OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

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OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

Nick Whitelegg
A thought I've had for some time with Freemap, wouldn't it be good if OSM maps
could be displayed on mobile devices like PDAs or even phones? Without a lot
of knowledge in this area ATM (but am keen to learn) I'm not sure how
feasible it would be but the following appear to be true:

a) the device would need inbuilt GPS;

b) There would seem to be two ways of implementing this:

i) Get your current position from the inbuilt GPS, construct an HTTP request
to the server using, e.g. the cURL library, and get a map back as, say, a PNG
image.

ii) Send an XML-RPC request to the server, get the raw data back then process
the data to draw the map on the mobile device. This is more flexible but
requires more processing on the device.

c) the device would need to make a request to the server every x minutes or
seconds, or when the position has changed by y metres/feet.

Doubtless there are many practical problems with battery life, etc, but it
would certainly be something worth investigating. I also gather that most
mobile devices cannot connect arbitrarily to the internet through
user-written software, for security reasons. So (correct me if I'm wrong) it
would only be possible to do this sort of development under the Linux/Qtopia
environment at the moment and not under Symbian or Palm environments.

If this is feasible it's certainly something I would like to get involved in.
Are there suitable PDAs out there with GPS ability, or could I get a cheap
pluggable GPS unit and plug it into an arbitrary PDA?

Thanks,
Nick





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Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

Christopher Schmidt
On Wed, Jun 01, 2005 at 06:37:33PM +0100, Nick Whitelegg wrote:
> Doubtless there are many practical problems with battery life, etc, but it
> would certainly be something worth investigating. I also gather that most
> mobile devices cannot connect arbitrarily to the internet through
> user-written software, for security reasons. So (correct me if I'm wrong) it
> would only be possible to do this sort of development under the Linux/Qtopia
> environment at the moment and not under Symbian or Palm environments.

The Symbian Series 60 platform has a Python executable that you can
download which works in exactly the same way to Python on a computer,
and does not have sandboxing. Additionally, typically applications can
make requests to arbitrary addresses, after asking permission expressly
from the user.

General Psuedo Code:

Load Application Module
Load URL Access Module

Fetch Location (User input or GPS: it's possible to read from a GPS over
bluetooth on Symbian Series 60 devices)

Open Serverside URI which returns graphic
Save Graphic to phone memory
Open Graphic in phone's default image viewer application

> If this is feasible it's certainly something I would like to get involved in.
> Are there suitable PDAs out there with GPS ability, or could I get a cheap
> pluggable GPS unit and plug it into an arbitrary PDA?

You can typically plug GPS units into Palm and similar devices, and as I
mentioned, there is Python code to do connection over bluetooth between
a phone and a GPS device.

One thing to consider is to build an association between Cell towers
(which you can get from the cell phone) and actual locations. This would
let even those without a GPS get something close geographically to where
they currently are.

Just my limited knowledge on the topoic.

--
Christopher Schmidt

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Ant: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

frank mohr
In reply to this post by Nick Whitelegg
hi

--- Nick Whitelegg <[hidden email]> schrieb:

> A thought I've had for some time with Freemap, wouldn't it be good if
> OSM maps
> could be displayed on mobile devices like PDAs or even phones?
> Without a lot
> of knowledge in this area ATM (but am keen to learn) I'm not sure how
>
> feasible it would be but the following appear to be true:

sorry what do you mean by ATM (just a guess: "At The Moment" ?
i only know it as abbreviation for "automated teller machine"
and "Asynchronous Transfer Mode")

> a) the device would need inbuilt GPS;
>
> b) There would seem to be two ways of implementing this:
>
> i) Get your current position from the inbuilt GPS, construct an HTTP
> request
> to the server using, e.g. the cURL library, and get a map back as,
> say, a PNG
> image.

that would be the easiest way

> ii) Send an XML-RPC request to the server, get the raw data back then
> process
> the data to draw the map on the mobile device. This is more flexible
> but
> requires more processing on the device.

I had a demo map program with a London streetmap for my Palm that
worked rather fast and current PDAs have a better performance than
my old Palm Vx.

> c) the device would need to make a request to the server every x
> minutes or
> seconds, or when the position has changed by y metres/feet.

if you use b)ii) you can fetch a larger area and only need to refetch
the next dataset if you approach the borders of the stored area

> Doubtless there are many practical problems with battery life, etc,
> but it
> would certainly be something worth investigating. I also gather that
> most
> mobile devices cannot connect arbitrarily to the internet through
> user-written software, for security reasons. So (correct me if I'm
> wrong) it
> would only be possible to do this sort of development under the
> Linux/Qtopia
> environment at the moment and not under Symbian or Palm environments.

on the palm you can do this
i'm sometimes (or better rarely) using a mail program on the palm
that automatically starts the connection (over mobile phone) if i
fetch new mail.

