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Rocket Locator on github

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fantasiiio

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Hi, since begining of the year, google map tiles provider stopped working and affected Rocket Locator. I did not had time to fix it and will not have more time in the near future.
So, I published the sources on github so someone else can try to fix the problem. https://github.com/fantasiiio/RocketLocator

There is two option to fix the problem, keeping offline mode. First, open a comercial (paid) google count to have access to the tile provider.
Informations Here

Second, convert the tile calculation to have latitude and longitude, instead of tile X,Y index
Info Here

So, I hope someone will be interested continuing the project !
 

ttabbal

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Thank you for sharing the code! Someone else might beat me to it as I won't have time for a couple weeks at best, but I will check into it.
 

ksaves2

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Ok this tile sever is a free one:

<TileServer Name="AG-WorldImagery">
<Server>services.arcgisonline.com</Server>
<Port>80</P<!--TileServer[1]-->
<URLPrefix>/ArcGIS/rest/services/USA_Topo_Maps/MapServer/tile/%z/%y/%x.jpg</URLPrefix>
<SupportsStatus>0</SupportsStatus>
<Path>C:/aprsis32AG/</Path>
<MBTiles></MBTiles>
<PurgeEnabled>0</PurgeEnabled>
<RetainDays>13</RetainDays>
<RetainZoom>11</RetainZoom>
<MinServerZoom>5</MinServerZoom>
<MaxServerZoom>18</MaxServerZoom>
<RevisionHours>0</RevisionHours>
</TileServer>

I lifted this out of APRSISCE/32 .xml file. I suspect if this information could be modified for use with GPS Rocket Locator it would be a free photomap source. The overview shots are older but the closeup tiles are 3 to maybe 5 years old.
Not so bad with man made obstructions. I am not a coder so I can't help out here. (Note I pulled this out of an APRSISCE/32 system where I can't get the AG-WorldImagery tiles to work due to network issues but I do have it
working on my tablets/desktops/laptops at home) I believe the gist of the setup is in there.

Some APRS hams helped me to get the AG-WorldImagery tiles into my APRSISCE/32 Windows tracking program so I can use it to track Beeline GPS and NMEA trackers like the EggFinder stuff.

Francois, thanks for putting the code out there because maybe it will be easy to swap out the Google maps and put in the particulars for AG-WorldImagery tiles. In fact, if I were a coder I'd look for google maps in your code and mull over that.

Kurt Savegnago (script kiddie)
 

cerving

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Thanks for doing that... how difficult is it just to shut the map display off? Out at most of the places we fly out West there's not much to map... just desert.
 

ttabbal

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The map isn't super useful, but if it could include topo and roads, it could be. You can figure that stuff out by looking in the right direction, but orienting can be significantly easier with visual cues. All of that relies on good data though. The program seemed to work ok without map data when I was experimenting the other day, but I didn't do any actual tracking, so perhaps I didn't get in far enough. I don't see any reason it would be difficult to have a bearing and distance mode though.
 

mccordmw

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Odd. I just launched it, loaded in my last rocket location, and the Google Map loaded just fine. Seems to work for me. Am I overlooking something? Or is the live feed from a new rocket with the NMEA data what's no longer getting interpreted correctly?

This would be a great product for Cris to bundle with his Eggfinder.
 

cerving

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I don't really "own" it so that's not gonna happen. I've been recommending it for awhile since it seems to be the best fit for what a lot of people want. Personally, I don't use it but that's because I have an iPhone... I've gotten used to punching the coordinates into MotionX, and the map doesn't do much good at Lucerne Valley.
 

ksaves2

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Odd. I just launched it, loaded in my last rocket location, and the Google Map loaded just fine. Seems to work for me. Am I overlooking something? Or is the live feed from a new rocket with the NMEA data what's no longer getting interpreted correctly?

This would be a great product for Cris to bundle with his Eggfinder.
Ok Mark, Did you download the Google maptiles of your area when mapping became available with "GPS Rocket Locator"? Online caching was available initially when the program came out. If one downloaded them at various zoomlevels they will be
automatically called up for display. Do not reset your Android device or you'll lose your maptiles. Folks can change the default to Open Source but they'll have to do every time they open the program (unless someone fixes that).

The Open Source Maps shows the nearest roads and some topographical features. Cris is right, out in the middle of nowhere there are no features of importance generally. With GPS Rocket Locator, up is North.

