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CamerAlert Shown To Speed Up Verification of NonUK Cameras


Article by: maft
Date: 9 Jun 2011

pocketgpsworld.com
It’s not often we extol the virtues of our own database and software / apps, but every-so-often it dawns on us just how useful it all is. Less than 18 months ago, in February 2010, we released our CamerAlert app for the Apple iPhone and, more recently, for Android-powered devices. Priced at a meagre 59p the initial use scenario was more for users to get alerts while out driving but when they weren’t using their main SatNav. Having said that, camera submissions were always planned to be in the app. We are aware that our international databases for many countries are not as good as they could be and this is the main reason why non-subscribers can get a free lifetime subscription for submitting non-UK cameras. We are, however, improving our international databases and our own CamerAlert app has had a lot to do with that in recent months.

One of the advantages of CamerAlert (available on both iOS and Android devices) is the ability to add photo’s and voice notes to a submission. We have a limited number of verifiers spread throughout the world and so physical verification is not always possible. Some countries, particularly where our database could be improved, have limited numbers of users (for obvious reasons!). However, for 59p CamerAlert users get a free database update so they can ‘test’ their local area and decide whether or not to subscribe. As it is so simple to submit new cameras we are finding a lot more people are submitting non-UK cameras, which once verified, will result in free lifetime subscriptions; all for only 59p. There is less financial ‘risk’ involved for someone simply wanting to test things out and, because it only takes a few seconds to submit a camera, it’s a painless process too.

Many of these non-UK CamerAlert submissions include a photo of the camera; This is such an understated feature that I don’t think many people realise just how useful it is. Quite often it can mean instant verification when used with tools like Google’s Streetview.

As an example we will use this fairly recent submission from Norway. A ‘normal’ submission sent in using the submission map would be added to the verifiers files so both the location and the presence of the camera can be checked. As we don’t have any Norwegian verifiers at the moment and we don’t have many Norwegian users who could submit the same camera location as confirmation, this could take a while to make it's way into the master database. CamerAlert has two main advantages 1) the submission is geotagged and 2) the submission can include a photo.

With the geotagging we know that the submitted coordinates are correct. There are various things that can cause an incorrect location to be submitted on the map. Sometimes users inadvertently miss the negative prefix to coordinates or simply mis-place the location marker on the map. Using the submission map happens ‘after the event’ so the exact location may not be remembered; for example a redlight camera being submitted at the next junction to where it actually was.

The piece de resistance, however, has to be the photo submission. A photo on it’s own isn’t really that useful – it could be taken anywhere. When combined with the location data, however, the photo is a very valuable asset. Continuing with the Norwegian camera example here is the submitted photo:



We know the coordinates at which the photo was taken and so we can take a look on Google Streetview to see if the area matches the photo. We can often confirm the location matches the photo regardless of whether Streetview shows a camera or not. Just because there was no camera in, say, 2009 when Google surveyed the area doesn’t affect what we can see on the user-submitted photo. In this case the camera was there as you can see below:



It’s clearly the same location and, because of the submitted coordinates and photo, the camera was verified straight away and a lifetime membership awarded. I should also point out that the same user submitted around 20 new Norwegian cameras that all had photo’s that matched the location on Streetview thus adding weight to the users’ trustworthiness.

Over the last two months or so we’ve seen a big rise in the number of submissions in Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong, France, Germany and The Netherlands from CamerAlert – many of which can be verified and added to the master database pretty much instantly using the methods shown above.

Even in places without Streetview the photo can still speed up the verification process. Should other users submit the same camera we can use either their submitted photo (from CamerAlert) or their submitted comments (from the submission map) to help speed things up.

And, finally, even where the verification process gets delayed CamerAlert users will still always be warned of locations they have submitted themselves. So a single user in a remote part of the world would have his own ‘private’ database warning him of cameras using CamerAlert even before they are confirmed and added to the main database. Likewise, if Mr Norway had not submitted his supporting photos and the verification process had taken longer, then he would still be warned of that camera the next time he drove past it.

So, what’s stopping you? We’re coming up to Summer and a lot of you will be driving abroad on holiday, or even being driven yourself in coaches, taxis and trams. Why not grab your Android or iOS powered smartphone, load up CamerAlert and go camera-hunting? If you turn off the map display then you won’t get any data charges and any cameras and photos you log will be stored on your device and not uploaded until you have a data connection – either using WiFi in your hotel or back when you return home.