> If this is feasible it's certainly something I would like to get
> involved in.
> Are there suitable PDAs out there with GPS ability, or could I get a
> cheap
> pluggable GPS unit and plug it into an arbitrary PDA?

there are some PDAs with build in GPS receivers (Garmin iQue 3200 with
PalmOS or iQue M5 with WinMobile and some others)

most current PDAs have a CompactFlash slot and there are GPS receivers
for that slot

frank


       
               
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Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

Tom Carden
In reply to this post by Nick Whitelegg
Nick Whitelegg wrote:
 > i) Get your current position from the inbuilt GPS, construct an HTTP
request to the server using, e.g. the cURL library, and get a map back
as, say, a PNG image.
 >

This is the current OSM URL that returns a PNG.

http://www.openstreetmap.org/edit/viewMapImage.jsp?lat=51.526447&lon=-0.14746371&scale=20000.0&width=320&height=240

Obviously there is work to do on the rendering (current todo list
involves drawing lines which only have one node inside the current
projection).  I'd like to implement something like my Processing demo
code for the actual renderer this weekend.

Tom.

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Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

Petter Reinholdtsen
In reply to this post by Nick Whitelegg

[Nick Whitelegg]
> A thought I've had for some time with Freemap, wouldn't it be good
> if OSM maps could be displayed on mobile devices like PDAs or even
> phones?

What about GPSes?  Creating Garmin maps might gain us some friends.  I
recently discovered <URL: http://www.gps.no/kartprosjekt/ > (Norwegian
only) with some freely available maps of Norway in the Garmin format.
If OSM could provide maps to these people, I suspect they would be
more willing to contribute their data back. :)


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Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

Tom Carden
In reply to this post by Tom Carden
Tom Carden wrote:
> (current todo list involves drawing lines which only have one node
> inside the current projection).

done!

Tom.

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Re: Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

frank mohr
In reply to this post by Petter Reinholdtsen
Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:

> [Nick Whitelegg]
>
>>A thought I've had for some time with Freemap, wouldn't it be good
>>if OSM maps could be displayed on mobile devices like PDAs or even
>>phones?
>
>
> What about GPSes?  Creating Garmin maps might gain us some friends.  I
> recently discovered <URL: http://www.gps.no/kartprosjekt/ > (Norwegian
> only) with some freely available maps of Norway in the Garmin format.
> If OSM could provide maps to these people, I suspect they would be
> more willing to contribute their data back. :)

have a look at http://mapcenter.cgpsmapper.com/
"a place where you can share your maps for Garmin GPS receivers and find
maps created by other GPS enthusiasts"

frank

       

       
               
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Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

Ehud Shabtai
In reply to this post by Nick Whitelegg
Nick Whitelegg wrote:

>A thought I've had for some time with Freemap, wouldn't it be good if OSM maps
>could be displayed on mobile devices like PDAs or even phones? Without a lot
>of knowledge in this area ATM (but am keen to learn) I'm not sure how
>feasible it would be but the following appear to be true:
>  
>
I had the same thought. I'm currently using a commercial software for
navigation, using my pocket pc (running windows mobile). I have a GPS
which connects using a serial port to the device. All the maps data are
stored on an external memory card.

I would like to do the same with OpenStreetMap:
1. Write a navigation software which uses vector map data. This should
not be just a bitmap showing on the screen, but a real navigation
software which calculates routes according to current location and
destination.
2. While the user uses the software, the GPS input is saved for later
synchronization.
3. The user has an option to synchronize his device which results in
getting updated data from OpenStreetMap and sending his new GPS data
back to OpenStreetMap. I may need to allow him to edit his GPS points
before sending it back.

Ehud.

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Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

Petter Reinholdtsen

[Ehud Shabtai]
> 1. Write a navigation software which uses vector map data. This
> should not be just a bitmap showing on the screen, but a real
> navigation software which calculates routes according to current
> location and destination.

Check out <URL: http://roadmap.digitalomaha.net/ >.

> 2. While the user uses the software, the GPS input is saved for
> later synchronization.

That would be a nice extention for roadmap, yes. :)


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Mumbai Free Map

Shekhar Krishnan-2
Dear All:

Please see the latest demo of the Mumbai Free Map on
http://freemap.crit.org.in

This now contains detailed vector layers for roads, railways, buildings
and plots, projected onto a satellite composite image of the city. The
data has been sourced from existing municipal development plans,
surveys, and public geo-data, which we have traced and stitched
together with our archive of project materials at CRIT.

The project web page is on http://www.crit.org.in/projects/gis and we
welcome comments and feedback on it as we begin developing an interface
by which to annotate the maps and develop this as an open source and
interactive archive and community information infrastructure.

