Poll

POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS? If so, would you pay for it?

No, I have no need for it
11 (14.9%)
Yes, but I would not pay for it
2 (2.7%)
Yes, and I'd pay $5
0 (0%)
Yes, and I'd pay $10
3 (4.1%)
Yes, and I'd pay $15
2 (2.7%)
Yes, and I'd pay $20
42 (56.8%)
I'm not sure... maybe
6 (8.1%)
Yes, and I'd pay $40
3 (4.1%)
Yes, and I'd pay $50
3 (4.1%)
Yes, and I'd pay more than $50
2 (2.7%)

Total Members Voted: 0

Author Topic: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?  (Read 27754 times)

RobertM

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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:
  • Support for many (most?) Garmin USB GPS Units
  • Map drawing with variable zoom settings
  • Routing information displayable on PC Screen including text directions and route on map (for GPS units that support sending routing data)
  • Map re-orientation based off direction of travel (for GPS units that support sending orientation information)
  • Stand alone mapping for any US location with multiple zoom levels (GPS independant)
  • Roads will be color/size coded (ie: Interstates will be thicker and/or a different color than local roads)
  • GeoData updatable (address, road information, etc)


FEATURES BEING CONSIDERED FOR FIRST RELEASE:
  • Voice prompts (ie: "Exit North at this exit, turn left at first traffic light")
  • Serial Garmin GPS support (depends on being able to get a serial GPS to test with)
  • Enhanced topographical information (elevations, as well as color coding from for instance sea level to mountain)

FEATURES PLANNED FOR LATER RELEASES:
  • Creation of routing info (directions) without the assistance of the GPS unit.
  • Support for other brand GPS Units (depends on being able to get units AND programming/communications specs to test with)
  • Coastal waterways information (color coded depths, etc)
  • "3D" style map drawing (ie: map is angled to driver's perspective)
  • Weather information
  • POSSIBLY (and may require subscription as with certain other GPS units) traffic and road hazard notifications
  • Saving of "Favorite" destinations/locations
  • Adding "Waypoints" or "Points of Interest" (restaurants, movie theaters, whatever)

FEATURES REQUESTED SO FAR (AND ADDRESSED ABOVE):
  • Serial GPS Support

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
  • A computer/laptop/UMPC running eCS (any version) or OS/2 (any version since Warp 4) that has working USB support (USB level must be compatible with GPS... for instance, if your GPS *requires* USB 2, then even if your system has working USB - but only at level 1.1, we cant help you.
  • An empty (working - see above) USB port
  • Some added features (weather) MAY require an always on Internet connection... though that may change, and may not be the case for certain GPS units.
  • ANY hardware that can run eCS/Warp well (with appropriate USB support) will be adequate - though since the maps will be vector drawn, sufficient CPU power and a graphics card that is supported decently (driver support generally) may increase the map drawing performance (for instance some nVidia cards with SciTech SNAP have abysimal graphics speeds for even the simplest of tasks... not a good combination for drawing a lot of vector art - while MANY low end graphics cards will outperform those nVidia cards in this respect)

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.
« Last Edit: 2007.10.25, 06:13:05 by RobertM »
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RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #1 on: 2007.10.24, 02:43:36 »
C'mon folks... Vote (Yes or No), suggest features, whatever...
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BigWarpGuy

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #2 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

RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #3 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...
« Last Edit: 2007.10.24, 05:15:35 by RobertM »
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Saijin_Naib

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #4 on: 2007.10.24, 05:33:14 »
Yeah, what GPS software? The Garmin suite? Or were you talking about GIS software like ArcGIS?

RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #5 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.
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Saijin_Naib

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #6 on: 2007.10.24, 06:58:03 »
Will you include Serial port support as well?

RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #7 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
« Last Edit: 2007.10.24, 07:26:16 by RobertM »
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Saijin_Naib

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #8 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  >:(

RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #9 on: 2007.10.24, 08:09:23 »
Hang in there and best of luck to you.
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RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #10 on: 2007.10.25, 05:04:39 »
FEATURES PLANNED FOR FIRST RELEASE:
  • Support for many (most?) Garmin USB GPS Units
  • Map drawing with variable zoom settings
  • Routing information displayable on PC Screen including text directions and route on map (for GPS units that support sending routing data)
  • Map re-orientation based off direction of travel (for GPS units that support sending orientation information)
  • Stand alone mapping for any US location with multiple zoom levels (GPS independant)
  • Roads will be color/size coded (ie: Interstates will be thicker and/or a different color than local roads)
  • GeoData updatable (address, road information, etc)


FEATURES BEING CONSIDERED FOR FIRST RELEASE:
  • Voice prompts (ie: "Exit North at this exit, turn left at first traffic light")
  • Serial Garmin GPS support (depends on being able to get a serial GPS to test with)
  • Enhanced topographical information (elevations, as well as color coding from for instance sea level to mountain)

FEATURES PLANNED FOR LATER RELEASES:
  • Creation of routing info (directions) without the assistance of the GPS unit.
  • Support for other brand GPS Units (depends on being able to get units AND programming/communications specs to test with)
  • Coastal waterways information (color coded depths, etc)
  • "3D" style map drawing (ie: map is angled to driver's perspective)
  • Weather information
  • POSSIBLY (and may require subscription as with certain other GPS units) traffic and road hazard notifications
  • Saving of "Favorite" destinations/locations
  • Adding "Waypoints" or "Points of Interest" (restaurants, movie theaters, whatever)

FEATURES REQUESTED SO FAR (AND ADDRESSED ABOVE):
  • Serial GPS Support

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
  • A computer/laptop/UMPC running eCS (any version) or OS/2 (any version since Warp 4) that has working USB support (USB level must be compatible with GPS... for instance, if your GPS *requires* USB 2, then even if your system has working USB - but only at level 1.1, we cant help you.
  • An empty (working - see above) USB port
  • Some added features (weather) MAY require an always on Internet connection... though that may change, and may not be the case for certain GPS units.
  • ANY hardware that can run eCS/Warp well (with appropriate USB support) will be adequate - though since the maps will be vector drawn, sufficient CPU power and a graphics card that is supported decently (driver support generally) may increase the map drawing performance (for instance some nVidia cards with SciTech SNAP have abysimal graphics speeds for even the simplest of tasks... not a good combination for drawing a lot of vector art - while MANY low end graphics cards will outperform those nVidia cards in this respect)

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.
« Last Edit: 2007.10.25, 05:07:46 by RobertM »
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abwillis

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #11 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.

RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #12 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"
« Last Edit: 2007.10.25, 20:48:08 by RobertM »
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Saijin_Naib

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #13 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

svobi

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #14 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
« Last Edit: 2007.10.26, 03:54:57 by svobi »