The boydsmaps app is coming!

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Not just a mobile version of the website, this is a completely new app with features like a handheld GPS. The first version will just have basic map functions and will track your position as you move. But future versions will add features like saving/importing/exporting waypoints and loading maps for use without cell service. Working on the iOS version now, but the same features should also be available on Android.

You start the app right from your home screen, but there's nothing to download or install - the data comes from the boydsmaps server without using a web browser (the tech term for this is "Progressive Web App" or PWA).

homescreen.png



Here it is on the iPhone 12 Pro Max (it works in landscape and portrait modes)

12ProMax.jpg



And the iPhone 6s Plus

6sPlus.jpg


LOTS of things to learn and lots of code to write, but am hoping for a version 1.0 release by the end of the year. Will post progress updates here from time to time.
 
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Boyd

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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Here's a big change for the new app: it's powered by the open source maptalks API and I'm abandoning the Leaflet API from online.boydsmaps.com. Maptalks supports 3d views natively and works very nicely on a touchscreen. This requires a complete re-write of my code, but I was going to do that anyway.

Here's a little video - the "camerawork" is not very smooth but it will give you an idea of how things work. It was recorded on my 5-year-old iPhone 6s+ just to show that you don't need a fancy new phone. This example uses the 2007 aerials so it was at the mercy of NJGIN's servers. Maps that are hosted directly at boydsmaps are a little faster. You also lose some detail since I made it smaller and compressed it to keep the size of the video down, the actual image on the phone is very sharp. Click the little full-screen button in the bottom right corner of the video to watch it full-size.

 

RednekF350

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Feb 20, 2004
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Pestletown, N.J.
Amazing work Boyd. Your creativity and knowledge never cease to amaze me. Below is a little account of how useful your mapping program is for me.

I was working in Newfield on Tuesday with their Borough Engineer performing an investigation of a failing drainage basin. The task was to determine if the basin was failing due to a possible underlying clay pan, siltation of the basin bottom resulting from upstream construction activity or the possibility that the basin bottom was constructed in or near the groundwater table.

We performed three excavations into groundwater outside of the basin perimeter and I was convinced that the basin was, in fact, constructed in the groundwater table. The Borough Engineer agreed. Using a mason line, a line level and a known pipe invert elevation I determined that the basin bottom was at NAVD 88 elevation 96+/- and groundwater was between elevation 97 and 96. There were wetlands about a 1/4 mile away associated with the headwaters of the Hudson Branch and we both pondered whether or not our basin bottom of 96 was close to the elevation associated with the stream bed. We were not equipped to perform any actual surveying that day and the Engineer said he was going to review some USGS quarter quads when he got back to his office to look at the elevation question.

Boyd's Maps to the rescue ! I pulled out my phone right there and going through Ben's site I showed the Engineer your mapping program. Using the HD Lidar layer, we were able to confirm that the basin bottom elevation of 96 was about a foot higher that the Hudson Branch stream bed at elevation of 95. All in about 30 seconds. This little bit of information was a rough check and helpful in supporting the groundwater theory as the reason for the basin issues. We will be performing actual leveling fieldwork at a later date but being able to review and check our field investigation information using your mapping program in the field was invaluable.

Thank you !

Scott
 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Thanks Scott! It's great to hear that you're finding practical uses for the site. The mobile app should make it even more accessible in the future. :)
 

Gibby

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Apr 4, 2011
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Trenton
Boyd, I remember reading an older thread on this forum stating that radome was for FAA research.

Found it!

 
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Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
First road test today in the Peaslee WMA with map data streaming over the cellular network. Lots of work to do, but have finally gotten the GPS to work properly!

 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
The above video was from my iPhone 12 Pro Max. The very wide screens on these newer phones work well with the app, plenty of room on the side for the map menu. One of my goals is to always keep the map on the screen. Notice that when the menu is open, the map window is re-sized (instead of being covered up) and your position remains in the center of the smaller map.

After so much testing on iOS, I felt I needed an Android device. Have been interested in Chinese rugged Android phones for awhile, so this was the perfect excuse to get one. :D BlackView is one of the better-known brands, but their cheaper phones have under-powered processors and have not gotten good reviews. After comparing different brands until my head was spinning, I got an Ulefone Armor X7 Pro from their company store at Amazon. I think it was $139 - there are cheaper sellers, and you can save a lot if you don't mind ordering direct from China. But the instant gratification from next-day delivery was just too tempting.

ulefone.jpg


I really like this phone, it has a 5" screen and the width and height are about the same as my Montana 600 but only about half as thick, and of course, the Montana screen is only 4". The rugged construction has a nice feel and the IP68 rating means it has been tested at depths over 1 meter for an extended period - you can take underwater pictures with this phone, but I have not tried the camera and the reviews were bad. 4gb RAM and 32gb internal storage, which is pretty decent for a cheap phone. Storage can be extended with an SD card.

Of course the screen doesn't fare too well in bright sunlight. Definitely not as bright as my new iPhone, or even my 5 year old iPhone. Will be using it in the coming weeks to get a feeling for how much of a problem that is. But the price was (literally) 1/10 of a premium iPhone, so you can only expect so much...

What's better than a cheap, rugged phone? Answer: TWO cheap, rugged phones! :dance: I just received this Oukitel WP5 two days ago, Amazon was selling it directly as a refurb with full guarantee for $115 IIRC. Same processor as the Ulefone but a 5.5" screen and a HUGE battery (8000mAH vs 4000mAH for the Ulefone). It's bigger and heavier than the Ulefone, but still manageable. Also 4gb RAM and 32gb internal storage plus a card slot.

oukitel.jpg


Haven't gotten any cell service for either of these, am using my iPhone as a wifi hotspot. This is also a nice phone, the bigger screen would be better for vehicle use. Brightness is about the same as the Ulefone, maybe slightly less. Guessing you might get 12 hours continuous GPS use out of that big battery? Will have to do some real world testing.

I have this crazy idea that I could install all my maps on one of these phones and flash it with my own custom software, so it would just be a GPS. Push power button, head into the pines. With a memory card and I could fit all my maps on the GPS for use with no cell signal. Could also use cell service for additional maps.

We shall see. For now, I'll just concentrate on putting a beta version of my app online by the end of the year. Don't expect too much from the beta, it will just have the basic functions as shown in the videos. I look at this as a 6 to 12 month project, and only started writing maptalks-based code on December 1. Garmin and Gaia certainly don't have anything to worry about.... yet. :D
 
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