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Race Support and Overland Suggestions

MojaveMafiaMojaveMafia Posts: 6Member
Hay LeadNav,

I have a couple hundred hours experience using the app, and now have the pro pack. I've read the forums here and would like to affirm some suggestions given and add a couple of my own. Most of my suggestions are based on what I use the app for which is race support, and overland exploration, neither of which are really route based.

1 A quicker way to save larger areas of map tiles. Save along route only gets me so far, this past weekend I made a 150+ mile route, then saved map tiles 1KM on either side. I then filled in areas I thought we might travel through with 338 more areas made up of the largest area I could download that included zoom level 18. Each one of those areas is about 20MB but MapBox appears to throttle satellite download speed to 0.1-0.13 MBs. ( Yes I know the difference between MB and Mb) All together I spent more than 30 hours preparing my LeadNav app for this 2 day trip. Spending 30 hours to prepare a gps for a trip is not sustainable for me, especially when I need to delete all the areas and save new ones for another trip/race in a different location. Maybe the way to save larger areas would be to save inside route where the user makes a loop route around the area they need and then can download everything within the loop. A potential short term solution is to up the distance from route max from 1KM to 10+KM... or just let people enter a KM number.

2 Sharing a collection including map borders. I know we can't share map tiles/areas, but if I'm spending 30 hours preparing for a trip/race everyone else on the team/trip shouldn't have to do the same. If I could save a collection that had routes, tracks, markers, waypoints and the map outline with zoom settings I could share that with the rest of the team then they could use their map subscriptions to download the appropriate map areas for inside the border.

The last trip I was on had 20 trucks, almost all had a gps, but none were as effective as LeadNav. Due to an unforeseen issue the group had to navigate away from the loosely planned route. This navigation was outside the 18 zoom level areas I had saved, and I was brand new to the group, I was asked to lead everyone through the unknown. Luckily I had a larger area of zoom level 16 saved and could pick trails I though wold fit our trucks. Once we got to the destination safely there was a lot of interest in what tool(s) I used to navigate so I introduced everyone to LeadNav. It was a true mind blown experience for many of the veteran overlanders who still rely on printed topo maps. I don't think anyone in the group would spend the time I did to prepare a gps for the trip but if they could get a shared collection, or even just download a large area easily they'd gladly spend the money for the pro subscription.

Being a former racer, I love that LeadNav started with racing (in-car) as the experience to design for. Being as there are many more race supporters/chasers, and off-road explorers (jeeps) than race drivers/co-drivers I think LeadNav usage really has a good opportunity to explode with a few strategic additions.

Thanks,
Tim

Comments

  • Damian_offthegridDamian_offthegrid Posts: 641Administrator, Moderator admin
    Tim

    Thank you for the write up and using LeadNav.

    I can explain a little bit why things are the way they are and what were doing to improve it.

    First off LeadNav was primarily built as an "overland" gps as our primary background for over 20 years has been advanced navigation in the military where tablets have completely wiped out standard GPS units like the Garmin in recent years.

    We've typically used navigation software to plan trips that cost up to $30k a year per computer license...now we are able to cram almost the same amount of capability into a smartphone or tablet.

    So our experience and primary focus has been actually "backcountry navigation".

    Desert racing was just a good starting point for the civilian market to put down their old gps devices. Proof of Concept...

    You will actually be seeing a LeadNav shift happening over the next few month from racing to trip organizers, overland and advanced mapping to include our own use of Aircraft to collect 2D maps and 3D terrain models down to 1cm per pixel. These will be directly embedded into our LeadNav package for our new Mission Statement...which is...

    "Improved planning, flawless execution and enhanced situational awareness for organizations operating in extreme and remote environments. Providing a complete "off the grid" product in the form of software, hardware, advanced map collection, training and consulting."


    Now as far as mapping.

    As you probably know every time you click "save" on that tile we are getting billed by MapBox. MapBox is the first company to allow anybody to register a "single" device to "borrow" their "old and lower quality" satellite imagery to "that" device. MapBox gets these satellite tiles open source or from the actual source of all satellite imagery, DigiGlobe.

    Lot of "keywords" in there.

    Satellite Imagery is BIG business. These companies live off of maintaining control of that imagery. Map box is letting you borrow what they can while locking it down to a single device per subscription. (Hence not being able to share it device to device) This is an Awesome service for 90% of the population...hikers, hunters, outdoorsmen, etc..

    Pro lets you save along a route. This was the answer to allow racers to save along a 1,000 mile route. The $150 a year primarily covers the extra downloading even though Pro is packed our more advanced features we don't document or announce these outside of our individual or group training courses.

    We are working on more options or should I say "Levels" of subscription.

    One option would be to let you save "1" large area/tile in full zoom...at a time to your device. Ensuring that you use...then wipe that tile out before saving another.

    The best option is probably switching to a "Credit" system like a game. Where you pay for tiles. This is probably the best option for everyone. However then people will complain when they have to delete those tiles to save others..because the iPad size is limited and as mentioned above....satellite imagery is BIG business and highly protected. They will never allow you to share it or store it to a hard drive...

