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GPS Toolkit (GPSTk) 1.0 Released

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the you-are-here dept.

Programming 197

rmach writes "Based on many years of work performed at ARL:UT, we have release GPSTk under the GNU LGPL. GPSTk is a cross platform library and set of applications that provides both fundamental and advanced GPS processing algorithms to the GPS and open source community. A wide array of functions are provided by the GPSTk library, including: RINEX I/O, ephemeris calculation, P-code generation, atmospheric refraction models, and positioning algorithms. GPSTk applications provided more concrete benefits to the user, including: cycle slip detection and removal, calculation of the Total Electron Content (TEC) of the ionosphere, position residual computation, and RINEX file manipulation. The library is about 41,000 SLOC with a COCOMO estimated cost to develop of about $1.3 million. You can also read more about it in the current issue (September '04) of Linux Journal."

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I win (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994068)

I win!

It's probably just me, but.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994077)

... I don't even remotely understand what this post is about. ARLUT? RINEX? cycle slip detection? TEC? SLOC? COCOMO?

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (5, Informative)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994175)

SLOC means source lines of code. COCOMO (construction code model) is the name of a method used to estimate costs of development, mostly in person-months needed to finish a project.

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (5, Funny)

LesPaul75 (571752) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994447)

No, it's not just you...

ARL:UT GPSTk GNU LGPL GPS RINEX I/O P-code TEC SLOC COCOMO

I thought the article was one of those crypto-quotes from the newspaper. I solved it, and it translates to

CATS:YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE MAKE YOUR TIME

Pretty scary, if you ask me.

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994683)

ARL:UT GPSTk GNU LGPL GPS RINEX I/O P-code TEC SLOC COCOMO

I knew I'd been mishearing the lyrics to that stupid Beach Boys song!

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994564)

That's great that they teach the kids outdated and useless cost and complexity estimation techniques.

FYI, nobody cares about COCOMO or SLOC in "the real world".

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (2, Informative)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994320)

All about RINEX: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/instructions2/ Cycle slipping is explained here: http://www.gmat.unsw.edu.au/snap/gps/gps_survey/ch ap7/735.htm

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (1)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994340)

Oh, and ARL:UT is here: http://www.arlut.utexas.edu/ It's Texas university's applied research lab. Use the google, dude :)

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994524)

I don't even remotely understand what this post is about.

Not to worry... This is just an old tried & true method of exposition wherein the author deliberately tries to mystify the reader by obfuscating the subject as much as possible. By doing this, (s)he hopes to appear much more knowledgable than is actually the case, and certainly more so than the reader.The library is about 41,000 SLOC with a COCOMO estimated cost to develop of about $1.3 million.

I rest my case. Don't just say it's "41,000 lines of code and cost $1.3 million to develop", because then everyone would know what you're talking about...

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (1)

hcg50a (690062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994662)

Maybe we should cut the author some slack on his or her wording. I suspect English is not his or her first language, judging from some other grammatical goofs.

Perhaps the wording he or she chose was designed for consumption by PHBs.

Re:It's probably just me, but.... (1)

V. Mole (9567) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994842)

They've released software that translates the raw GPS satellite data into corrected, useful coordinates (e.g. latitude/longitude) in a variety of mapping systems. These are the calculations that are done inside a typicall GPS unit. Unless you are building a homebrew GPS receiver, you probably don't need it.

that's all fine and good, but (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994080)

anyone that has worked with GPS and GIS data know the real hard part is fixing and processing all the data. Getting the data into a database in a normalized format is perhaps one of the most challenging parts of building a gps/gis application. luckily companies like NavTech provide good data that is supplemented with their own surveys.

Goat Sex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994082)

Butt Sex for GNAA. GNAA> J00, frist post = mine. goat-see = heartie.

Not sure how this is useful... (4, Funny)

skroz (7870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994084)

So, uh, like... does this mean I can find a geocache faster?

Re:Not sure how this is useful... (5, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994110)

No, it means you can do precise calculations with cheap equipment. Most of these functions cost thousand of dollars if done in hardware.

Re:Not sure how this is useful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994409)

it means you can do precise calculations with cheap equipment


So, yes then...

Re:Not sure how this is useful... (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994478)

So, yes then...

Uh, No.

