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Old 22-03-2012, 02:27   #1
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Social Depth Charts ?

Hi,

this is off topic, apologies for intrusion, but I stumbled on opencpn and it seemed like the people around it might provide me with pointers.

I'm a veteran programmer (both open and close source) and a budding pleasure boater (Chris Craft Riviera -52).

I've got GPS with Sonar and while learning to navigate it hit me that the depth charts, especially in lakes here in Finland leave a lot to be desired.

This makes sense as there is no commercial interest in mapping those, especially on smaller lakes, and with thousands of lakes and islands, it is a big job. As a beginner with the urge to explore those lakes and islands this makes me a bit nervy when I go to the scantily charted parts of the map.

And yet I see a lot of people cruising around with their boats and GPSes.

So it hit me: we should have some sort of open database into which GPS/sonar data could be uploaded every time you get back from a day's outing.

Overtime this would provide a community charted depth map.

Even without a sonar the information would be useful as one could see the beaten track and thus be relatively confident that it is ok to navigate there. With enough participants errors would/could average out. And the system could show the 'beaten track' as confidence map so that the user could judge how reliable the information is.

Ok, so I hope you get the picture.

Now, my question is, is there such software/service already?

Most 'brilliant' ideas I've got have upon investigation turned out to be old ideas that have already been implemented ... only this one I've not been able to google up.

If a system like that does not exist, what would be good place to discuss such an idea?

All thoughts and comments appreciated.

br Kusti
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Old 22-03-2012, 02:32   #2
bcn
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Re: Social depth charts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyholku View Post
Hi,

this is off topic, apologies for intrusion, but I stumbled on opencpn and it seemed like the people around it might provide me with pointers.

I'm a veteran programmer (both open and close source) and a budding pleasure boater (Chris Craft Riviera -52).

I've got GPS with Sonar and while learning to navigate it hit me that the depth charts, especially in lakes here in Finland leave a lot to be desired.

This makes sense as there is no commercial interest in mapping those, especially on smaller lakes, and with thousands of lakes and islands, it is a big job. As a beginner with the urge to explore those lakes and islands this makes me a bit nervy when I go to the scantily charted parts of the map.

And yet I see a lot of people cruising around with their boats and GPSes.

So it hit me: we should have some sort of open database into which GPS/sonar data could be uploaded every time you get back from a day's outing.

Overtime this would provide a community charted depth map.

Even without a sonar the information would be useful as one could see the beaten track and thus be relatively confident that it is ok to navigate there. With enough participants errors would/could average out. And the system could show the 'beaten track' as confidence map so that the user could judge how reliable the information is.

Ok, so I hope you get the picture.

Now, my question is, is there such software/service already?

Most 'brilliant' ideas I've got have upon investigation turned out to be old ideas that have already been implemented ... only this one I've not been able to google up.

If a system like that does not exist, what would be good place to discuss such an idea?

All thoughts and comments appreciated.

br Kusti
Kusti,

the approach you are proposing is known as "crowd sourcing".
Make a search for it. Some time ago there was some discussion about crowd sourced bathymetric data on Panbo.com IIRC.

bcn
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Old 22-03-2012, 02:34   #3
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Re: Social depth charts?

Crowd sourcing! Of course, I should have recognized that is the search term, thanks!

br Kusti
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Old 22-03-2012, 02:47   #4
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Re: Social depth charts?

Kusti...
There is such a project running for several years at TeamSurv - Home They lost a bit of momentum as the EU funding ended, but certainly are way further than starting from scratch.
A "survey" plugin idea is on my to-do for some time - basically I was thinking about SpatiaLite storage for the position/depth data pairs with some grouping capabilities + overlay display + interface to TeamSurv webservices to submit the data to the crowd. The only problem with TeamSurv currently is (apart from their sometimes unbelievably slow website) that they are still not prepared to publish the processed data in some normal machine-readable format - but when I asked Tim, he supposed it's worked on.
The amount of code existing to date is 0 and I will gladly pass at least part of the work to someone else - definitely have enough stuff on my list
I don't want to build any server backend infrastructure myself - have enough of administration of such things in my normal job.

Pavel
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Old 22-03-2012, 02:50   #5
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Re: Social depth charts?

And what we should mention perhaps as well is a quite successful crowd sourcing project: "OpenStreetMap".

bcn
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Old 22-03-2012, 03:11   #6
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Re: Social depth charts?

Briljant!

All this is very encouraging, I need to peruse these in depth and see if we can get Finland on the map! And see if I can contribute something somewhere.

Thanks Pavel and bcn,

br Kusti
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Old 22-03-2012, 03:41   #7
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Re: Social depth charts?

An on-going project (not really crowd sourcing) for Scotland with 75 chartlets already available...
Reported to be OpenCpn compatible...

West Coast of Scotland Charts
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Old 27-03-2012, 03:31   #8
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Re: Social Depth Charts ?

Kusti & all...

I have done some initial coding, have a look at Hydrographic Survey Plugin

Pavel
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