell phone connection solution is not currently in hand.  What is LPWS?  Look here...  http://www.os2world.com/content/view/14543/2/ (http://www.os2world.com/content/view/14543/2/)

Professionally, I am on the cusp of building custom delivery management software for two clients.  GPS was one of the features that I was hoping to integrate in a later version of the Delivery Assistant.  But until now I thought it was going to be quite a daunting task to offer a GPS feature.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.27, 07:38:38
Well, it is kinda daunting... we have 70GB of data to dump into the database tables still (which will require an entirely different layout for efficiency), then confirm the data relationships, then determine how much of the topographical info we want to render (initially, probably just town, city, county boundaries). Then, we have 50GB worth of pre-rendered maps to go through to (randomly) pick a sample subset to compare to the map results we produce.

And worse yet, most of the setups out there do the routing on the GPS... which we can do too... send the GPS the address info, have it route it and send the route back to the PC. But, we are also working on a solution to do the routing on the PC for those few GPS units that dont support actually doing the routing - that too is daunting, as we need to make sure the data we have has the correct directional information [ie: E 41st St goes One-Way West (or East)].
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: madodel on 2007.10.28, 02:33:53
This would be great.  And as someone else said I'd be willing to pay more than $20 for this.  Right now I have a Garmin iQue 3600 (Both serial and USB) which is a Palm based GPS, but I'd be willing to buy a supported Garmin unit if this is available.  Garmin charges a fortune for map updates and they require a cockamamie unlock code to use the maps.  And right now I have to boot to xp to perform the map update though they have a Mac version in beta.  But it would be sweet to be able to use eCS to do this.

Mark
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Dennis on 2007.10.28, 15:09:43
Robert--

I can't post an answer to the poll because the question isn't there. YES, I would use AND pay for it. In my case, I would use it for routing my delivery vehicles, so would need the 'directions' feature before I would buy. Also, map drawing would have to be done under eCS, since I would be using it on my notebook as a stand alone program.
Also, there is a system for 32-bit windoze out there--PCMiler (v20, I think)--that has everything--geocodes, map drawing, directions, etc.-- you are mentioning putting in your system. Perhaps you could decompile PCMiler & recompile it for eCS? Might be easier than developing an all-new app...
I currently use an old 16-bit version of PCMiler on my eCS notebook due to the limitations of eCS when it comes to running windoze apps.

Dennis
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: bondo on 2007.10.28, 15:56:12
Hi

Great idea. Are you familiar with http://home.nc.rr.com/bobbylee/ - the two of you might could cook something together..??

I used Tom's SW couple of years ago, but a feature I need, is the ability to transform a track into a (static) line on a map/bitmap - this feature his SW couldn't fullfil, then. Do not know if it has changed since then.

To compare, I use GPSU (win16) version instead, so this is what you are 'up against'.;)
In GPSU i.e you can 'calibrate' your track on top of just about any bitmap, for future reference.

Personally I do not need, or care, for the routing capabilities that it will never be used in my car - for this I use Wayfinder.

And having an elderly GPS - I too need a serial connection....

Cheers
--
steen
---
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Ted_E on 2007.10.28, 18:13:18
I have two Garmin GPS's, a 76Cx and a GPS-V.  I also have Garmin MapSource Topo Canada and City Select North America.  The 76Cx supports both USB and serial, the GPS-V, only serial.  Note that I am in Canada and only occasionally travel to the US.

Currently Garmin MapSource and nRoute are among the few apps that force me (kicking and screaming) to boot XP.  When we travel, my wife usually drives allowing me to sit an play with the computer (T-Pad T60 running eCS 2.0 RC1 & 2).  It would be so nice to have the map up under eCS where I have access to all my other software.

Ted
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Delfi_r on 2007.10.28, 20:00:23
I would use more GPs with my eCS systems if this software is available.

I can't use none of the tools that mark images with Geo Data, so if the software can include this sort of tool would be great!
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.28, 21:49:32
Great idea. Are you familiar with http://home.nc.rr.com/bobbylee/ - the two of you might could cook something together..??

Well, we definitely have to write a custom solution for our clients, so probably not. Though I will say that our data sources are probably the same.

ALL of the required data is 100% FREE, and comes from the US Govt. It comes in a (very big) set which is a compilation of Census, Postal Service, USGS, NOAA, USCGS and other divisions' data. Many map makers either sell that data with no changes, or add certain waypoint data (like every Denny's, various hotels, etc - chances are making money from both ends... including businesses, and charging for the maps), or correct certain features (for instance, though I have the data for each clover-leaf exit on a highway; they may correct the paths on major ones to actually look like the real thing for the odd shaped ones).