When positions come streaming in, a datum line is shown from the rocket to your position. There is no "navigating" prompts or screen like in a Garmin handheld which is "eye" candy but not necessary for finding your rocket.
Just "walk the line" and make the two positions come together. You actually don't need a map but the distances and altitudes shown in the upper left aren't viewable with a white background map. Easier to see with a photomap.

Roads are good for Midwesterners because sometimes you can drive onroad to get close to the rocket and walk a short distance it as opposed to crawling through a marsh and drainage ditches straight line. Kurt
 

fantasiiio

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Ok this tile sever is a free one:

<TileServer Name="AG-WorldImagery">
<Server>services.arcgisonline.com</Server>
<Port>80</P<!--TileServer[1]-->
<URLPrefix>/ArcGIS/rest/services/USA_Topo_Maps/MapServer/tile/%z/%y/%x.jpg</URLPrefix>
<SupportsStatus>0</SupportsStatus>
<Path>C:/aprsis32AG/</Path>
<MBTiles></MBTiles>
<PurgeEnabled>0</PurgeEnabled>
<RetainDays>13</RetainDays>
<RetainZoom>11</RetainZoom>
<MinServerZoom>5</MinServerZoom>
<MaxServerZoom>18</MaxServerZoom>
<RevisionHours>0</RevisionHours>
</TileServer>

I lifted this out of APRSISCE/32 .xml file. I suspect if this information could be modified for use with GPS Rocket Locator it would be a free photomap source. The overview shots are older but the closeup tiles are 3 to maybe 5 years old.
Not so bad with man made obstructions. I am not a coder so I can't help out here. (Note I pulled this out of an APRSISCE/32 system where I can't get the AG-WorldImagery tiles to work due to network issues but I do have it
working on my tablets/desktops/laptops at home) I believe the gist of the setup is in there.

Some APRS hams helped me to get the AG-WorldImagery tiles into my APRSISCE/32 Windows tracking program so I can use it to track Beeline GPS and NMEA trackers like the EggFinder stuff.

Francois, thanks for putting the code out there because maybe it will be easy to swap out the Google maps and put in the particulars for AG-WorldImagery tiles. In fact, if I were a coder I'd look for google maps in your code and mull over that.

Kurt Savegnago (script kiddie)
Thanks. Maybe it could be a third map provider.. But I think it would be worth it to make google map work.
For your provider, try this address: http://services.arcgisonline.com/ArcGIS/rest/services/USA_Topo_Maps/MapServer/tile/0/0/0.jpg
 

fantasiiio

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Thanks for doing that... how difficult is it just to shut the map display off? Out at most of the places we fly out West there's not much to map... just desert.
The software works very well without map already, if you don't have any downloaded map.
 

fantasiiio

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The map isn't super useful, but if it could include topo and roads, it could be. You can figure that stuff out by looking in the right direction, but orienting can be significantly easier with visual cues. All of that relies on good data though. The program seemed to work ok without map data when I was experimenting the other day, but I didn't do any actual tracking, so perhaps I didn't get in far enough. I don't see any reason it would be difficult to have a bearing and distance mode though.
The map is very useful for many. Everyone fly in different kind of field, and have different internet access. Some prefer Street map, some satellite and some none.
So, I cannot say that the map is not useful and just remove it for the 2000 users in the world... and put direction and distance only.
It could be a mode with no map.
 

ttabbal

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The map is very useful for many. Everyone fly in different kind of field, and have different internet access. Some prefer Street map, some satellite and some none.
So, I cannot say that the map is not useful and just remove it for the 2000 users in the world... and put direction and distance only.
It could be a mode with no map.
That's the general idea I was getting at. Make the map work, but perhaps add a basic distance/direction/compass type screen in addition.

Only the original author can update the Play store, so he would have to approve changes. Anyone else would have to make a new listing. So they wouldn't be able to affect existing users.

I won't be available for a couple of weeks, L3 attempt this weekend and another app that needs attention. So someone else might get to it before I do. Just throwing ideas out there that might be useful. :)
 

ksaves2

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That's the general idea I was getting at. Make the map work, but perhaps add a basic distance/direction/compass type screen in addition.

Only the original author can update the Play store, so he would have to approve changes. Anyone else would have to make a new listing. So they wouldn't be able to affect existing users.

