Sure, but the decision to buy or build for a company and the same decision for a community of hobbyists is completely different.
Of course it makes sense to buy this stuff if you are a company. Why would you want to waste your time building routing software when all you really want to do is deliver packages. You're a trucking company, not a software shop.
But a community of hobbyists can and does attack problems simply for the challenge.
Right now, the state of mapping and navigation is pretty sad. Proprietary map information, proprietary routing algorithms and proprietary POI's make building custom mapping and nav products that suit your own personal needs impossible.
Until the advent of cheap car PC GPS systems, progress on changing this has been difficult. But that is now changing. Do not underestimate the ability of a good hobbyist hacker to solve some or all of these problems.
What would be helpful is to separate these problems into different challenge areas that we can propose solutions to. I know there are issues with:
1. Basic data to build maps, hence openstreetmaps.org
2. Routing data - we need more than GPS traces, we need info on intersections and directionality and so forth.
What other areas and dimensions are challenges?
Here are some problems you mentioned and potential solutions that could be solved by the community:
Originally Posted by kirk78h
Geocoding: I assume you are referring to the user routing to a specific address destination and that address need to be converted to a lat/lon? I think yahoo, Google, and MS virtual earth expose their geocoding APIs. Also there is this SRC USA open source option witch might help for United States users only.
Road Flow concerns: Intersections, traffic Light, Stop Signs, Road barriers, Speed limits, One way streets.
I believe these can all be addressed by lots of probes reporting data and then an algorithm to process that data. Examples:
Does a highway connect with a secondary road? Algorithm asks, has a user id ever turned onto the road, if so where did they do so and how many users have done so? Why is the chance this intersection is routable?
Road speed: Must users won't care what the speed limit is, they can see the sign for that when they get there. The routing algorithm just needs to know the average road speed for the day and time the travel is occurring.
Lights and stop signs: By watching the flow of traffic, the algorithm should be able to determine what traffic control mechanism is in place. Do vehicles always stop? Do they stop for 3 minutes? This would allow light times or stop signs to be calculated into routing, which isn't currently being done with most commercial solutions.
Road barriers and one-way streets: watching the probes also solves these questions.
The algorithms would also be smart enough to possibly throw at anomalies. Let's just say for example that I am probe. I report with my iPhone. I regularly bike the wrong direction on one-way streets and speed 20 miles over the speed limit. The algorithm would eventually throw out certain parts of my data that are way outside the norm and negatively weight all of my other reports.
All of this requires huge numbers of probes and smart people to work on the project. Both of these things exist now and they didn't a few years ago.
The van that maps the world
Loaded in the back is a computer which stores up to 20GB of data a
day. The four cameras mounted on the van's roof together capture 12
images a second. That's over 300,000 images in a typical 8-hour day
for the van. Besides images, it also has to process and store data
acquired from the laser scanners, GPS and odometer.
Junction view,Lane assists,3D-Building and others data captured once.
Laser Scanners..??? How's this thing supposed to work.
Anybody here wanna build it?...:focus:
i have installed lambosprit's gps tracker on my RR carpc.. but are there other ways to help? i'm a busdriver by trade and can have a small windows mobile pda and gps antenna with me on the job.... but how do i set that pda up to help this nice project??
Have you attempted to upload your data?
Originally Posted by boelle