RoadMap map generator / editor

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RoadMap map generator / editor

Ehud Shabtai
I'm working on a project that builds on top of RoadMap a map editor.

It tracks your GPS and creates new street segments as you drive.

It is designed as real time map generator (use a PDA or laptop and
drive around to create new roads). The big advantage of being built on
top of RoadMap is that you can have your existing maps converted into
RoadMap maps and use them for navigation along with the creation of
missing areas.

Of course you can use GPSD or just point RoadMap to an NMEA text file
and it will generate your map from the recorded trace.

For more information (including a short video showing it in action):

http://roadmap.digitalomaha.net/editor.html

Ehud.

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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

Ehud Shabtai
> That sounds really interesting.  Do you have some ideas for how, for
> example, two *slightly* different maps from 2 days driving in the same place
> can be merged?  Does RoadMap deal with that?

RoadMap detects that you are close to an existing road and assumes
that it's the same road. When you get too far from it, it assumes that
this is a new road and will create it.

> That's the fundamental problem OSM will face if we automatically convert GPS
> tracks into road segments. I'd be really interested to know if anyone has a
> well thought out solution, or knows of other software which solves the
> problem.

That's my next goal. Creating a server for merging road segments.

Ehud.

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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

Tom Carden
Ehud Shabtai wrote:
>
> RoadMap detects that you are close to an existing road and assumes
> that it's the same road. When you get too far from it, it assumes that
> this is a new road and will create it.
>

What I'd like to see is something which refines a road with multiple
samples over a few days.  You might tell the software that you were
driving the same route as yesterday, for example.  Starting with the
assumption that you're driving, and with some idea about route, makes
things a lot easier :)

Otherwise, why the assumption that the first survey was most accurate?  It
seems a shame to throw away your most recent data in favour of your first
attempt.

>
> That's my next goal. Creating a server for merging road segments.

Count us in... it would be brilliant if people could submit maps created
with software like RoadMap directly to OpenStreetMap (so long as the
wiki-like aspect of it is maintained).

Tom.


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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

Ehud Shabtai
On 10/17/05, Tom Carden <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ehud Shabtai wrote:
>
> What I'd like to see is something which refines a road with multiple
> samples over a few days.  You might tell the software that you were
> driving the same route as yesterday, for example.  Starting with the
> assumption that you're driving, and with some idea about route, makes
> things a lot easier :)
>
> Otherwise, why the assumption that the first survey was most accurate?  It
> seems a shame to throw away your most recent data in favour of your first
> attempt.

I agree. I'm not sure that's the client job though. The current
behavior of RoadMap is to draw the road using the first GPS track.
Next time you drive near that road, RoadMap detects that it's the same
road and links for that road the new GPS points (the road is still
drawn using the first GPS points), so nothing is thrown away.

The idea is that this information can then be sent to a server saying:
Here's a street segment and here's a list of all GPS tracks for this
segment. The server should then merge all the points to a reined
street segment.


> > That's my next goal. Creating a server for merging road segments.
>
> Count us in... it would be brilliant if people could submit maps created
> with software like RoadMap directly to OpenStreetMap (so long as the
> wiki-like aspect of it is maintained).

Can you explain the wiki-like aspect of OpenStreetMap? What does it mean?

Ehud.

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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

Tom Carden
On 10/17/05, Ehud Shabtai <[hidden email]> wrote:

I agree. I'm not sure that's the client job though. The current
behavior of RoadMap is to draw the road using the first GPS track.
Next time you drive near that road, RoadMap detects that it's the same
road and links for that road the new GPS points (the road is still
drawn using the first GPS points), so nothing is thrown away.
 
OK, that makes more sense.

The idea is that this information can then be sent to a server saying:
Here's a street segment and here's a list of all GPS tracks for this
segment.
 
RIght.

The server should then merge all the points to a reined
street segment.
 
And that's the tough bit!
 
I think the client/server separation you've made there is largely artificial.  The real question is *how* to do it, not *where*.  For OSM, sure, the merging would be done on the server, but for tasks where merging is made easier with context-specific knowledge, the client is better placed to do it.
 
So the ideas I'm after are thoughts people have on merging an existing road with a GPS track.  Or in OSM's case, an existing road with hundreds of GPS tracks of that road.  When do we stop refining the shape?  How do we take noise into account?  How much priority do we give to the most recent data?  ( e.g. if a new roundabout/intersection is added, and we have 100 GPS tracks which say there isn't one, but 1 GPS track for today which says there is - can that be automatically merged?)
 
Those are the things I'm interested in.  They're PhD-sized questions, I think.
 

Can you explain the wiki-like aspect of OpenStreetMap? What does it mean?
 
Basically every change made to OpenStreetMap is logged with a time stamp, and changes can be rolled back.  Like the history function in wikipedia.
 
Tom.
 

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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

lsces
Tom Carden wrote:

>     The server should then merge all the points to a reined
>     street segment.
>  
> And that's the tough bit!
>  
> I think the client/server separation you've made there is largely
> artificial.  The real question is *how* to do it, not *where*.  For OSM,
> sure, the merging would be done on the server, but for tasks where
> merging is made easier with context-specific knowledge, the client is
> better placed to do it.