More precise != faster in fact precise generally == slower. You have to take more measurements to get the data needed for input into the more precise modeling algorithms, but it allows you to calculate location VERY precisely (down to mm if you can get measurements over a day or two).

Re:Not sure how this is useful... (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994502)

it means you can do precise calculations with cheap equipment

So, yes then...

Not if the guy who placed the cache was off by a mile with his GPSr.

Re:Not sure how this is useful... (1)

skroz (7870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994631)

Not if the guy who placed the cache was off by a mile with his GPSr


Always a pain. On the rare occasions when I get a WAAS signal and am accurate down to less than 10 feet (sometimes a lot better) I often still find myself off by 40 feet or more because someone either can't read or had a POS GPSr. But nobody would do it if it were too easy, so...

Re:Not sure how this is useful... (1)

shufler (262955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994504)

Awesome. Now I won't have to circle around the forest for so long.

At least I'll get less stares.

Re:Not sure how this is useful... (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994282)

I don't know where you live but in my home town the most prolific creator of caches expects you spend at least a couple hours looking. Obviously he is a history buff (fine by me) and a math wizz which I suppose is tolerable but I live in mortal terror he's going to be taking trig in school.

Re:Not sure how this is useful... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994651)

Not sure how this is useful...

I think RMS is getting his first-strike capability into place. The final showdown with BSD must be coming soon.

Thank goodness... (5, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994085)

Just the other day, I was trying to find a way to calculate the total electron content of the ionosphere.

Re:Thank goodness... (2, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994221)

I've already patented my process for calculating the total electron content of the ionosphere. It's very simple and ingenious. Count them.

Sure hope this doesn't infringe. I'd really hate to have to charge you all $699 to use it.

Re:Thank goodness... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994432)

calculation of the Total Electron Content (TEC) of the ionosphere

MORE POWER!!!
ug ug ug uh ah?

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994088)

First Post!

Yeah, I suck.

kewl, what kind of dataset does it use... (0, Offtopic)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994093)

... to support route mapping? NAVTEQ?

Re:kewl, what kind of dataset does it use... (1)

yamla (136560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994118)

Near as I can tell, it doesn't handle route mapping at all.

That's great and all, but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994097)

I'm still not gonna stop and ask for directions.

Ephemeris calculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994099)

I use the us naval observatory package horizon. its written in c and fortran.

Re:Ephemeris calculation (1)

GHennessy (614486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994441)

Horizons is a JPL package,not a USNO package.

acronyms (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994107)

Wow, it sounds like COCOMO needs to adjust their SLOC and upgrade their FTPS to account for inflated RTOI when this new product comes out for their VAIP.

Michael, I'll give you $5 if you posted this knowing what any of the article summary said.

ARL is the bomb (no pun intended) (1)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994123)

I applied for a job at Applied Research Laboratories back in 1997. The job was writing C++ code for a SONAR system, something to do with dolphins. Very cool stuff for the Defense Department. I'm not surprised to see this toolkit come out of ARL.

UT Austin has some awesome engineers. Hook 'em Horns!

This is just a bunch of (1, Insightful)

BubbaThePirate (805480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994127)

gobbledigoop.

Seriously, a boatload of acronyms i know nothing about.
Isn't this what the more specialized sections are for? Why do BSD and Apache articles get thrown to the corner, while GPS news get the front page?

I'm not trying to troll. Just wondering how important GPS is to /. readers.

Re:This is just a bunch of (3, Insightful)

bsd4me (759597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994163)

I think the importance is that a project of this magnitude and complication was released to the public under a nice license.

Not in my opinion (1)

BubbaThePirate (805480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994234)

Look how many times the LGPL is mentioned (once) and how much space is given to the toolkit's features. The blurb has a techy slant, not a GPL advocacy one.

Re:This is just a bunch of (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994735)

complication? A Freudian slipperhaps? Ahem hummm...

I think you meant "complexity".

Re:This is just a bunch of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994245)

Yeah, really! The Only GPS coordinate most of us need to know is our parent's basement.

And maybe the local Pizza Hut.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994365)

just because you don't agree with the post doesn't make it flamebait.
Discussions aren't arguments. Not all questions are provocations.

