User:Stanton

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Via Osma.jpg
Babel
de Dieser Benutzer spricht Deutsch als Muttersprache.
en-4 This user speaks English at a near-native level.
it-3 Questo utente può contribuire con un italiano di livello avanzato.
es-2 Este usuario puede contribuir con un nivel intermedio de español.
lt-1 Šis vartotojas gali prisidėti prie projekto pradedančio lygio Lietuvių kalba.
Equipped for piste mapping
My video mapping setup in the car, view from inside
My video mapping setup in the car, view from outside
Analysis: the video with GPS data as subtitles, created with GPSBabel
No need to despair over street names - sometimes even the city authorities have trouble getting it right

Mappers don't get lost - they just discover new areas to map.

Activities

Equipment

Devices

  • Mitac Mio 168RS
  • Neo Freerunner, running Android (fixed the GPS timestamp bug, now it's usable for mapping)
  • Geeksphone One (for recording tracks and for taking pictures when I don't have the Ixus with me)
  • Canon Ixus 70 for still images
  • Panasonic SDR-S26 for video

As far as I'm concerned, there is no real need for a dedicated GPS unit. Get a PDA or smart phone with a GPS receiver and the software of your choice (you might also be able to hack a sat-nav device) - this will give you the most flexibility, though that depends on the software. Storage space is not really an issue with these - the Mio and both my smartphones each have a 2 GB SD card (for the Mio this is the upper limit) and even after months of mapping without deleting a single GPS track, there was still plenty of space left on all of them.

Only caveat: quality of the built-in GPS can differ greatly. The Freerunner can take a long while to get a signal and may return erratic readings for a while after - but once it has stabilized, it has decent precision. The Mio (in my opinion) is slightly faster to get a signal and has good precision, only slightly below that of the Freerunner. The GeeksPhone, especially with a data connection and GPS assistance data available, gets a fix almost instantly but precision is rather shoddy - it is acceptable in open areas but degrades noticeably in the vicinity of obstacles.

Software

Tracking

  • Navit (on Mio 168RS)
  • NaviPOWM (on Mio 168RS, substitute for Navit)
  • OSMtracker for Android (on Freerunner and Geeksphone)
  • GPS Status for Android (gratis but non-free - I use it to display GPS time and to download GPS assistance data with my Geeksphone)

Altogether, I have not found the perfect tracking software yet. My dream would be:

  • vector map display (for quick comparisons of what is mapped and what is not, basically a navigation system, except it does not need routing capabilities)
  • ability to start/stop tracking (Navit doesn't allow it, the other two do)
  • ability to record waypoints (OSMtracker for Android does an excellent job at that, lacking in the other two)
  • immediate writing to file - no in-memory caching of GPS output (NaviPOWM does a good job at that, Navit mostly does, OSMtracker used to be really bad at that but has improved - but once your device has crashed after an hour of mapping, you'll know how badly you need this)
  • GPX output format (OK for Navit and older OSMtracker versions, later OSMtracker versions require an extra step to export tracks, manual conversion needed for NaviPOWM)

If I have some time on my hands and get Navit for WinCE to compile on Cygwin, I might hack up a version of Navit which finally makes my tracking dreams come true. I have capitulated and installed Ubuntu on my laptop and Navit compiles fine, right now I am adding tracking capabilities to it.

Analysis

  • JOSM
  • GPSBabel for any conversion (NMEA to GPX; video subtitles from tracks of either kind)
  • VLC for video mapping (waiting for the JOSM plugin)