    Unless

    Next level

    An organization or group has us fly aircraft collection over their area to process and build 2D and 3D maps. This is a service we are starting to do. (Cost of Aircraft and processing time might seem unreasonable but it is very reasonable when looking at the other options)

    Very Next Level

    We've recently been talking with the big man himself...DigiGlobe. Since Drone and Aircraft collection is now highly available..they are very interested in working on a system for the "general public".. I say that..because their current model is for BIG military and not the average consumer...with a military price tag.

    To put it in perspective....We were hit up last week on the poor MapBox 15 zoom limit available in Baja and for the San Felipe 250 race this weekend. So we reached out to Digiglobe to see what it would cost to get their up to date 18 zoom coverage of this 250 mile loop with everything in the middle. The price tag would have been $85,000.00!

    Now realize they have these maps collected monthly and up to date just sitting on the shelf...they just won't give them out without a very large price tag.

    However with the latest accessibility of drones and aircraft mapping...they do seem to be interested in "changing their current business model".

    What is going to happen next after more talks with these companies

    We are thinking about adding a DigiGlobe subscription in LeadNav for premium maps with only months old imagery and in some cases down to 21 zoom. These themselves will carry very heavy yearly price tags..

    Now you mention download speed...

    This is not being "throttled"..

    What is actually going on in the background is unprecedented at the level that we were able to achieve.

    Don't think of it as "downloading a file or a movie for instance...as far as size"... a lot more is going on with geo positioning and the tiling itself. It is not simply downloading a file.

    No other $30k software package on a $5,000 laptop can pull off what we are currently doing on a iPad with "Save Along Route" ...trust us...people are knocking at our door because of this capability we've designed including the map providers themselves.

    To put this in perspective....when we use our big mega computers to download maps for Baja...some only 5 gigs...this process takes almost 3 days.

    There are locational things going on and mapping processing to restructure those tiles onto device...not just downloading a standard file...


    Now after all that...heres what we will say...

    You will notice LeadNav supports MBTiles which is a file type that houses multiple zoom levels and maps in a single file. These MBTiles can be shared device to device via DropBox and Air Drop in and out of LeadNav. We don't publicly put out this capability..but its there.

    To learn more about making these maps, look up a computer program called MOBAC...and start googling... there is a lot of online material covering how to utilize this program to do what it is your asking for.. if your at all computer savvy I highly suggest checking it out..

    Again Thank You for spreading the LeadNav Vibe and thank you for sharing this knowledge with our Online Community!

    Feel free to share any Trip Collections here on our Forum as we will be starting to assign regional experts to help us populate our MapBox map servers with new trail systems.

    LeadNav HQ

  • alexralexr Posts: 20Member ✭✭
    I have a couple of suggestions or things I require a work around for

    1. We have an issue during our event where the route doubles back on itself and the waypoints are not able to determine which direction you are traveling on the route eg a left on the way up and a right on the way back.
    2. Fantastic use of mbtiles maps but it will not automatically load the next image as you cross off the map.
    3. Weather radar would be cool for support chase teams and helpful for a navigator to determine how much is coming. hema explorer does this great what we were previously using.

    Absolutely love the ease and power of the program, we are still in the evaluating stage for our event but if we can address point one this is the clear winner.

    Also love that we can put out own raster topographic maps underneath by converting to mbtiles.

    [IMG]http://i904.photobucket.com/albums/ac246/alex_richards1/040f3034d468c1f9bac62497b0efe87f_zps0hhjneok.jpg[/IMG]
  • Damian_offthegridDamian_offthegrid Posts: 641Administrator, Moderator admin
    edited March 2016
    alexr said:

    I have a couple of suggestions or things I require a work around for

    1. We have an issue during our event where the route doubles back on itself and the waypoints are not able to determine which direction you are traveling on the route eg a left on the way up and a right on the way back.
    2. Fantastic use of mbtiles maps but it will not automatically load the next image as you cross off the map.
    3. Weather radar would be cool for support chase teams and helpful for a navigator to determine how much is coming. hema explorer does this great what we were previously using.

    Absolutely love the ease and power of the program, we are still in the evaluating stage for our event but if we can address point one this is the clear winner.

    Also love that we can put out own raster topographic maps underneath by converting to mbtiles.

    [IMG]http://i904.photobucket.com/albums/ac246/alex_richards1/040f3034d468c1f9bac62497b0efe87f_zps0hhjneok.jpg[/IMG]

    1. LeadNav has a ton of code and formulas baked in to handle many scenarios however it is difficult to differenciate between overlapping routes when editing. LeadNav does handle the final overlapped scenario when actually running the route as it knows direction, speed...handling the final product. When we have events with overlapping sections we will use the Pro Pack to cut out those sections / separate them into individual routes. Then we will edit each one separately. Then re merge them together.
    2. We hear you on the MBTiles and what we are thinking about doing is allowing you to "toggle" multiple mbtiles on.. as overlays on top of whatever base map type you select. We will take a look at this after Android Development is wrapped up this Summer.
    3. Have not received this request but we will add it to the list for future development this Summer.

    Awesome work on getting creative with the mapping! Lot of possibilities built into the back end of LeadNav that are not super apparent to the average user but it looks like your finding them and it is cool to see.

    Damian
    LeadNav CEO / Founder
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