The new boydsmaps app is ready!

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Just uploaded a major upgrade to the app. You will now see a live elevation display as you move around the map. The data comes from the USGS National Map Elevation Point Query Service and it will work with any map anywhere in the United States.

https://mobile.boydsmaps.com/#17.00/40.008330/-74.699484/lidar2021hd/0.00/0.00

elevation.jpg
Press the Elevation button on the main menu to change the settings, your preference will be stored on your phone/computer.

menu.png



You can change the units to meters if you like or you can just turn it off if you aren't interested.

prefs.png


This is a brand new feature that I have not tested very thoroughly yet, so let me know if you have any problems. When you have elevation display enabled, the app requests data from the USGS server every time your position changes, then waits for an answer before requesting another point. If there's a problem, or if you are outside of the US, it will say "no data". If the USGS server is down or running slow, you might get errors like this. If it isn't working (for whatever reason) you may want to just disable the elevation display for the time being, because it's just going to slow things down making requests that aren't answered. But since this is such a new feature, I don't really know how much of an issue it would be to just leave it enabled. You will be using cellular data for this on your phone (unless you're on wifi), however I suspect the amount is pretty small compared to loading map tiles.

In most of the US, the elevation data comes from National Elevation Dataset 1/3 arc-second DEM. This has been the traditional standard for topo maps, and has now been updated with LIDAR DEM, however it's relatively low resolution - about 10 meters. Compare that to the older LIDAR (such as the NJPB LIDAR map) which is about 3-meter, or the new 1-meter DEM. There would be 100 1-meter LIDAR points inside one 10-meter elevation sample (10x10). Keep that in mind when reading elevations from the new LIDAR imagery, these elevations won't capture all that detail.

I have been doing some checking though, and these are in pretty good agreement with the spot elevations on my old LIDAR HD map. You can check for yourself here. If you're trying to get an accurate reading, you need to sort of "sneak up slow" so the server has time to update the data.

https://mobile.boydsmaps.com/#17.00/40.009506/-74.701405/lidarHD/0.00/0.00

Let me know how this works and what you think!

(Usual disclaimers about clearing cache/site data apply, see earlier posts in this thread for instructions)
 
Last edited:

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,323
2,554
Pines; Bamber area
This is so very timely Boyd. I have a plant survey to do, and wanted to cite the elevation on species found. Very nice.

But, will this be online too?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Do you mean online.boydsmaps.com? That site is no longer under development and no new features will be added as I'm spending all my time on the mobile app. After I get to the point where the mobile app is no longer beta, the plan is for everything to converge with a single boydsmaps app that offers appropriate features depending on whether you're using a phone or computer. That's one reason I'm getting rid the downloadable maps, boydsmaps.com will eventually become this new site.

But that is quite a few months away, maybe not until next year. Will have to see how it goes, lots of code to write! In the meantime, if you want all the new features and maps I'm adding, you'll need to use the mobile app. It works fine on computers as well as phones, but the base assumption is that you're using a small screen which makes some things a bit awkward on a big computer monitor. OTOH, a feature like the measuring tool actually works better on a computer with a mouse.


measure.jpg
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Cool, it will remain available until the new app is ready but it will be a long wait for the update.

The next big feature for the mobile app will be a waypoint manager that lets you create/edit/import/export locations as .gpx files. Since I'm writing all the code from scratch, it will take awhile but should be ready sometime this Spring.

When that's complete, the mobile app should be a good platform for data collection in the field. I know you're a big Garmin fan, so you can have the best of both worlds with a Garmin GLO which communicates over bluetooth to replace the internal GPS on your phone. This will give you more accuracy than your Montana 600 - trust me, I've done detailed comparisions.

Here are 1800 waypoints recorded continuously for a half hour on the Montana. They are all over the place, but if you average them the results aren't too bad, 87% are within 10 meters of the target.

montana.png


Compare that with the pattern from the GLO. 87% of its points are within 3 meters of the target. It doesn't look like the GLO recorded as many points as the Montana, but it really did. The accuracy is so consistent that the majority of points are right on top of each other instead of spread all over the place like the Montana. The GLO also provides 10 samples per second where the Montana (and all Garmin handhelds) only update once per second. 10x more data = more accuracy from the GLO.


GLOaccuracy.png


The GLO costs about $100 and works with any app on both iOS and Android. Other companies also make similar bluetooth GPS receivers, you can even get sub-meter accuracy with a device from SXBlue but it will cost you a couple thousand $$$. ;)

I did some other tests recording tracks with the GLO and was very impressed there too.

 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: manumuskin

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Minor update: there's now an options button in the top left corner of the elevation preferences menu that opens a map info page with details about the data source.

options.jpg


If this doesn't work for you, it might be necessary to clear your cache as described earlier in this thread)
 
  • Like
Reactions: manumuskin

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Right after posting this, elevation display stopped working and I was getting permission errors, which concerned me. Evidently the USGS server just went down for a bit, when I went directly to their site I saw this message.


Screen Shot 2021-03-17 at 3.35.22 PM.png


It's working again now, so it was only down for a few minutes. If you have problems, use the new options button in the preferences and click on the Data Source link. Normally it's a page where you can enter coordinates and check elevations, but if the service is down then you'll see a message like the screenshot above.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I might be retiring to the Florida Panhandle but thats not for at least five years,Hope they have some good stuff down there.