The main problem here is providing a downloadable version that we can
use in car. The in-car package would then be able to mark tracks as
'new' or 'existing' and an update file can be created. Adding
information to existing data can also be included in the update and only
the update needs to be transferred back on-line.

> So the ideas I'm after are thoughts people have on merging an existing
> road with a GPS track.  Or in OSM's case, an existing road with hundreds
> of GPS tracks of that road.  When do we stop refining the shape?  How do
> we take noise into account?  How much priority do we give to the most
> recent data?  ( e.g. if a new roundabout/intersection is added, and we
> have 100 GPS tracks which say there isn't one, but 1 GPS track for today
> which says there is - can that be automatically merged?)
>  
> Those are the things I'm interested in.  They're PhD-sized questions, I
> think.

The 'diff' process would allow for existing data to be made available so
history is maintained, but the current state could be shown. A new
roundabout is a permanent change, but some major roadworks re-route the
road and then return you to the original track months later. THAT is
more of a problem to manage, but should work with timestamps on data.

>     Can you explain the wiki-like aspect of OpenStreetMap? What does it
>     mean?
>  
> Basically every change made to OpenStreetMap is logged with a time
> stamp, and changes can be rolled back.  Like the history function in
> wikipedia.

A nice database based system, with 'select first' ordered by date would
be ideal, but provided that there is a tidy method of defining the
update information, it should be possible to create a history package
that can step back through changes, while maintaining a simple 'current'
view. The real problem is creating a Jan04 view from the available data
without the data becoming totally bloated or it taking a week to create :(

--
Lester Caine
-----------------------------
L.S.Caine Electronic Services
Treasurer - Firebird Foundation Inc.

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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

Simon Hewison
In reply to this post by Tom Carden
Tom Carden wrote:
> So the ideas I'm after are thoughts people have on merging an existing
> road with a GPS track.  Or in OSM's case, an existing road with hundreds
> of GPS tracks of that road.  When do we stop refining the shape?  How do
> we take noise into account?  How much priority do we give to the most
> recent data?  ( e.g. if a new roundabout/intersection is added, and we
> have 100 GPS tracks which say there isn't one, but 1 GPS track for today
> which says there is - can that be automatically merged?)

Good example here. At
Lat:51.6992479965827 Lon:-0.2262137092125

(A1(M) south, near Potters Bar), there's a parallel road that is within
a typical GPS error of the main road. It follows the motorway for a long
way.

How would the road merging code know that the track was taken while
driving south along the A1(M) and not the parallel Swanland Road? The
only way I can think is that it would have to take context into account
(the only sane way to get onto the A1(M) southbound is via a slip road,
and Swanland Road starts where there is no specific interchange with the
A1(M))

You certainly wouldn't want the code to swing Swanland Road towards the
A1(M), or vice-versa.

--
Simon Hewison

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RE: RoadMap map generator / editor

ANDY ROBINSON-2
It might be possible to do this on a context basis using the timestamps for
the track. It is the timestamp that defines other aspects of the track,
including direction of route. If each track can be configured into a
"signature" using its time and positional data then it would help with the
context. For example it would help distinguish between a footpath and a
highway where the distance travelled in the time varies considerably.
Similarly, to use your example, a one mile signature for the A1 might be
very different from a one mile for Swanland Road. I assume also that when
each track point is written to the database it can have an associated track
ID assigned to it, perhaps the ID might be limited to a certain time or
length of track to break up large tracks and simplify a signature.

The one area where I know my own tracks completely mess up the prospect of
automatic line generation is when my gps emerges around a bend out of or
under tree cover. Very rarely will it pick up the correct alignment unless I
stop and let it catch up properly.

With respect to changes in road design with time I have already experience
of this problem on OSM in central Birmingham where the area around the Bull
Ring has recently be "redrawn" by the planners. The presence of old tracks
in the editor makes discerning a new and more reliable track more difficult.
Having the most recent tracks (or perhaps your own tracks) in another colour
(eg yellow) in the editor would help see the wood for the trees.
For automatic change of street configuration this could again be done on a
time basis. The map does not get changed (unless it's done manually) until
the critical mass of more recent data outweighs the older data. I appreciate
though that this will be nigh on impossible to achieve when changes in
configuration are small and would result in a considerable lag unless the
newer data is heavily weighted.

On the whole merging issue I'm going to spend some time with my spreadsheets
on numerical analysis of lines and nodes (where line cross) using some gps
data I'll collect from a set of street blocks and see what pops out. Anyone
else actively working on this aspect?

Andy Robinson

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Simon Hewison
Sent: 17 October 2005 11:18
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Openstreetmap] RoadMap map generator / editor

Tom Carden wrote:
> So the ideas I'm after are thoughts people have on merging an existing
> road with a GPS track.  Or in OSM's case, an existing road with hundreds
> of GPS tracks of that road.  When do we stop refining the shape?  How do
> we take noise into account?  How much priority do we give to the most
> recent data?  ( e.g. if a new roundabout/intersection is added, and we
> have 100 GPS tracks which say there isn't one, but 1 GPS track for today
> which says there is - can that be automatically merged?)