Re:This is just a bunch of (2, Interesting)

SsShane (754647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994480)

GIS (and GPS which go hand in hand) is a fast growing branch of IT. I worked network admin stuff and hated it, and then fell into a GIS position because the guy was leaving and I took to it easy because of my experience making Doom, Quake and UT maps (I am not joking). The computer science background helped of course. I love it so much, that I download MOLA data from the Mars Global Surveyor and make hight maps that depict what-if oceans (that one taxed my computer good), calculate the volume of Mons Olympus' caldera, and other useless stuff. GIS is a geek paradise.

Re:This is just a bunch of (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994585)

Perfect proof that buzzwords will put half of us in a rubber room at the laughing academy.

Kind of like lawyers using Latin to sound important.

You know the reason... (2, Interesting)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994650)

...look at the posting editor. i've said it before and i'll say it again, Michael is out of touch and generally posts pretentious articles. i'm thinking it's some sort of complex or something. Everything he posts is some YRO, obscure, anti-establishment laden attempt to boost his ego...or something. This is not a troll, it is an observation, but will most likely be modded a troll due to the dissenting nature.

Anyway, don't be shocked by his misguided ego - it's old and getting more so. Hell, his little "gnutella-still-free-for-all dept" on the Real story is evidence of his nature and was pointed out in this [slashdot.org] post. Michael is a liability and tired.

Re:This is just a bunch of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994772)

Hrm.. Well, it's not really all that important to me, since most evertyhing I do centers around making sure that radio equipment is operational, but then the guys up on the bridge might have a slightly different view point.
- Our radar, autopilot, navigation software, moving map chart displays, sattelite tv, and a couple other bells and whistles all depend on GPS inputs. We've got at least four different wired systems that i know of, and probably about a dozen hand helds.

Track editing? (4, Interesting)

Hanna's Goblin Toys (635700) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994135)

When I bought my Garmin Etrex, I wanted to use it to store mountain bike rides and overlay them with maps. Easy, right? Bah! I spent two weeks trying to find a way to do this on my Linux box before giving up. I ended up paying out of my rear end to buy expensive Garmin maps and closed source software. Even then, I couldn't mix and match tracks, let alone cut and paste sections of them together to make trail maps.

The other featuer I've always wanted is to do profile slices of my rides to see climbing and descending rates, especially during races.

All in all this toolkit sounds hugely promising, as the last time I looked at SF.net/Freshmeat the capabilities were nearly nil. All I want is a simple import module, track overlay over free downloadable maps, and a track editor...

I'm going to be spending the evening trying to get this stuff working, hopefully it will provide a replacement to my current Garmin/Microsoft solution!

Re:Track editing? (2, Interesting)

HighBit (689339) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994223)

I actually have a HOWTO [lost-habit.com] on this...

I also have an (alpha-quality) script that actually automates making maps from gps data (using kismet)... maybe someday I'll get off my ass and finish it..

Re:Track editing? (2, Informative)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994253)

I highly recommend TopoFusion [topofusion.com] . No relationship other than a very satisfied customer. I got the free version, but paid the very reasonable $40 within a couple of days. Really good software and a very responsive developer.

Re:Track editing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994569)

"for Windows"

Re:Track editing? (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994259)

I'm in the same boat!

However, I did find this site...

http://nationalatlas.gov/

That allows you to download maps plus all the info about them.

What I'd like to write is something like "map point" for linux.

This way I can take my laptop on the road and not having to install windows on it.

vertical tracking. (1)

junkymailbox (731309) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994329)

GPS tends to not track vertical changes easily with standard deviation as much as +/- 1000 ft. That's probably why the routes on my garmin V GPS doesnt show vertical changes. It's too inaccurate for normal use. A calibrated altimeter will probably do a better job. I think they now have recent GPS combined with altimeter.

Re:vertical tracking. (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994435)

I think they now have recent GPS combined with altimeter.

There are several. I'm only really familiar with Garmin's products, but I can tell you that the high end of their eTrex line has an integrated compass and altimeter, and their newish GPSMap 60CS has them as well. I own two of the former and one of the latter (long story), and they're great devices and provide pretty accurate altitude data (seems to be within about 10 feet, assuming the weather hasn't changed recently and the device has had some time to calibrate the air pressure against the GPS data).

