Marlow's diary

Recent diary entries

Using the DOD GS-600 or similar HD blackbox gps cameras for OSM

Posted by Marlow on 15 December 2012 in English (English)

I've been using a Roadhawk in the car for a few years, but the quality of the video wasn't really good enough to use it for documentation with OSM.

In Dec 2011 I then bought a DOD GS-600, which has HD quality video. So this little gadget records in 1080p (or 720p, if you want to save a bit space), in whatever interval you set it (mine is set at 15 minutes) and when the microSD (in my case 32 GB, the maximum) is full, it starts overwriting the oldest files.

It also has a build in gyro and gps.

On top of this, it logs GPStracks in it's own proprietary format, consisting of date, time, latitude, longitude, x, y, z

X, Y, Z and movement data based on the gyro and thus not too interesting.

I used gpsbabels xcsv function to convert the file to gpx tracks.

The style file looks like this:

The command to convert it then is: /usr/bin/gpsbabel -i xcsv, -f "$1" -x transform,trk=wpt -o gpx -F "$1.gpx"

A resulting trace would be: Todays trace

And here is the video from the last leg of that trace: Athlone drive

Signs can be clearly enough identified and used for documentation. A lot of features can be identified. All in all, fairly usable.

The GPS is pretty accurate, as the camera sits in the windscreen at the very top.

Few bits around Athlone

Posted by Marlow on 13 December 2012 in English (English)

Picked a bit mapping up again and started updating a few bits around Athlone.

Location: Blyry Industrial Estate, Blyry Lower, Moydrum Electoral Division, Athlone, County Westmeath, Leinster, N37 K066, Ireland

Motorway signposts and other bits

Posted by Marlow on 20 March 2011 in English (English)

In the last days, I've started to add the signs on the irish motorways on the map. To be precise, I've added exit_to tags to all junctions on the M6 west of Athlone to Galway. Next week, hopefully I'll complete the junctions on the M6 and M4 east of Athlone and to Dublin, including a good chunk of M50 and M1 junctions.

exit_to is intended for navigation software, so that the software can tell you what to look for. The exit number isn't always just enough.

I've also mapped a good few estates in Roscommon, Athlone, Loughrea including housenumbers, etc. and update maxspeed on all primary, secondary, tertiary and unclassified roads, that I come past. Again, this is all information, that is extremely helpful for navigation.

Location: Ardsallagh Woods, Ardsallagh Beg, Roscommon Rural Electoral Division, Roscommon Municipal District, County Roscommon, Connacht, Ireland

Roscommon -> Belfast and back on the country roads

Posted by Marlow on 17 February 2011 in English (English)

Been in Belfast and back today. About 600 km of traces. That should keep me busy the next couple of days.

Mapping traces

Posted by Marlow on 1 January 2009 in English (English)

Turns out, i've not mapped much in the last week and am now stuck with traces worth of 2 weeks or more.

I've mapped a complete run from Co. Galway to Co. Carlow and back to Co. Roscommon via Athlone today. Rectified a few bits around Co. Carlow etc.

Railroad bridges

Posted by Marlow on 23 November 2008 in English (English)

A few more stretches added in Roscommon and Galway.

On top of that, i've started to look at railroad bridges, or bridges in general. Obviously, if you cross a bridge, the map should indicate that.

Also important is, that if you meet a railroad bridge, where you have to go under, that the maxheight is specified. Can be handy to know upfront, that you can travel a road or not.

470 km further

Posted by Marlow on 21 November 2008 in English (English)

Looks like my edits from yesterday in Cork were partially not saved, so I'll have to map those roads again :(

On the other hand, I've put 470 km on the clock around Co. Galway again today. The area south of Loughrea and between Craughwell and Gort gets more complete every day.

Old gpsdrive logs

Posted by Marlow on 19 November 2008 in English (English)

I just came across a backup with 3 years worth of gpsdrive tracks (of my own). I've been through half of them so far and it paid off. A good couple secondary and tertiary roads between Cork and Galway (mostly westcork, Skibbereen and north from there) and a few of the tertiary roads around Co. Galway, that I was missing.