Good example here. At
Lat:51.6992479965827 Lon:-0.2262137092125

(A1(M) south, near Potters Bar), there's a parallel road that is within
a typical GPS error of the main road. It follows the motorway for a long
way.

How would the road merging code know that the track was taken while
driving south along the A1(M) and not the parallel Swanland Road? The
only way I can think is that it would have to take context into account
(the only sane way to get onto the A1(M) southbound is via a slip road,
and Swanland Road starts where there is no specific interchange with the
A1(M))

You certainly wouldn't want the code to swing Swanland Road towards the
A1(M), or vice-versa.

--
Simon Hewison

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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

Simon Hewison
Andy Robinson wrote:
> Similarly, to use your example, a one mile signature for the A1 might be
> very different from a one mile for Swanland Road. I assume also that when
> each track point is written to the database it can have an associated track
> ID assigned to it, perhaps the ID might be limited to a certain time or
> length of track to break up large tracks and simplify a signature.

Actually, in this case, no. I've known Swanland Road to be empty, and
the A1(M) to be utterly congested. An average speed along Swanland Road
might in some tracks be faster than down the motorway. That doesn't make
Swanland Road the motorway, nor vice-versa.

> On the whole merging issue I'm going to spend some time with my spreadsheets
> on numerical analysis of lines and nodes (where line cross) using some gps
> data I'll collect from a set of street blocks and see what pops out. Anyone
> else actively working on this aspect?

Determining intersecting lines that genuinely meet at the same level is
quite a different problem to determining intersecting lines. It can be
done by context from other tracks.

(in the instance of a right-angle intersection of tracks, it's only if
you see a track follow one of the approaching paths, and then turn left
or right that you can be sure that there's some form of intersection there).

Even if you do see a level intersection, and can place a node for the
intersection to join, you can still gather some more information about
the intersection by statistical analysis of other tracks. Given a big
enough sample size, it would be possible to infer a "no right turn" or
"no left turn" on a junction.

--
Simon Hewison

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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

frank mohr
In reply to this post by Ehud Shabtai
Ehud Shabtai wrote:

> I'm working on a project that builds on top of RoadMap a map editor.
>
> It tracks your GPS and creates new street segments as you drive.
>
> It is designed as real time map generator (use a PDA or laptop and
> drive around to create new roads). The big advantage of being built on
> top of RoadMap is that you can have your existing maps converted into
> RoadMap maps and use them for navigation along with the creation of
> missing areas.
>
> Of course you can use GPSD or just point RoadMap to an NMEA text file
> and it will generate your map from the recorded trace.
>
> For more information (including a short video showing it in action):
>
> http://roadmap.digitalomaha.net/editor.html
>
> Ehud.
i had some problems to build it on debian sarge
- debian/rules build failed for the first patch
  (10_qt_include.dpatch - GUICFLAGS doesn't match the original
  line in the patch)
- at least libshp-dev is missing in
  debian/control : Build-Depends

after changing the path to shapefil.h i could build the package
but it still fails when i start it.
i've attached the ~/.roadmap/postmortem file
do i have to install the "standard" roadmap program first?

frank


 ** roadmap_config.c, line 587 found no 'schema' config file, check RoadMap installation
 ## roadmap_locator.c, line 118 cannot open directory database (usdir)
   Call stack:
         roadmap_screen_refresh
            roadmap_screen_repaint
 ** roadmap_config.c, line 587 found no 'schema' config file, check RoadMap installation
 ## roadmap_locator.c, line 118 cannot open directory database (usdir)
   Call stack:
         roadmap_screen_refresh
            roadmap_screen_repaint
 ** roadmap_config.c, line 587 found no 'schema' config file, check RoadMap installation
 ** roadgps_start.c, line 138  is not a supported unit
 ** roadmap_config.c, line 587 found no 'schema' config file, check RoadMap installation
 ** roadmap_config.c, line 587 found no 'schema' config file, check RoadMap installation
 ## roadmap_locator.c, line 118 cannot open directory database (usdir)
   Call stack:
         roadmap_screen_refresh
            roadmap_screen_repaint

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Re: RoadMap map generator / editor

Ehud Shabtai
On 10/20/05, Frank Mohr <[hidden email]> wrote:

> i had some problems to build it on debian sarge
> - debian/rules build failed for the first patch
>   (10_qt_include.dpatch - GUICFLAGS doesn't match the original
>   line in the patch)
> - at least libshp-dev is missing in
>   debian/control : Build-Depends

You'd better compile it manually (as you did). The debian rules are not updated.

> after changing the path to shapefil.h i could build the package
> but it still fails when i start it.
> i've attached the ~/.roadmap/postmortem file
> do i have to install the "standard" roadmap program first?

Yes. You are missing the configuration files. Download the binary
package of the regular RoadMap and install the configuration files as
documented (note that you should change the units in the preferences
to METRIC and set Street accuracy to 50 or so).
You will also need to build an empty map for your area as instructed
on the RoadMap Editor page.

Ehud.

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