Re:vertical tracking. (1)

skroz (7870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994833)

The auto-callibration on the 60CS using GPS data ain't that great. I callibrated mine at the local private airport (accurate data for both altitude and barometric pressure,) drove to my house a few miles away, and set the GPSr in the window. Everything was good for a few days, with only very small variations in altitude. But when the next storm front moved in, it was all over. Afterwards the recorded altitude varied by 100 feet or more over the next day. I then callibrated it again at the airport and all was well.

Re:vertical tracking. (1)

grmoc (57943) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994548)

Assuming that you're traveling near the surface of the earth:

1) The receiver can use that information as a constraint to the solution of position
2) You can safely assume that you're at about the same height as the underlying map says.

This is, of course, assuming that you have a map to correlate with, and that the receiver does so.

Even if the receiver doesn't use the useful map information, the software you use -should- be able to tell you the height at any particular X,Y position. (Its not a hard calculation!)

Re:vertical tracking. (2, Informative)

Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994801)

The calculation itself is not difficult, but in many countries getting the data is: At least here in Finland useful elevation datasets cost an arm and a leg.

Re:Track editing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994383)

I have the same problem (but w/ motorcycle riding).
I've even tried lots of windows software as well (mostly time limited demos), but none of them could do more than simple, single track point modification.
And don't get me started on the zillions of different file formats (I hope GPX will solve this at least).
Currently I use CompeGPS, EasyGPS and g7towin in vmware, but can't do some IMHO basic things with them, combined.

Re:Track editing? (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994388)

I spent two weeks trying to find a way to do this on my Linux box before giving up. I ended up paying out of my rear end to buy expensive Garmin maps and closed source software. Even then, I couldn't mix and match tracks, let alone cut and paste sections of them together to make trail maps.

Depending on exactly what you want to do, there are some in-progress Linux tools that are usable. gpsbabel is a tool that can convert track, route and waypoint files to and from a bunch of different file formats, including the Garmin MapSource files. Some of the file formats are text, so you can do pretty much anything you like by converting to one of those, munging the stuff with your favorite utilities and scripting language, and converting back to MapSource (or whatever).

For visualization and tracking, check out gpsdrive. You can download maps for it from various on-line sites. Rick Richardson's geo-* tools are a bunch of useful bash and (I think, haven't looked lately) perl scripts that do lots of useful things, like making it easy to download maps and stuff. Most of Rick's stuff is focused on geocaching (for which it's really great, BTW, especially in conjunction with gpx2html.

The other feature I've always wanted is to do profile slices of my rides to see climbing and descending rates, especially during races.

I don't know of anything to do this (maybe someone else does?) but if you're a programmer hacking it together yourself wouldn't be too hard, given gpsbabel to convert the data into a mungeable format so you can get the times, positions and altitudes (and I think Rick's code has some stuff for calculating distances).

All in all this toolkit sounds hugely promising, as the last time I looked at SF.net/Freshmeat the capabilities were nearly nil. All I want is a simple import module, track overlay over free downloadable maps, and a track editor...

I don't think this toolkit is what you're looking for. Oh, I forgot to mention, look at gpstrans for transferring data between your Vista and Linux. Works fine, and you don't have to use gpsbabel to get the data in a usable format.

Re:Track editing? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994495)

No I don't thik this is what he needs either but the guy who writes what he needs could use this!

Re:Track editing? (2, Informative)

parkrrrr (30782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994531)

Oh, I forgot to mention, look at gpstrans for transferring data between your Vista and Linux. Works fine, and you don't have to use gpsbabel to get the data in a usable format.
Depending on what your definition of "a usable format" is, and keeping in mind that GPSBabel [sourceforge.net] has some built-in customization for whatever your favorite xSV file format may be, why not just do gpsbabel -i garmin -f /dev/tty00 -o [your-favorite-file-format] -F [filename] and do everything in one step?

Not that this has anything to do with GPSTk, which is designed to solve an entirely different class of problems.

Re:Track editing? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994438)

You can use Radio Mobile [cplus.org] to create the maps. It is designed to calculate radio frequency coverage based on terrain information, but it can be "abused" to create nice maps with different ways of displaying altitude, which is a very nice feature if you're planning bike rides. It also allows you to automatically fetch and overlay maps from MapQuest, MapPoint, Toporama and Terraserver. These maps can then be exported and used in programs like OziExplorer [oziexplorer.com] (shareware) or GPS Trackmaker [gpstm.com] (freeware), both of which can import, overlay and export waypoint and tracklog data. G7toWin [gpsinformation.org] is a great free tool to download, upload and convert GPS data.

