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 GPS on Google Android -
 Android Phones with heading and HDOP in Pictures ?
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Posted - 27 mars 2012 :  02:25:48  Show Profile  Visit mayeulk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, I would like to buy a smartphone, for an 80 day OSM mapping party in the Alps!

I'm wanting to take a few thousands geotagged images (with heading, and HDOP - Horizontal Dilution of Precision in GPS tracks) for OSM mapping. It seems that even when a given phone has a compass and GPS, some related functions do not always work (heading, HDOP). Could you tell your experience about phones, saying whether the following really works:
* Take picture, saving lat-long GPS position + magnetic heading (angle to North) of picture [maybe needs tilt-compensated 3D compass], in exif or other format
* Save precision-related GPS (NMEA) fields, as many as possible (at least HDOP, other if possible) [in gpx or any other format]
I'm aware of some Android apps that may do this (below).
My question is: Do you know a smartphone-app combination for which the above works?

OSMtracker (multipurpose, with HDOP)
Description and QRcode:
Download from android market:

Imageotag (image geotagging, apparently with heading and precision) Has
a pro version too.
(also in Android Market and AndAppStore)

Mytracks (save GPS tracks as GPX files)
Description and download from android market:

GPSmid (multipurpose)
Potentially the most powerful of all apps, but needs a Java Virtual
Machine - JVM (which makes it work on non-android devices as well)
If I need to do some postprocessing I will write some scripts if needed (and release as GPL3+). Ideally a phone with HD video capability ;-)



94684 Posts

Posted - 27 mars 2012 :  08:31:08  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the forums.

I haven't checked specifically for HDOP and Heading but the EXIF info is recorded directly when the picture is taken, i.e. it's not dependant on the software you're using to track your travels. Now if that info is missing (needs to be checked) there may be some software that will record that info separately and match it to the pictures, Imageotag seems to be dedicated to that.

While it's nice to have as much info as possible, experience shows that it's another thing to make full use of it, any particular reason you want that extra info ?

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Posted - 27 mars 2012 :  09:24:48  Show Profile  Visit mayeulk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"any particular reason you want that extra info ?"
Sure! The fact that this should be at least partially supported by the software I mentioned is an indication. In addition:
- for the heading: in many cases when I do field mapping I reach a place where 2,3 or or 4 paths meet. There are ways to take this into account in OpenStreetMap (draw the first meters of each paths on the map, with all the characteristics: type of path/road, destination, etc.). You need 4-5 pictures with heading or... you need to walk the first 50 meters of each path an draw a sketch on a piece of paper. I also have colleagues who do mapping for emergencies (eathquakes...) and they really miss this possibility. There are many other uses (including mapping direction signs which make them useful for reference, can be put in OSM, and even be used by navigation software later). I tried several times to take a picture of a "real" (ie with magnetic needle) compass (the one with a mirror) but the results where not very good (slow; can't get the whole picture focused).
- same for HDOP. Hdop is shown in the main OSM editor (JOSM), when available in the GPX. As I will be mapping for 3 months, I know in advance that about 5% of my GPS tracks will be very off (say, >100 meter error). That's maybe 30 hours of tracking, quite a large part. I want to know when I can expect good accuracy and when it is low (if possible, in the field: sometimes you take a 10 mn break and the sat. geometry becomes better, or I can put the GPSr above me in these cases). For emergency mapping as well, when you have conflicting data, knowing which one can be trusted is a must needed information.
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