Regards,


S.K.
_____

Shekhar Krishnan
CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust)
B-43, Shravasti
Goregaon-Malad Link Road
Malad (West), Mumbai 400064
India

http://www.crit.org.in/members/shekhar


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Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

Paul Makepeace-2
In reply to this post by Nick Whitelegg
Hi Nick,

The kind of functionality you're envisaging is largely implemented in a
fashion with the Urban Tapestries (UT) project, http://urbantapestries.net/

As the server developer for version 2 last year I can give a bit of
feedback on what we experienced...

Nick Whitelegg wrote:
> A thought I've had for some time with Freemap, wouldn't it be good if OSM maps
> could be displayed on mobile devices like PDAs or even phones? Without a lot
> of knowledge in this area ATM (but am keen to learn) I'm not sure how
> feasible it would be but the following appear to be true:
>
> a) the device would need inbuilt GPS;

UT used location requests to the phone provider to get the nearest cell
tower, and then user input (i.e. scrolling about) to pin-point the exact
location they were either at or interested in.

This worked reasonably well; cell towers are a few hundred meters apart.
The downside was having to produce a custom WAP/HTTP gateway at Orange
to put the location requests in our HTTP requests via a maze of proxy
servers and custom code. My understanding was that this was fairly hard
work.

There's a common myth that it's possible to triangulate your cell phone
from multiple towers. This *isn't* possible in the UK (sorry!) with
non-3G towers yet.

Another downside to location requests is normally they're fairly
expensive. That may well change in future, hopefully to a subscription
model or even better free, but at the time it required close cooperation
with our network provider, Orange/FT.

> b) There would seem to be two ways of implementing this:
>
> i) Get your current position from the inbuilt GPS, construct an HTTP request
> to the server using, e.g. the cURL library, and get a map back as, say, a PNG
> image.
>
> ii) Send an XML-RPC request to the server, get the raw data back then process
> the data to draw the map on the mobile device. This is more flexible but
> requires more processing on the device.

We opted for installing a map on the device (SE P800) and having the all
the communications operate using coords.

Bear in mind that in addition to any map data you are probably likely to
want to send other data too, e.g. nearest pubs, and very quickly you
find your meagre and only somewhat reliable 9600baud GPRS connection
being used up, or used to an extent your usability is becoming frustrating.

Talking of which, I'm not sure if you've ever seen the contents of an
XML-RPC packet--it is verbose in the extreme. You absolutely have to be
using HTTP compression. In our case this required writing client code.
The savings yielded were around 80-85%. Of course, the HTTP header
itself is still uncompressed. Personally I would definitely consider
using a tighter session protocol, i.e. not HTTP.

With the advent of increasingly pervasive wireless and wireless on phone
devices (e.g. Orange M2000/XDA IIi) this is opening up some exciting
possibility. However, Proboscis' experiences with wireless were not
terribly promising either. But that's a whole different conversation...

> c) the device would need to make a request to the server every x minutes or
> seconds, or when the position has changed by y metres/feet.

We left that in the hands of the user. I don't think we're quite at the
stage in terms of user expectation or network coverage & bandwidth for
devices to be continuously connected like that. Still, it'd be a nice
option.

> Doubtless there are many practical problems with battery life, etc, but it
> would certainly be something worth investigating. I also gather that most
> mobile devices cannot connect arbitrarily to the internet through
> user-written software, for security reasons. So (correct me if I'm wrong) it

What you're thinking of is a restriction placed on unsigned java code;
the same isn't the case for native apps. Consider a basic PDA browser...

> would only be possible to do this sort of development under the Linux/Qtopia
> environment at the moment and not under Symbian or Palm environments.
>
> If this is feasible it's certainly something I would like to get involved in.
> Are there suitable PDAs out there with GPS ability, or could I get a cheap
> pluggable GPS unit and plug it into an arbitrary PDA?

I have an Orange M1000 with the TomTom Navigator software which can come
with a bluetooth GPS unit. As it stands it's a great piece of kit and
works on a lot of different devices. I haven't tried hooking it up to
any third party software or stuff I've written myself yet. (Love to hear
from anyone who has!)

Hope that helps, Cheers, Paul

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Re: OpenStreetMap/Freemap and mobile devices?

stevec-4
* @ 08/06/05 07:58:15 AM [hidden email] wrote:
> Talking of which, I'm not sure if you've ever seen the contents of an
> XML-RPC packet--it is verbose in the extreme. You absolutely have to be
> using HTTP compression.

Absolutely.

> In our case this required writing client code.

And there is the rub - not many clients do the compression. Which is
dumb. OSM does the server side stuff but the apache jakarta xmlrpc
library doesn't.

I spent some time a while ago trying to shoehorn another similarly
derived library in, which *did* do gzip but it didn't work for some
strange reason I've forgotten.

have fun,

SteveC [hidden email] http://www.fractalus.com/steve/

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