Re:Track editing? (1)

bokmann (323771) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994510)

I bought a Magellan GPS for the sole purpose of hiking around Acadia National Park, and keeping track of my hikes as well as where I took specific pictures.

Even though I have all that data, it is not in a usable format and it seems to be a real chore to get it into one. I would love to be able to just take the data from the GPS unit and display it on any of several open source mapping packages, but the possibilities just sren't there yet.

This is an excellent step in the right direction!

Re:Track editing? (4, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994514)

GPS Visualizer [gpsvisualizer.com] . This site is free and uses SVG to display maps. You can overlay GPX/LOC or track data (among others) over top of maps.

Re:Track editing? (1)

Koyaanisqatsi (581196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994746)

Take a look at this option:

www.gpstm.com [gpstm.com]

It's not open source, but at least its free (the professional version is the one intended for cartographers)

The interface could improve a bit, but you get used to it

Wissenbach Map3D does this (2, Informative)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994762)

When I bought my Garmin Etrex, I wanted to use it to store mountain bike rides and overlay them with maps.

Dave Wissenback's free program [cableone.net] "allows you to plan and record your hiking and mountain bike trips with a Garmin eTrex GPS receiver and share your local knowledge of trails with others. You can also use the program to print topographic maps with these trails, either on a single page or as a mosaic on many sheets of paper. And you can use the program to visualize planned or past trips in 3D by virtually flying across a landscape of colorized aerial photographs draped over a three dimensional terrain model."

Street Level Navigation? (1)

DonGar (204570) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994849)

This is slightly OT, but....

Is there any linux based mechanism to find automobile routes and give directions based on GPS feedback? I'm willing to buy software and or data, and put time into it.

I'm building up to putting a PC in the car for multiple purposes, and I'd like navigations tools to be one of them. Perferrably something that works just as well as the dedicated systems you can buy.

Does anybody know a site (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994147)

that can translate this news into something remotely resembling plain english?

Thanks.

Re:Does anybody know a site (1)

uberdave (526529) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994227)

Somebody released a $1.3million library of GPS related code under the GPL. Now you can tell exactly where your server is.

Phantom cost. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994153)

"The library is about 41,000 SLOC with a COCOMO estimated cost to develop of about $1.3 million."

Isn't SLOC as emphereal as "phantom damages"?

youW fail it! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994162)

on slashDot.org the bottoms butt

Geocaching with Linux (4, Informative)

ylikone (589264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994208)

If you use a GPS for geocaching, there is already a set of GPS tools for the Linux user here [rkkda.com] .

You know, it's amazing... (5, Funny)

tao_of_biology (666898) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994213)

It's amazing what guys are willing to go through to avoid getting out of the damn car and asking for directions. ;)

Re:You know, it's amazing... (1)

cuzality (696718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994240)

And we get to use all kinds of cool and undecipherable acronyms while we're at it -- bonus points!

Re:You know, it's amazing... (2, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994390)

Buying all this GPS gear *IS* asking for directions. What's worse, it's like asking prematurely.

Merely downloading this is an admission, now and forever, that one does not know where he is, where he is going, or how to get there.

Re:You know, it's amazing... (1)

cuzality (696718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994412)

"Asking for directions" means having to admit (often to another guy) that I don't know how to got where the hell I'm trying to get.

Using this kind of software means I will never again have to do so. The gadget factor is also a plus.

Re:You know, it's amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994508)

You don't understand. Buying GPS gear means you're not the man you should strive to be. Real men know where they are and where they're headed without external help.

Re:You know, it's amazing... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994532)

"Asking for directions" means having to admit (often to another guy)

It just doesn't work to ask a lady to tell you where you should go.

Re:You know, it's amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994505)

Still beats asking for directions and still not finding it :-)

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994325)

"Based on many years of work performed at GNU LGPL fundamental advances open source community. ionosphere $1.3 million. You can read more Linux Journal."

What does an FPS have to do with this? (4, Funny)

Reorax (629666) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994328)

"Based on many years of work performed at ARL:UT"

Advanced Research Labs: Unreal Tournament?

