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Decode the GPS Track file
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PhilB
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Joined: Nov 26, 2004
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Doug,
It's very far from the best. I've managed to import the .asc file but all you get is a series of pushpins with only the name (eg P1) and you can only zoom out so far before they disappear, also it only seems to import 9999 points.

It looks better in Auto Route but still much the same, a series of pushpins indicating the route taken but without any of the detail eg speed, direction which I guess is not what you're looking for.
Cheers
Phil
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BMWBiker
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Joined: Dec 28, 2004
Posts: 133
Location: Ambler, PA USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I really am looking for a full-featured GPSTrack viewer.

I am amazed there isn't one available. Maybe there is? I would expect the 'fleet vehicle location' software packages do this routinely, no?

I think the features would be fun and useful for every GPS user:
-show a trip for a slideshow
-show the route statically or at amplified travel speed
-analyze some performance (avg speed, length of stops, max speed)
-Possibly compare with map data to show 'off-map' sections of road

If a viewer app were widely available it would be easy to exchange actual trip info with others.

Of course the file format conversions should all be built-in to the viewer app.

I wish CoPilot would integrate the desktop GPS track viewing feature. Otherwise I think a third party could make a viewer and superimpose the played back tracks on map data of any kind.
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Doug
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PhilB
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Joined: Nov 26, 2004
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Doug, it would be nice to be able to review a recent trip.

I use my satnav over familiar ground but occasionally there is a prang on the motorway and you are forced to leave your normal route, how often when you finally get to your destination you think "what a load of c**p that was, where the h**l did we go?". It may be that you took the best route but it would be nice to be able to analyse it later and perhaps adjust your preferences to select specific roads. The technology is very much in its infancy and I think it will be a long time before we can expect to have a product from any supplier that fully allows us to configure it to our own particular needs. Because I know what can happen I program in waypoints at strategic points so if I find the M6 has an accident at a particular point I can come off and divert myself well away from the scene and rejoin much further down and until we have utopia at an affordable price I would be very happy to have a means of analysing recent trips so I can build in new waypoints but the product MUST allow me to implement these on the move with fat fingers and not with a stylus.

Sorry, beginning to go off topic and rant, the point is we need to be able to make good use of the log files without having to invest in new or third party products. Sadly though to exchange logs between users will require some agreed standards and we all know what happens there Sad

Phil
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Skystream
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Joined: Feb 03, 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm working on a Windows program that will read in the .GPS files created by CoPilot and will generate a .KLM file that can be used in Google Earth. The track will appear as an overlay and you'll be able to "fly" down the path.
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PhilB
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Joined: Nov 26, 2004
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds very useful Skystream, look forward to seeing it when you finish.
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Skystream
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Joined: Feb 03, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the program partially working, although I have some sort of weird scaling problem. The track displays offset and about 1/2 the size it should be. In the meantime, while I'm still figuring out how to fix the problem, I've discovered that you can already convert your .GPS files into something usable by a freeware program called GPSBabble. You select a file for import and specify the input type as NMEA, and you specify the output type as GPX/XML. Google Earth reads GPX files just fine. I've already tried it with several of my .GPS files from CoPilot PocketPC 6 and it works perfectly. So there may not really be a need for my program after all. I'll probably still work on it because I enjoy experimenting with stuff like this.
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BMWBiker
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Joined: Dec 28, 2004
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Location: Ambler, PA USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skystream wrote:
... I've discovered that you can already convert your .GPS files into something usable by a freeware program called GPSBabble. ...


That would be GPSBabel, as in Tower of, whereby there are too many languages or file formats.

This freeware looks very interesting both for getting a quick GPSTrack viewer and as a source of file format info.

http://www.gpsbabel.org/index.html

Thank you Skystream for delving into this. I think many of us are eagerly awaiting your further results.
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Doug
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Skystream
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Joined: Feb 03, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Opps, Sorry... Yes, I meant to say "GPSBabel". Anyway, I figured out the problem with my program and the "scaling" issue. I'm able to convert the CoPilot NMEA tracks to Google Earth's KML format directly. I need to add some file requester dialogs and a little polish, and then I'll release a beta.
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BMWBiker
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Joined: Dec 28, 2004
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Location: Ambler, PA USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skystream, this is fabulous!

It was easy also. As you said, I took a typical CP GPSTracks file like Dec1005.gps, declared it as NMEA 0183 format, used GPS Babel to convert it to GPXXML format, which produced a file Dec1005.gpx, actually an XML equiv of the original.