Just spent awhile looking for Florida data and came up empty. Nothing interesting that I can connect to my app, although there are some resources that might interest you. Unfortunately they are all imageservers (like the NJGIN LIDAR) and I have not figured out a way to access those. But you can check these out.

https://ca.dep.state.fl.us/arcgis/rest/services/Imagery

Click any item on the list, for example:

https://ca.dep.state.fl.us/arcgis/rest/services/Imagery/Aerial_Imagery_1940s/ImageServer

Then click on "View in arcGIS online map viewer:

https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/...ry/Aerial_Imagery_1940s/ImageServer&source=sd

Good luck in Florida. Went there on vacation once with my folks when I was 12. That was enough for me. ;)
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,085
1,948
57
millville nj
www.youtube.com
Just spent awhile looking for Florida data and came up empty. Nothing interesting that I can connect to my app, although there are some resources that might interest you. Unfortunately they are all imageservers (like the NJGIN LIDAR) and I have not figured out a way to access those. But you can check these out.

https://ca.dep.state.fl.us/arcgis/rest/services/Imagery

Click any item on the list, for example:

https://ca.dep.state.fl.us/arcgis/rest/services/Imagery/Aerial_Imagery_1940s/ImageServer

Then click on "View in arcGIS online map viewer:

https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?url=https://ca.dep.state.fl.us/arcgis/rest/services/Imagery/Aerial_Imagery_1940s/ImageServer&source=sd

Good luck in Florida. Went there on vacation once with my folks when I was 12. That was enough for me. ;)
Thanks! I lived in Florida the year I turned 12 (winter 76,77) we lived in North Florida (Flagler County) fort a month which I loved.We were in a campground on the Intracoastal Waterway a mile from a wild rock strewn beach with Urchins in the ide pools,had gators in the river next to the campground and armadillos everywhere, I loved it.Then we moved to Hollywood FL which I did not like.I was right next to the FL TPK and if I could have gotten across it alive I"d of been in the Glades but I was stuck in town and outside of catching lizards in the bushes there wasn't much for a wood tick like me to do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Was just being a wise-a## with that Florida comment, I actually had a lot of fun on that vacation - what kid wouldn't enjoy warm days on the beach instead of walking to school in the snow? I know some good people in Florida, have gotten royalties from several Florida companies. No doubt there are cool places to live and explore. But I have no reason to move there, and the increased risk from hurricanes would worry me.

Anyway, I'm happy right where I am - in the Pines. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: manumuskin

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
317
141
Atco NJ
Headed there in two weeks, I like it anytime from Nov-Apr
Looked at 1940's imagery where I go and only saw sand and a few trees LoL
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Big update again today! There's a new Coordinates button on the main menu where you can either enter your own coordinates or copy the coordinates of your current position.

coords.png


Also: new aerials, LIDAR and topo maps for Vermont. They have quite a few maps available and I'll add more of these in the next few days. The topo is pretty cool, very detailed, when you zoom way in you see individual houses with street addresses. It can be rather slow to load unfortunately.

https://mobile.boydsmaps.com/#19.00/44.260300/-72.576295/vtTopo/0.00/0.00

vt.png

I found another USGS server for aerials, it allows you to zoom in all the way to level 20 with coverage of the entire US. They don't look very good if you zoom past level 18, but that is 2 additional clicks (the old USGS aerials would only zoom to level 16).

Poking around the USGS servers, I found an unusal map of the National Hydrography Dataset layers. This is a rather specialized map that probably won't appeal to most people, but I thought it was interesting, it covers the entire US. To have any understanding of what you're looking at, you'll need to follow the links in the Map Info. It may take awhile to load (was completely down for awhile just now).

https://mobile.boydsmaps.com/#15.00/39.608845/-74.832613/usgsNHD/0.00/0.00

nhd.png


There are also a number of changes "under the hood" to fix various bugs.

Have not done much testing, but it seems the USGS elevations don't work properly when you have GPS Tracking enabled. Does anyone else have experience with this? Pretty sure that the USGS servers just can respond fast enough when you're moving (my software updates your position twice a second).

Will post another update to address this issue. Am going to provide an option to use the elevation value provided by the GPS chip in your phone when it's enabled. More on this soon. In the meantime, if it doesn't work for you, I suggest turning elevation display OFF when GPS Tracking is enabled. Otherwise it's just going to use cellular data and slow things down without showing the correct elevation.

(If these new maps/features don't work for you, the usual disclaimers about clearing cache/site data apply. See earlier posts in this thread for instructions)
 
Last edited:

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I agree. On top of a 5,000 foot mountain an error of 50 feet doesn't make much difference. Down here that's another matter. However, my app is reaching a much larger audience than just the pines. :)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Menantico

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Just uploaded an update, the app will now use elevation data from the GPS chip in your phone when tracking is enabled instead of using the USGS server. When GPS tracking is off, then the elevation data comes from the USGS. In the future I'll add more menu controls over this, so you can enable elevation display separately for browse and GPS tracking mode. That would allow somebody outside of the US to turn off the USGS elevation display but still show the GPS elevation.

I only tested for a minute indoors to see if I worked, will take it out on a walk later. As expected, the elevation was jumping all over the place inside the house in the range of 20 to 50 feet. The USGS says my real elevation is 50 feet. Would expect better results out in the open, but GPS elevation is not known for accuracy.

If you're using the site/app on your computer none of this is relevant since you can't turn tracking on unless your computer has a GPS. :)
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,323
2,554
Pines; Bamber area
Boyd, this is a snip from Pines Lidar 2021, Oyster Creek West of Waretown. Do you have an opinion of what causes the deep shading on one side of small swales and ravines?

1616605140306.png
 
Top