For more information about our CamerAlert app, the user manuals and links to buy the app please visit our main CamerAlert web page.
Comments
Posted by matthewj on Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:15 pm Reply with quote

Is there a way to just "take picture NOW" in the Cameralert app, and then sort the report details later? I'd find that much more useful and be able to report more.


 
Posted by PedroStephano on Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:05 pm Reply with quote

matthewj Wrote:
Is there a way to just "take picture NOW" in the Cameralert app, and then sort the report details later? I'd find that much more useful and be able to report more.


My suggestion is if you want to do it that way, then don't use the app to take the photo. Just use camera (select via multi-tasking, ensure geotagging on for Camera). Then later simply import it into the app under the "Add photo" button on reporting screen i.e. don't "take photo" with app. Then add details and submit.


iOS rokcs (but my typing - well....)
@PedroStephano

 
Posted by HDRW on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:33 pm Reply with quote

What about those of us with Symbian phones - any chance of an App for us?


Howard, G1BYY
Mid-Herts RAYNET

 
Posted by Privateer on Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:34 am Reply with quote

HDRW Wrote:
What about those of us with Symbian phones - any chance of an App for us?

It's unlikely. Crying or Very sad There's more chance of a Windows 7 mobile phone APP, especially now that Nokia have jumped from Symbian to Windows. However there is no news as to whether a Windows APP will ever be created.

Regards,


Robert.

iPhone 6s Plus, iOS 10.3.1: iOS CamerAlert v1.4.2
TomTom (UK & ROI and Europe) iOS apps v1.27.1; TomTom GO Mobile iOS 1.8
TomTom 950 Live, APP: 9.510, Map: Europe v935.5753 (2639.2 Mb); North America

 
Posted by RogerTil on Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:37 pm Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
It’s not often we extol the virtues of our own database and software / apps, but every-so-often it dawns on us just how useful it all is...

I downloaded your app for my android phone at the start of the week and used it on my drive from home in Ceriana (near Sanremo in Liguria) to Milan Malpensa airport last Tuesday and then again in the drive from Copenhagen to Langeland and on the return journey yesterday.

What a superb app, really easy to use and intuitive and warned me of several cameras in both countries.

I didn't see any other cameras in Denmark, but found several in Italy on the A26 autoroute between Genova and Alessandria. These were all tagged (not quick enough to photo too I'm afraid) and have just been submitted, but I'm surprised they are not in your database already as I'm pretty sure the cams have been there for a while.

I appreciate your difficulty with verification in Italy - I am willing to help if I can although I don't drive long distances very often these days. However there are 2 sources that would help with verification of at least some of my submissions:
http://www.autostrade.it/en/assistenza-al-traffico/autovelox-controllo-velocita.html?initPosAra=3_4 confirms that they are there (click on the section of the map near the A26 symbol top left), while:
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autostrada_A26 gives the exact locations and speeds, some of which I think I got wrong.

Hope this helps with the confirmation - I'm looking forward to my free subscription in time for my trip back home to the UK later this month ! Smile

Keep up the good work Rog

PS Just realised when you click on that first link you then have to click on TUTOR to see the average speed camera locations...


 
Posted by RogerTil on Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:00 pm Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
... We are aware that our international databases for many countries are not as good as they could be and this is the main reason why non-subscribers can get a free lifetime subscription for submitting non-UK cameras...


I assume the free subs still applies for non-UK camera submissions ?

Just a bit concerned having read that you need to be a subscriber to submit through the website...

All my submissions are recorded as successful via the android phone btw.

Cheers Rog

PS and ack received by email - and reported as spam !


 
Posted by RogerTil on Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:38 am Reply with quote

CAA_0801143124 Wrote:

I assume the free subs still applies for non-UK camera submissions ?


Well obviously it does - just received my notification that I am subscribed until Aug 11 2031. Maybe not a lifetime for everyone, but I'll be in my early 80's by then, so it will probably be good enough for me ! Very Happy

Woohoo !!! Best 59p I've spent in a long time....

Thanks MaFt


 
Posted by MaFt on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:18 pm Reply with quote

yes it does Smile

thanks for the submissions - KEEP 'EM COMING!

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by RogerTil on Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:28 pm Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
yes it does Smile

thanks for the submissions - KEEP 'EM COMING!

MaFt


Don't worry, I will.

Out of interest, which of the submissions was accepted ?

I just looked at the map on the website and couldn't see any new ones around that part of Italy, or haven't they been added to the database yet ?

Cheers Rog


 
Posted by MaFt on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:40 pm Reply with quote

From memory it was a few average speed cameras near some tunnels.

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by M8TJT on Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:25 pm Reply with quote

So why is he still an occasional visitor Twisted Evil


 
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