To compare, I use GPSU (win16) version instead, so this is what you are 'up against'.;)
In GPSU i.e you can 'calibrate' your track on top of just about any bitmap, for future reference.

Underlaying a bitmap is easy. Even getting the bitmap images (like the one he scanned in for one of the maps on his page) is also easy... but currently the easiest way to get them is in PDF form - and the PDFs are massive. Compressed, they total over 50GB, and each represent a 24"x32" map (or 32"x32" or 24"x36"... you get the idea). While it is easy enough to convert them all to bitmaps (or some similar format) the outcome (in file size) is massive. After that, the maps need to have corner points set (longitude and latitude points) so that they correspond to what streets or routes are being drawn. In addition, the extraneous space needs to be removed (the map borders and map legend, etc).

Now, there are other sources of image data that can be used as well (which are also free - or low cost), which could produce results akin to Google Maps' hybrid satellite/mapping mode. But those are things we will look into in the future - even without such things, we can at least draw many topographical features (such as mountains, rivers, etc) with high accuracy. The data we have is accurate to within 6 decimal places longitude or latitude (pretty darn accurate). One of the version will probably include the ability to link images to certain areas so that industrious people can import their own backgrounds.

As for street drawing, currently, our maps will look somewhat similar to his... and eventually look a little more similar to Google's Maps. Inotherwords, (in the first version) a highway may be drawn with one single 4 pixel line, a road with 1 single 1 pixel line, etc... and in the "more advanced" version, a highway would be drawn with 2 lines 6 pixels apart, while a road is drawn with 2 lines 1 pixel apart (so that it appears you are seeing the edges of the road instead of just the centerline of it).
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: bondo on 2007.10.28, 23:30:48
Underlaying a bitmap is easy.

OK - what Danninger was missing, was the feature to do like these i.e http://menzi.dk/kajak/gfx/maps/rundtur03.jpg + http://menzi.dk/kajak/gfx/maps/sydfyn-2005-06-25-26_30.jpg

Cheers

steen
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: nitro on 2007.10.29, 02:45:05
 8) Mapping software would be nice to have.  I have a bluetooth gps for my PDA but the usb devices are affordable enough to add another to my collection.

Take a look at the IBM developerworks site ,http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/wi-dw-wigps-i.html,  They have a 3-part section on gps interfacing using java.  This is just how to communicate with the receiver but it may ve of some help.

Thanks,
   Nitro
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: BigWarpGuy on 2007.10.30, 00:20:03
8) Mapping software would be nice to have.  I have a bluetooth gps for my PDA but the usb devices are affordable enough to add another to my collection.

Take a look at the IBM developer works site ,http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/wi-dw-wigps-i.html (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/wi-dw-wigps-i.html),  They have a 3-part section on gps interfacing using java.  This is just how to communicate with the receiver but it may ve of some help.

Thanks,
   Nitro

What version of Java does it use and can it run with the version of Java that eCS uses?
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.30, 02:14:07
What version of Java does it use and can it run with the version of Java that eCS uses?

Probably any... the article was written in 2002. Haven't had time to look through it yet though... just downloaded the sections to read through later. Anything non-Garmin specific will be a big help.

Nitro: Thanks for the link. Anything that will help us either expand our program's capabilities, or support more hardware is greatly appreciated.

-Robert
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: dscandora on 2007.10.31, 14:28:19
as an active sailor, I would stand on my head to interface my Garmin GPS to my eCS laptop in eCS.   As of now, I can run SeeMyDNC under Odin and use the NOAA supplied S-57 charts, but to do anything with the Bluechart  software or interfacing with the GPS requires a boot into Windows, and quite frankly, I've always considered Windows based navigational software a poor solution based on the underlying OS, granted it's improved over the years.  However, out in the middle of nowhere on the water, I'd rather count on eCS running, so this would be a big plus if we could interface the Garmin GPS.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.10.31, 16:43:41
as an active sailor, I would stand on my head to interface my Garmin GPS to my eCS laptop in eCS.   As of now, I can run SeeMyDNC under Odin and use the NOAA supplied S-57 charts, but to do anything with the Bluechart  software or interfacing with the GPS requires a boot into Windows, and quite frankly, I've always considered Windows based navigational software a poor solution based on the underlying OS, granted it's improved over the years.  However, out in the middle of nowhere on the water, I'd rather count on eCS running, so this would be a big plus if we could interface the Garmin GPS.

