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 27899 times)

BigWarpGuy

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #30 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,  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?

RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #31 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
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dscandora

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #32 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.

RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #33 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.
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Robert Deed

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #34 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.


RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #35 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.
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magog

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #36 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/
« Last Edit: 2007.11.02, 16:53:53 by magog »
Regards,
Juergen
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RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #37 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 user would always have to have an Internet connection in their vehicle (limits the number of users who the software would be useful to) - also, the ambulances running the software to do their routing cannot be counting on their Internet connection always being up. If they hit a no service area, the program still has to work
  • Google Maps doesnt allow you to easily rotate the maps to the current driving direction perspective - this is a must for our software
  • Google requires users to get a Google Maps API Account to use their service for over a certain amount of test queries (another limiting factor) - which would be an important consideration since every YY Seconds, Google Maps would have to redraw the maps based off the vehicle's new position... it adds up... even with a Google Maps Account, you only get 50,000 queries a month.
  • If the GPS can create and send routing data, we dont need Google Maps anyway. The problem we have is some GPS units DONT do routing at all (the ones without interfaces, which have the host PC actually create routes)
  • Creating route overlays and location overlays on a map is ridiculously easy... we have no problems there
  • Getting the map data is ridiculously easy (though somewhat time consuming for the PC... 4 days if memory serves) and is already done

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.
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magog

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #38 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.
« Last Edit: 2007.11.04, 23:15:41 by magog »
Regards,
Juergen
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RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #39 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... :(
« Last Edit: 2007.11.04, 21:49:39 by RobertM »
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Saijin_Naib

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #40 on: 2007.11.04, 21:49:56 »
^ Why cant you include the corrected map data? Is that their property or something?

RobertM

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #41 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.
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Saijin_Naib

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #42 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

magog

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #43 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
« Last Edit: 2007.11.04, 23:33:17 by magog »
Regards,
Juergen
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magog

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Re: POLL: Do we need GPS/Mapping software for Warp/eCS?
« Reply #44 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
« Last Edit: 2007.11.05, 00:49:25 by magog »
Regards,
Juergen
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