Most of these roads haven't changed in the last 3 years and if there are small mistakes, they'll be easy to fix. Better than no roads at all. Westcork is worse than the mid-west with lack of mapping.

Shrule -> Glenncorrib, IE

Posted by Marlow on 17 November 2008 in English (English)

A lot of the stretches that I was on today were perfectly well mapped, so I've had to make very little adjustments.

I've added the L1615 from Shrule to Glenncorrib though, as that only was incompletely mapped.

I'm also looking at adding more services along the roads.

A weekend of tracks

Posted by Marlow on 16 November 2008 in English (English)

23338 trackpoints was the sum this weekend.

I've mapped quite a few of the L-roads around Mountbellew, Moylough, Menlough, Augrim, Craughwell, Peterswell, Kilchreest etc.

Also, wherever I find signage for the L-road numbers, I'm writing them down now and update the roads later.

Mom unfortunatly hangs once in a while, with the dodgy cellphone coverage in rural Ireland and when it can't retrieve the maps. I guess I have to send the developer a mail about that and make a few improvement suggestions. Beyond that it's the best tool I've seen for symbian cellphones so far, to see, what is mapped and what not.

Moar irish mid-west roads

Posted by Marlow on 14 November 2008 in English (English)

It seems, that quite a few of the R- (secondary) roads aren't mapped in the midwest.

So I got a few more R- and L- roads done today.

The worst thing about L- (or not ?) roads is their lousy signing. Sometimes you find the L- roadnumber on one end of the road but nowhere along the road and not on the other end either. It could be a separate sign or it could be part of the streetsign with the distances, depending on, if the signs have been upgraded at some point. This makes it very difficult to figure out, where a L-road ends, as a t-junction doesn't necessarily mean the end of that particular L-road.

Also I've seen no other mapping material so far, that has the L-road numbers. I'll need to investigate, to see, if there's a list or map somewhere with all of them. After all, there's tenthousands of them !! (they go as heigh as 71xxx around here).

Until then, I'll leave tertiary roads, that have no sign for their number as unclassified roads. Not much else, that can be done.

I also startet using MoM today. It's quite good and works brill on my E90. Gives me an idea, what roads aren't mapped yet. The only problem is, that the bloody thing hangs, when the GPRS/3G connection goes to sh*t and also the logging is patchy, which isn't a big problem, because I use my logger in the GPS receiver for that. But just to get an idea, what is mapped and what not, it's a brilliant tool, as it downloads the maps as needed.

On the road again

Posted by Marlow on 13 November 2008 in English (English)

Another trip to Galway today.

I've covered the R339 up to the L3110 from Monivea to Abbeyknockmoy. From Horseleap Cross then towards the north through Cooloo, on that stretch I cross two R-roads and ended up on the R362 in Creggs. From there back into Athleague and on another backroad up to Kilcash.

Location: Kilcash, Athleague East Electoral Division, Athlone Municipal District, County Roscommon, Connacht, Ireland

Roscommon and Galway, Ireland

Posted by Marlow on 13 November 2008 in English (English)

I finished further bits around Athleague, Augrim, Loughrea, Kilchreest, Castledaly, Kilcolgan, Craughwell, Maree and a few bits in Galway city today.

Some of the road classifications were also wrong.

Co. Roscommon and Co. Galway, Ireland

Posted by Marlow on 12 November 2008 in English (English)

I've added various tertiary and secondary roads between Athleague, Four Roads and Knockcroghery over the last two days.

On top of that one of the Kinvara <-> Gort roads was on the log today and a few smaller roads around Galway City including parts of Mervue Business Park.

The stretch between New Inn over Ballymacward and Castleblankeney to Mountbellew is also on the map now.

Nokia Symbian Phones as datalogger

Posted by Marlow on 10 November 2008 in English (English)

When I was on the continent in the last 2 weeks, I found that Nokia has an application called SportsTracker for Symbian based phones.

Essentially that allows to log a gpstrace on my Nokia E90 Communicator and export it to GPX afterwards. Very handy indeed, especially for the phones that have build-in GPS. That way I don't have to carry a laptop around.