The last part will happen... as for the NOAA data, I've got some of the data as included in the Tiger-Line Data (but it's only a small subset). We are planning on going through the rest of the NOAA data though, so it can be added... just probably wont make first release. So, while I know the Tiger-Line data includes information from the NOAA databases, I dont (yet) know how much of the data is included (for instance, does it just include land boundaries on coastal waterways, or does it also include depths?)

We're planning on digging up the coastal depths information so in addition to showing where you are in relationship to land, we can show you an approximation of how much water you have under you. That last part wasnt planned though till the release that includes a rotatable map and 3D landscape topography drawing (ie: mountains and such). The code to handle it will be written in the first release... all map transforms will be done in 3D with one axis locked. Then, we plan on unlocking that axis so you can do a perspective view, and later include altitude info and drawing (which requires changing line plots for roads). The problem we have is roads don't have altitude info in the data, so we have to look at each segment, match it to the topographical data and make the road data 3D.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Robert Deed on 2007.11.01, 19:15:03
Well if it can interface with one of the dumb garmin gps's that are used by tripmaker and such and create routes then this would be perfect for my OS/2 carputer.. 

Right now I am working on getting a via epia into a single din platform so I can install it above my pioneer 7500DVDII 7.5" head with motorized display..  I will be feeding the display with rca video (not so great) so one of the other requirements I would have to have this work would be customizable font sizes (or minium font sizes) so that it would remain readable, or better yet just have the application use the OS/2 font settings. 

I would be willing to pay more then 20 for this as well.. I would cap it at about 100.  That would put it on par with most of the windows options.

Wouldn't us (the end users) have to pay for the map data? 

Nope. No charge for the map data.


As far as I know of there are no companies which release the maps for free. 

You are correct. No COMPANY releases their maps for free. But the info comes from the same free source - which is where we got it from. We can, at our option charge for it (with no changes or additions) or give it away for free (as we decided) with the software (whether paid or not).  :)


I am also confused would this be for use with a non-interfaced gps?  Like the ones which come with the various windows programs that garmin and other companies sell, or is this for a regular gps with an interface.  If it is the later then I don't see the point of it since I could justice the unit directly. If this is for the USB gps then that would be cool since I could get gps support for my carputer, which is inching more towards windows everyday for this feature.

Theoretically, from what I am seeing, almost all the Garmin USB units will work (whether they come with a screen or not). I am still checking to see if they all support making routes... that may be the only obstacle to routing support in the first release. I do know most of the ones with screens will build the routes and send them to the PC to draw.

Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.11.01, 20:21:58
Well if it can interface with one of the dumb garmin gps's that are used by tripmaker and such and create routes then this would be perfect for my OS/2 carputer.. 

Well, at the very least, in a later version it will be able to do so. At current, it depends on whether TripMaker is creating the route (likely) or the GPS unit is (less likely on the GPS units without screens). We've yet to go farther than the planning stage for route creation since most of the GPS units out there build routes and can send and receive route data to the computer.

I'm hoping (but don't specifically know) that the newer GPS (non-screen) units include that functionality, <B>but I kind of doubt it</b> since all the mapping and maps are on the PC or handheld instead of on the GPS unit itself.

Just a matter of time though before we add that functionality.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: magog on 2007.11.02, 16:13:38
Underlaying a bitmap is easy.

OK - what Danninger was missing, was the feature to do like these i.e http://menzi.dk/kajak/gfx/maps/rundtur03.jpg + http://menzi.dk/kajak/gfx/maps/sydfyn-2005-06-25-26_30.jpg

Cheers

steen

If you have data in GPX-Format you can upload it to a service that's using Google Maps. The route is displayed as overlay (Googles KML-Format). GPX is a very simple XML-Format described here:
http://www.topografix.com/gpx.asp


Links of services to display routes/tracks stored as GPX on Google Maps can be found at the following websites:
http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/
http://www.gpswandern.de/gpxviewer/gpxviewer.shtml  <--- german...under the map you see a edit field where you can upload your GPX file which will then be displayed using Google Maps
http://www.gnik.com/maps/google/
http://qcontinuum.org/gpstrack/      <--- scroll down for GPS Track Viewer (login for the actual service is needed; you can login as guest to see how it looks ----> http://qcontinuum.org/map)
http://www.obviously.com/gis/gpx_loader.html
http://www.gnik.com/maps/google/

Most applications are available as portable application (Java/PHP) or service (Website).
To convert data between different formats look here:
http://www.gpsbabel.org/


Here is a Java application to transform GPX into KML  (sorry page is in german).
http://hthede.de/wiki/index.php?telepark.wiki

There are applications out there (GPL - OpenSource) to tag pictures with GPS data (stored in EXIF-Metadata section of JPG,... picures). ExifTools is written in Perl but I can't say what license it's using and if the source is also included (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/).
Available commandline tools should be easy to port if someone need them.