Then I downloaded Google Earth (highly recommended!!!), used File, Open, and chose the new file.

Google earth displayed my trip as a bright cyan line on a satellite map, with the regular zoom controls.

Warning: once you get GoogleEarth you will not want to do anything else for the rest of the day. It is awesome.

Thanks!
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redhorse
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Joined: Nov 04, 2005
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Location: Crewe, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant!!!
Laughing
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BMWBiker
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Joined: Dec 28, 2004
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Location: Ambler, PA USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now we are very close to the desired functionality, whereby you could right-click on a CoPilot GPSTracks file like Dec1005.gps and see a selectable command (file assoc) "Show trip".

This command could easily be implemented, by passing the file through GPSBabel and then passing the output file to GoogleEarth.

I forget the exact options, but it would look something like:

gpsbabel.exe -i Dec1005.gps -f "NMEA 0183" -o Mytrip.gpx -f GpxXml
googleearth.exe -f MyTrip.gpx

The lines above could be in a batch file ShowTrip.bat, associated with file type ".gps".

Pardon me for making this up without trying it first. It will take someone a little time to get the details right.
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BMWBiker
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Location: Ambler, PA USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and once the trip can easily be displayed, the first obvious refinement would be to pass the gps file incrementally to GoogleEarth, to display the actual progress with arbitrary time speed-up.
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BigPaul
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Joined: Dec 20, 2004
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BMWBiker wrote:
It was easy also. As you said, I took a typical CP GPSTracks file like Dec1005.gps, declared it as NMEA 0183 format, used GPS Babel to convert it to GPXXML format, which produced a file Dec1005.gpx, actually an XML equiv of the original.

Wow, Never have I been so glad to start a post as this one. Within two posts I had an answer to my original question now I've come back to find folk much smarter than I (most of the world in reality) have found a way to link CP6 tracks into my favorite mapping utiltiy (GoogleEarth) ~ I'm now away to burn some midnight oil and see if BMWBikers receipe will bake my cake Laughing Thanks for expanding this post guys, CRACKING! Paul
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BMWBiker
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Joined: Dec 28, 2004
Posts: 133
Location: Ambler, PA USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are sample JPGs of a motorcycle trip across USA, on a motorcycle using CP5 last July, as viewed in GoogleEarth.

http://tinyurl.com/ay992

The first image views the route from (outer) space, the second is a closeup of the extreme western end of that day's route, showing the maneuvering in the motel parking lot.

Note: After the first day I turned CP off most of the time, so you can see a fainter line across the Rocky Mountains that contains fewer points.

There is incredible detail along the entire length of the first day's trip. With GoogleEarth you can zoom to any part of it. For example you can see which traffic lane I was in most of the time.

A colleague has played with this GPSTracks file on GoogleEarth and tells me that it can be "played" in real time, from start to finish.

Display options include showing a 'pushpin' at every GPS point.

Speed info can either be inferred from the distance between pushpins, or read directly from the GPX file. Typical was approx 40m/sec, or 82 mph.

The source for such pictures is on the SD card of every CP GPS unit.

File size: CP produced a 3.6Meg GPS file that day. It was transformed to a 4.4Meg GPX file to create this zoom-able image. It only took minutes to convert and display in GoogleEarth.
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Doug
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iankb
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Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 283
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imported the GPX file into Google Earth, and it created three folders (Waypoints, Tracks and Routes). Only the Tracks folder was populated, and that contained a 'Path'. Although you could see the path, you couldn't play it back. I dragged the 'Path' item into the Routes folder, and then I could play it back by selecting it and pressing the 'Play' button. I'd forgotten those trips to the Petrol Station, and the McDonalds takeaway. Embarassed

I found that the best way to play back a route is to go into the Options dialog and select the 'Advanced' checkbox on the Control tab. Set all speeds to 'Slow', the Camera Tilt Angle to 60 degrees, and the Camera Range to 150 Metres. Also, set the Elevation Exaggeration on the View tab to 3, and make sure that you have ticked the Terrain checkbox on the main display. NB: If your camera falls below the terrain surface (i.e. you are going down a very steep hill), the playback will stop. In that case, you will need to decrease your tilt angle (which is measured from the vertical, not the horizontal). Now all Google need to do is to add some gunsights and a trigger button to Google Earth. 8)
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