UT==University Of Texas (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994555)

In Austin. I took the SEI:PSP course there once.

Re:What does an FPS have to do with this? (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994632)

GPS is the thing right after FPS, obviously.

God damn (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994407)

Stop with the acronyms already

We're off to a bad start here, unfortunately (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994408)

While I salute and thank the developers here for what looks like may be a useful and valuable package, I just downloaded the library and can see that we're off to a rather bad start.

Unfortunately, the whole build process requres "jam" (a tool from perforce.com). Arrrgghh!

That they are using Perforce is a very bad sign. The whole Perforce system is designed by people who didn't understand basic mathematics (as in Set theory), and consequently it's annoying as heck to use.

Give me BitKeeper or Sun's Teamware (if you have a golden key, and can by-pass the license restrictions) anyday. Or even CVS in a pinch.

But requiring Jam in a distribution? Have these folks never, ever heard of "configure" and autoconf?

Hopefully the rest of the code exhibits some technical cluefulness. But right now, I can see that we're off to a bad start.

To the developers: sorry to give you folks a hard time here, but someone really has to on this.

Acronyms and Terms Explained (5, Informative)

n2rjt (88804) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994421)

I have a few of these:

GPS = global positioning system (but you knew that)

ephemeris calculation = modeling a satellite's orbit based on a handful of numbers, demonstrated by http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/eph_help.html [nasa.gov]

RINEX = Receiver Independent Exchange Format, http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/Rinex2.html [noaa.gov]

SLOC = source lines of code .. a simplistic and rather poor metric used to gauge the effort required to develop software. http://www.dwheeler.com/sloc/ [dwheeler.com]

COCOMO = an obsolete software development cost model http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/bu2/COCOMO.html [nasa.gov]

Re:Acronyms and Terms Explained (1)

mandolin (7248) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994893)

ARL:UT -- Applied Research Labs, the University of Texas at Austin. They did a lot of government work (at least when I worked there). Hence the fondness for metrics and LOA (Lots Of Acronyms).

As they say: Location Location Location (2, Funny)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994449)

...now can someone give me the location of ARL:UT preferably in sexadecimal?

Huh? (1)

Enthrash (545820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994503)

So somebody try to explain this for me....I get my longitude/latitude coordinate from my GPS unit....and you mean to say there is MORE processing I can do on this?

What role do the features of this library play?

Great! But.... (2, Interesting)

dannyelfman (717583) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994523)

What hardware can I use this with?

Wasn't the Precision code classified? (2, Interesting)

kamelkev (114875) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994534)

In the GPS system, there are three kinds of codes: C/A code, P-code and Y-code.

Now last I checked the Precision (P) code was considered classified. Details about how this code was generated and how to decrypt it were considered military secrets.

I don't believe the P-code has anything to do with selective availability either, I think that the P-code is used for the militaries PPS, which is "precise positioning system".

Anyway, so how is that included in this suite? and further, what purpose does it serve to even have access to the p-code, as standard gps gear isn't even supposed to work with it?

Re:Wasn't the Precision code classified? (NO) (5, Informative)

spankus (140336) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994825)

Actually, Precision Code isn't classified, and it lists how to make it in Interface Spec Document 200 [uscg.gov]

The government encrypts the Pseudo Random Code with an encryption key that makes it hard to track.

Y-code is simply encrypted P Code.

Basically, this software package allows you to increase your accuracy, export and import GPS information, and model the ionosphere (a major source of error using the Coarse Acquisition (civilian) signals.

This is funny...and it didn't take long to locate! (4, Funny)

eufreka (793009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994574)

Read this http://gpstk.sourceforge.net/getting-started.html [sourceforge.net]

Check out item 4 (emphasis added):

You should know your way around a command line or terminal. For UNIX users, this is a given. For Windows users, using the command line (referred to as "DOS prompt" sometimes) may be a challenge.

Ouch!

Anyone Familar With This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994639)

"Ephemeris calculations. Position and clock interpolation for both broadcast and precise ephemerides.

Anyone know how precise? For sub-arc second of accuracy, I take it you need a good atmospheric refraction model (based on current conditions), Earth Orientation Parameters (for celestial pole offsets) and you need to get to into the Terrestrial Dynamic Time scale or Barycentric Dynamical Time scale if the raw planet ephemerides are from say from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's DE/LE 405 data.