To read GPS data from the EXIF section there are several packages available.
For Java you want to use this one:
http://www.drewnoakes.com/code/exif/

I've used this in 2002 for a JavaEE/JSP based photo album developed at the university.
One thing I was working on but didn't finish is searching for pictures that have been shot near the location where the current photo has been shot or by given coordinates. A square was used to simplify the search for other pictures around that location (Distance kind of radius: 25m, 50m, 100m, 500m, 1km)

For PHP you might want to use Exifixer:
http://www.offsky.com/software/exif/index.php

For a standalone tool written in Java extracting data from pictures Exif-O-Matic :
http://www.instituteofthefuture.org/exifomatic/


Finally here the project to create free street maps of the world. The progress is very good. A couple of month ago the city where I live was only reachable by two street and other streets were missing more or less completely. How most streets are stored.
http://www.openstreetmap.org/

I almost forgot GPSylon. It's an Open Source Java GPS Map Application/Framework:
http://www.tegmento.org/gpsylon/
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.11.03, 20:40:13
Hi magog,

Thanks for the info... but displaying routes via Google Maps is pretty easy. I've had a Google Maps API Account for a while. If we went that route, it leaves other problems:


The most important things right now for us are making sure we can talk to as many GPS units as possible. Then building our own routing engine (ie: turn left, go 5 miles, turn right). The rest is very easy.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: magog on 2007.11.04, 20:06:34
Hi Robert!

My list was more of an additional software map and reply to the message quoted.
I didn't want to question your work.

The routing stuff is an issue if you have the map data (no open source solution available as far as I know) and where to get the maps in the first place.
It's an issue if you need maps from outside the US (correct me if I'm wrong) as you can only get the map data from three sources (--> OpenStreetMap.org (free) or you need to get the professional map data from either NAVTEQ or TeleAtlas (both want to see money)).

GPSylon does support the Garmin serial devices among other devices but someone has to try to get it working with Java 1.3.1 or 1.4.x with IBMs serial driver addon for Java.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.11.04, 21:43:02
Hi Robert!

My list was more of an additional software map and reply to the message quoted.
I didn't want to question your work.

Don't worry, I didnt take it that way :)

The routing stuff is an issue if you have the map data (no open source solution available as far as I know) and where to get the maps in the first place.


It's an issue if you need maps from outside the US (correct me if I'm wrong) as you can only the the map data from three sources (--> OpenStreetMap.org (free) or you need to get the professional map data from either NAVTEQ or TeleAtlas (both want to see money)).

This MAY be a problem for non-U.S. residents. For US residents, the map data IS freely available from the U.S. Government. As far as I know, all of the US map data is based off that same freely available information (with either additional information added, or certain structures corrected).

Also, we are planning an import routine to accomodate other locations and other data sets, which should allow anyone who can get a hold of the correct information to import map data for any location (based on the availability of the data).


GPSylon does support the Garmin serial devices among other devices but someone has to try to get it working with Java 1.3.1 or 1.4.x with IBMs serial driver addon for Java.

In this area, we are evaluating two different methods...
(1) Using the standard GPS command set
and
(2) Using Garmin's proprietary GPS command set (which allows more features and interactivity with the GPS unit).

Also, we are attempting to do this in a fashion that allows mapping different command sets and communications protocols to a particular GPS, so for instance, if your GPS doesnt use the standard GPS command set, you can add your own "Query Current Position" command. There really aren't too many GPS commands needed to interact with a GPS unit for what's needed - and the program will be designed to allow adding (probably by us, possibly by the end-user) additional commands/features.


Maps still seem to be the biggest issue for non-U.S. locations. I'll be posting a list of what the map data needs to have in order to work, and/or asking anyone who knows of free map data for non-U.S. locations to send us links to it. The accuracy of the program will depend on the accuracy and detail of the data... just like in the US (where you will find some consistent errors on certain searches).

For instance, if you go to Google Maps (NavTeq) AND to MapQuest (NavTeq) AND Yahoo Maps (who uses both), and look up "6 Roderick Rd" Zip Code: "11795" you will see it putting that particular address at the same location on both services.