I won't be available for a couple of weeks, L3 attempt this weekend and another app that needs attention. So someone else might get to it before I do. Just throwing ideas out there that might be useful. :)
Distance and direction is in the upper left but in white letters. Altitude is moot due to inaccuracies of a SirfIV chipset but if one gets the strings from another chipset to decode, the altitude might have a little more meaning.
The program is workable as is. North is up, just walk the line and you'll be fine. It doesn't need anymore eye candy. If a photomapset can be had that will be icing on the cake.

One should remember that I think the OSM maps don't take as much space as a photomap set and would behoove one to download tiles before going to a launch site. If you have data service out at the field and you're missing a zoom level, you can download
over the cell system. Will save you money if you do it over WiFi.

Francois, if Google maps can be made to work that's fine but I think they are making it difficult to use it for free without paying a licensing fee. That link you posted: http://services.arcgisonline.com/ is what I was referring to and is what I've
seen used with the Ham Radio APRS tracking software. I'm told no licensing issues. The close in photomaps are still quite useful. Kind of neat to see if one is landing close to pond, a tree or near a barn or house. Kurt
 

ksaves2

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The software works very well without map already, if you don't have any downloaded map.
Just espied this post. This is a great Fail-Safe feature in that I have observed other software that will lock up and fail to function if the map tiles can't be painted. GPS rocket locator will work with no maps at all. North is up and make the two spots come together. I cut back with working on GPS rocket locator for my own purposes when I was trying to get ham radio software to work with eggfinder Hardware. The potential advantages of the ham radio software was breadcrumbing. Positions would be plotted as dots and in some cases the altitude was displayed. GPS rocket locator doesn't have this ability but again it's meant to find the rocket and it does that well.
Re-establishing a photo map set would be most helpful for those who would benefit from it. Kurt
 

rocketsam2016

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I'm not going to have time this month, but if no one else has taken this up by September I might be able to give it a shot.

I personally find the maps (and sat imagery) very useful.

One thought I have - if the fix is as easy as paying for a commercial license, what would folks think of a new app that cost a small nominal amount to cover that cost? I can't imagine it would cost very much, and I personally would happily at $1 for example for a version hat worked with Google maps including offline and satellite imagery. I'd probably pay a lot more than that to be honest :)

Also, if I took this on, I can imagine a few other changes worth making regarding how paths are saved (they should save as new files for one thing).

Fantasssio - thank you so much for making the app and for now releasing the source!
 

fantasiiio

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I'm not going to have time this month, but if no one else has taken this up by September I might be able to give it a shot.

I personally find the maps (and sat imagery) very useful.

One thought I have - if the fix is as easy as paying for a commercial license, what would folks think of a new app that cost a small nominal amount to cover that cost? I can't imagine it would cost very much, and I personally would happily at $1 for example for a version hat worked with Google maps including offline and satellite imagery. I'd probably pay a lot more than that to be honest :)

Also, if I took this on, I can imagine a few other changes worth making regarding how paths are saved (they should save as new files for one thing).

Fantasssio - thank you so much for making the app and for now releasing the source!
For having a comercial licence, I need to have a commercial bank account and a company name and I don't have one.
They talk about premium plan, and it cost $10 000 per years.. I don't know more about that.
Also, to code something that unlock some functionalities if you pay for it, manage payments and licences in the code.. it's a little complicated.

I think using the free google map static API would be less complicated. The goal is to convert tile index/ zoom to gps coordinates. It would require some geographic maths, with radius of earts and sin/cos... but it's all on google.
 

fantasiiio

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I found a new working google map tile provider !! Thanks to the Mission Planner open source project.
So, now the google map is working fine. I'll publish a new version in a few minutes.
 

ksaves2

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Oooooooooooooook, Can't wait to give it a go. Kurt
 

ksaves2

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I found a new working google map tile provider !! Thanks to the Mission Planner open source project.
So, now the google map is working fine. I'll publish a new version in a few minutes.
good morning, I downloaded it this morning and it works. I would suggest if One upgrades an old installation with stored tiles, they should move the Google directory that has their old tiles out of the MapCache directory. You will then be able to lay down new map tiles. Kurt
 

fantasiiio

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good morning, I downloaded it this morning and it works. I would suggest if One upgrades an old installation with stored tiles, they should move the Google directory that has their old tiles out of the MapCache directory. You will then be able to lay down new map tiles. Kurt
The version is not yet online.. It take a while before google publish the version. The new version is 1.3.3 instead of 1.3.2
You can go in settings / applications and click on rocket locator to see the version.
 

ksaves2

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The version is not yet online.. It take a while before google publish the version. The new version is 1.3.3 instead of 1.3.2
You can go in settings / applications and click on rocket locator to see the version.
Hmmm,
Google said they're was a new update and I got it just before I originally posted. New maps are seen. Kurt
 

mccordmw

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It pushed an update overnight. I just checked it. Works great! Thanks a lot for this great app!
 