LGPL! (4, Insightful)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994647)

Lord be praised, it's under the LGPL. This means corporations can use the package in their software, and have the resulting applications delivered externally, without having to make all of their source in the program publicly available. If it were released under the (full) GPL, the package would find much more limited use.

Root-Mean-Square (ie, Richard Stallman) won't like it, of course. The FSF strongly recommends all software be under the GPL, not the LGPL. Myself, I think that's a serious mistake. Private enterprise is not, and never has been, the enemy. It's particularly a mistake when you want a package to become a de facto standard, and then do your best to ensure the private sector can't use it.

I thought I would introduce some politics into what is a rather boring technical /. post.

LGPL!-Bush league. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994864)

"I thought I would introduce some politics into what is a rather boring technical /. post."

Well you failed. Nowere is Bush mentioned in your post.

Re:LGPL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994883)

Hey, you know what? If they (the "private sector") want something other than LGPL, I'm sure the people holding the copyrights might make a deal for the right ammount... That is to say if they want to use the libraries directly, or need more rights than the LGPL provides... Because the LGPL *DOES* allow linking to non-free programs. Perhaps you need to read the liscense?

Of course, even if it WERE GPL, that in no way prohibits anyone from using inner process communications to talk to a command line (via proxy, you might say). All they have to do is ship the source with their program.

What this is (4, Interesting)

thule (9041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994661)

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this software is very important. This is the software that normally runs inside the GPS, not for drawing maps, but interpreting the GPS radio signals and calculating the lat/long numbers. Why would this be useful? Well, say, you take a project like GnuRadio and make your own GPS receiver. GnuRadio can demodulate the signals and convert it to data. This software would allow you to take the data you receive with GnuRadio and do something with it.

It seems to me that this is first time that code like this has ever been published under an open license.

Re:What this is (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994903)

How about an all-in-one GNURadio project? Broadband RF frontend and tuner, able to:

-Listen to shortwave to FM broadcasts
-Watch slow-scan TV
-Decode RTTY, morse, weatherfax, etc...
-Decode and output GPS data

All in a box like this:
http://www.mini-box.com/m100.htm

How does this help the average GPSer? (1)

Meostro (788797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994720)

This isn't a rhetorical question, i'm actually curious: How does this tk help Joe GPS get better/faster/more accurate info from his handheld GPS unit?

I read through some of the documentation, but there was no obvious GetSuperAccurateGPSLocationInfo() function. If these clever people already figured out ephemeris/RINEX/cycle slip/etc, did they include anything to "make it easy" for the average user?

I have no problem reading up on how to use a tool (i'll probably take this one apart this weekend), but I'd rather not have to learn what all that clever stuff means, I'd prefer just to use it.

OSS tools for GIS and Radio Modeling (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9994819)

What would be a "killer app" for me would be a OSS tool to do terrain elevation modeling using DTED/DEM/SDTS datasets to do radio network modeling including radio path profiling, LOS profiles including fresnel zone projection. Given GPS coordinates, antennae elevations above ground level (AGL), and frequency and polarization of the radio signal the tool should be able to give path length, azimuth, verticle declination, freznel zone intrusion, etc.

Two so-called "free-ware" (as in cost, not OSS!) that I have used are MicroDEM/Terrabase from Prof. Peter Guth of the Oceanography Department, U.S. Naval Academy http://www.usna.edu/Users/oceano/pguth/website/mic rodem.htm/ [usna.edu] and Radio Mobile http://www.cplus.org/rmw/english1.html/ [cplus.org] by Roger Coudé VE2DBE. Both programs have some powerful features, BUT...

The problems I have with both of the programs:
1) Buggy
2) Windows Only
3) Not OSS
4) Poor/inconsistent UI

Unfortunately, both of these programs appear to be written by folks who have much more skill/knowledge about the subjects (GIS and radio telemetry) than they do about programming.

If they would only release the code under an OSS licensing scheme, perhaps others (professional SW developers?) could clean up (rewrite?) and improve/expand the capabilities. And we could have cross-platform availability to boot!

Uses we can understand? (1)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9994832)

Will this be useful in making differential GPS cheap enough that we can get the accuracy needed to have a robot know the boundaries of a yard and mow the lawn or sweep the driveway?
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