Four things to note:
(1) There IS NO 6 Roderick Road
(2) The location they put the address at is 14 or 16 Roderick Rd.
(3) Roderick starts at *10* (not 2, as their data assumes)
(4) ALL THREE sites report the same erroneous info that the government data does


The reason being is regardless of whether the data comes from Nav-Teq or TeleAtlas, the original data comes from the same (incorrect) government data. So, getting free maps is easy...

Now, in some cases, both NavTeq and TeleAtlas have corrected some of the data... that information isnt ours to include though... :(
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Saijin_Naib on 2007.11.04, 21:49:56
^ Why cant you include the corrected map data? Is that their property or something?
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: RobertM on 2007.11.04, 21:59:16
^ Why cant you include the corrected map data? Is that their property or something?

Correct. The Map Data as it comes from NavTeq or TeleAtlas is covered by copyright due to the fact that they have enhanced the original data set with information they have gathered. We can work on an import routine for those who own the rights to use it.

Besides (as seen in my example) their corrections and additions dont always amount to much of anything useful. Much of it is advertising information like showing the nearest Motel 6's on your route, or every McDonalds, etc. SOME of it (for bigger popularity areas) are very simple "corrections" for instance, if the government data shows a traffic circle as a circle in a major metropolitan area, they may show it as the oval shape it may actually be. The way the original data is set up, those cases would only apply to (as in the example) very small traffic circles, as larger ones would be actually drawn accurately, with each segment of the circle included in the data.

I DO know the reason that the address data is incorrect... but it seems to be (even for bigger metro areas) in all the data sets out there - with rare, rare exceptions.
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Saijin_Naib on 2007.11.04, 22:19:32
^ That raises an interesting question: Will you have things like motels, restaurants, etc in your map data? I find that stuff really useful, but that may just be me :p
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: magog on 2007.11.04, 23:13:17
^ Why cant you include the corrected map data? Is that their property or something?

Correct. The Map Data as it comes from NavTeq or TeleAtlas is covered by copyright due to the fact that they have enhanced the original data set with information they have gathered. We can work on an import routine for those who own the rights to use it.

There are different data formats. Here are those I know...

First NAVTEQ has it's own format called SDAL: http://www.sdalformat.com/
You can download the SDAL Specification but you will find this on the first page of the document (I've got v1.7 from end of 2005 here):
Quote
For viewing purposes only. No rights to implement all or any part of the specification disclosed herein are granted or implied. Agreement to the terms and conditions set forth in the SDALĀ® Format Version 1.7 Adopters Agreement (CD-ROM) is required.

Then there is GDF (ISO/DIS 14825:2004), but both Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ don't use the official GDF specification but a variation of it. I can't tell you more about those differences.

English Information at Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_Data_Files

German Information at Wikipedia:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_Data_Files

Official ISO page, where you can order/download/pay for the official specification:
http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=30763
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: magog on 2007.11.04, 23:32:04
Also, we are attempting to do this in a fashion that allows mapping different command sets and communications protocols to a particular GPS, so for instance, if your GPS doesnt use the standard GPS command set, you can add your own "Query Current Position" command. There really aren't too many GPS commands needed to interact with a GPS unit for what's needed - and the program will be designed to allow adding (probably by us, possibly by the end-user) additional commands/features.

I've looked into this a couple of month ago while working with SuperWaba and my Bluetooth GPS receiver which is connected to my Palm Treo 650.
Normally all available GPS-Receivers return several NMEA 0183 sentences (GLL, GGA, GSA, GSV, VTG) and the basic coordinate system should be WGS84 (which I think is basically the standard today).
It's quite easy to use the NMEA information. With the above sentences you have all the interesting stuff like location, speed, available satellites and satellites in view.
GLL (Geographic position, Latitude and Longitude) alone gives you the location + time which is enough to create a simple GPX file I talked about earlier (see above).

For the beginners here you find the basic info about NMEA:
http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/nmea.htm
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: abwillis on 2007.11.08, 05:48:22
http://glebk.newmail.ru/rdesktop/rdesktop-1.5.0-gcc-SDL-a2.zip
Requires SDL but doesn't require xfree86.  SDL can be downloaded from netlabs.
Andy
Title: Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
Post by: Saijin_Naib on 2007.11.08, 06:24:48
Awesome :) Just downloaded it and SDL, but Im using Panorama VESA because I just discovered how much faster it was with shadow buffer on. You wouldn't be up for making a Panorama plug-in for it or something?