Version 12 (modified by Fran Boon, 12 years ago) ( diff )


Share GPS Data

Problem Description

  • Field staff for NGOs (both Humanitarian & Development) visit Programme sites with handheld GPS (e.g. Garmin eTrex).
  • They collect data as they go (Tracks & Waypoints).
  • They would like a way of easily sharing this information between each other:
    • uploading data to a central repository
    • managing this master repository to have a reference dataset: no duplicates, names checked for consistency
      • this management should work offline
    • download the reference dataset to each GPS
  • A secondary benefit will be in terms of wider communications (e.g. reporting to Donors)
  • A potential future enhancement would be to be able to download GPX routes from/to specific locations.

This requirement is defined by Oxfam in Haiti, but is applicable to many other organisations & locations as evidenced by this combined Problem Definition for RHoK:

High-Level Architecture Proposal

It would be ideal if as much of the reference dataset as possible could be incorporated into the Base Map - OpenStreetMap is ideal for this.

Propose to:

  • Set up a Virtual Machine containing all necessary software (to make it easy to install on any available PC - this setup may need replicating in several offices, although no need to sync between offices except via main OpenStreetMap database at this time)
  • Local OSM Server
  • Build a GUI within Sahana to allow the uploading/editing of GPX data

Other Options Considered

  • Garmin MapSource
    • can't load more than 1 GPX file at a time
  • Google Earth
  • Depiction
    • Data primarily only shareable with other Depiction users which means hard to gain traction even within an organisation let alone for interagency work.
    • Installation requires admin rights on the PC, which many field staff won't easily have access to - again lowering the ability to get wider adoption.
    • Can't create new Depictions or use BaseMaps at all without an active Internet connection.
    • Revealers seem very gimmicky: I don't find them useful & they're really hard to use in practise (I just wanted a 'full-screen option').
      • GeoExplorer already has the ability to dynamically edit layer opacity, which is the 1 thing I'd use them for.
    • Licensing costs push this beyond local partners to whom we want to handover the tools when moving from Response -> Recovery -> Mitigation/Preparedness (USD 200/machine + add-ons, such as $50 just for icons that come free with Sahana!)
    • No support for KML (or GeoRSS)
    • No ability to edit the OpenStreetMap base layer which adds so much value to these maps
    • Adding Elevation data is clumsy (fairly easy to make this 'seamless' ;) )

Detailed Architecture Proposal


The current GPX layer interface is probably insufficient.

Instead have 2 tables:

Can we develop a Flash(?) interface to actually manage the transfer to/from the unit of the GPX &/or basemap?

Local OSM Server

Edit Base Map

  • Potlatch2
    • Editing local database or only main one?
    • Need better integration into Sahana:
      • passing in the area of the current viewport
      • seeing Sahana overlays inside Potlatch (can export as either GPX or OSM)

Sync Base Map

Our local install needs to be kept up to date from the global repo:

If we're making local edits then we need to feed those back to the master repo.

Export to Base Map

GIS BluePrints

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