Wayco

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For those of us who only use Android for rocket locator how do we actually cache maps?

I've upgraded the app to 1.3.3, opened rocket locator and opened the righthand directory and went down to 'download map". Once I clicked on "download map" a screen came up and flashed "Nan" quickly and then went back to the main screen. So I went back to "Map provider" and choose google and did "download Map" again and got the same "Nan".

Presumably I have the map for where I am at right now.

But how can I download the map for say, Argonia, Kansas? Without actually being in Argonia since I have a no cell service Android unit. I have wi-fi in my trailer, so once I am at Airfest do I just turn on the wi-fi, press "download map" and it would work?
 

ksaves2

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With a file manager go to /sdcard and you should see a directory mapCache there. Click on /mapCache and you should see /osm and /google which is where the tiles are stored. If you have a lot of tiles saved it will take awhile to display as you will see the number of tiles it's counting through. In the past before caching of tiles I would see "Nan" and I think it's an error code of some kind. Once the program was released with tile caching I didn't see it so often.

If you don't see a /google directory, I'd say create it, shut down and restart the program. Make sure you have a good WiFi internet link. Restart GPS Rocket locator and make sure you get a good local lock. The program defaults to google when it starts so
you don't have to do anything there. Now if you want to pre-cache Argonia, look it up on google earth or some other mapping site on your computer and find Argonia. Unclick "Follow Me" in the lower left (the blue bar will go blank) and scroll to
Argonia, Kansas and you can use your online google earth map to cue you where to push or scroll the screen on GPSRL to Argonia. Put your finger to the screen and "push" the map. Be careful and don't hit the "Follow me" button again as the program
will take you back to "your" local location! Now you go to whatever zoom level you want downloading tiles with the upper right pull down. Go to the bottom and hit "Download Map".

Now one observation that shouldn't be concerning is sometimes when downloading a bunch of tile the program gets to the "very last or very last few" tiles and locks up. Never fear, go to the "Recents" button at the bottom of the screen. That's the little Square
that's known as the "Recents" button and the "Circle" is the home button and the "triangle" is the back button. Hit the "Recents" button and when GPSRL gets small, swipe it left to kill it. Restart the program and do it over. Now the tiles you recovered
up to the last one are safely stored and do it again. It generally chokes on large downloads. You can workaround this by downloading an area at a given zoom level and then push the screen a bit off to one side where some of the tiles on you screen
are from the previous download. That seems to help a bit.

Now this is what I see on my Nexus 7 2013 and if one can download with careless abandon, I envy you.

Once you get all the tiles, I'd copy them to a desktop/laptop for safekeeping.

Now, my strategy would be to download as much as I can get off of WiFi but I did get a data plan SIM for my N7 2013. If I go to a launch and find I'm missing a zoom level I want, I can always turn data on and download the tiles onsite as long
as service is available (and I avoid busting my data limits) Kurt
 

ttabbal

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If I might make a small feature request..

Please create a file named ".nomedia" in /mapCache. This prevents the map tiles from being shown in gallery applications and such.
 

ksaves2

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Hey Francois, can "GPS Rocket Locator" use a data stream from the OTG connector or does it have to be bluetooth only? Kurt
 

fantasiiio

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Hey Francois, can "GPS Rocket Locator" use a data stream from the OTG connector or does it have to be bluetooth only? Kurt
It's bluetooth only. It would need an aditional module to convert from serial to usb. And the software would also need to be modified to accept both type of connection.

But it a good idea, if someone need it
 

fantasiiio

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Hey Francois, can "GPS Rocket Locator" use a data stream from the OTG connector or does it have to be bluetooth only? Kurt
By the way, how did you plan to connect the receiver to the USB ?
I searched on the web about the usb, and I find some solutions. It could be very interesting, even for any other electronic project to have a serial to usb adapter for android. There is one, but it cost $30 + ship..it's too much.
I did a search a begining of the project and found the bluetooth the easiest solution, but now I'm more experienced.
 
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