Finding user Treks.

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 11:42
ThreadID: 134038 Views:2747 Replies:4 FollowUps:17
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Further to my post in about May last year, where I never received a satisfactory answer, can the EO team please restore searching for user treks by map.

Currently members can only search by text which is almost totally useless. Generally the name of the track means something to the person who posted it but no one else. For example '12th June' or similar.

Here is an example of a named trek.

If you wanted that trek, it would be almost impossible to find by searching by name.

Searching by map was previously there and is totally necessary to find what you need.
PLEASE restore search by Map for user treks. It is there for EO treks.
Tony
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Reply By: equinox - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 12:05

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 12:05
I liked that feature to Boobook, however there is no quality control over users uploads.
Even in your example for instance there is a straight line running across Melbourne. Multiply this by quite numerous uploads and the map would look quite messy.
Until the users take more care in their uploads or the site owners put some kind of filtering system in place I can't see it being reintroduced.

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Alan
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 12:33

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 12:33
Thanks equinox. I agree that the quality varies, from user to user, device to device and even on a single track ( like the example). I think that is just the way it is. However at least that was easy to pick up with the map view.

As it stands you can't even find tracks easily, so it is irrelevant if they are correct or not. Why have them available if they are so difficult to locate?

I used to download them, edited them and used them to plan speeds, times etc. Great stuff. Stephen L, Phil etc have done a great job and I owe a lot to them and EO as part of my planning for remote trips but alas it is too hard to find the treks now. When I overlay them on my maps it is pretty obvious if they are right or not.

The function WAS there but taken away so it must be achievable. A simple note saying "all care no responsibility " would fix any reliability issues.

It is the single biggest reason I am a member. I have let my membership expire but then took it up when I needed the treks on 2 occasions now. Just for this feature.

I just feel that it's a waste for people to invest the time and energy in logging these tracks on EO if they cant be retrieved in a useful manner and sit there doing nothing.

Why pay to be a member if these useful services are not maintained?

The treks are owned by the members, and EO is ( was) a great tool to share the effort and information..

Please put it back EO.

Tony
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 16:14

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 16:14
I tried to embed a track that I saved down into my most recent blog, however it doesn't appear. Perhaps there are a number of items relating to user tracks that are not quite right presently?

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 13:48

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 13:48
Oops, I should have included you in the list of track donors.

Thanks
Tony
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 14:21

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 14:21
As mentioned by Equinox above it is not easy. To display maps just of high quality plot files requires nearly 10MB of data download just to deliver the lines on the map. I have been working on it in the background but it is not a primary task with EOTopo 2017 taking more task hours. I have added a new polyline simplification function into the database but have not yet had the change to output a full map with the treks displayed.

I will have a play again between EOTopo updates which are as exciting as getting watching mushrooms grow and when I pop out from the darkness I will see what this is up to. No promises but it is something we would like to resolve.

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 15:26

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 15:26
I tried to embed a track that I saved down into my most recent blog, however it doesn't appear. Perhaps there are a number of items relating to user tracks that are not quite right presently?

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 16:24

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 16:24
David, It was working until about a year ago. Then the option disappeared.

If I select a user treck, it will then show that trek on a map.

The issue is that currently they are present but there is no way to retrieve them other than trial and error.

You do allow the tracks to be sorted by state as a text list. If this was in smaller areas that would even help so I don't have to go through literally hundreds of trecks to find ones that I know are there.

How it works in EO tracks is exactly how it worked previously and how it is very usable.

I can't even see why you would list them the current way, the track names have no relationship with the actual tracks.


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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 16:29

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 16:29
If you click on the EO treks 'Map' link, that is easy to use and easy to find the EO tracks.

An identical link used to be on the user treks and it was just as easy to use, but it disappeared. Now there is no way to find a user trek without looking at each one individually.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 16:38

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 16:38
As mentioned I am working on it - but as for how EO Trek work it is completely different because there is 200 EO treks and 7000 user treks. This number makes it completely different. This is further made hard because there is so much crap data that people load. There is also inaccurate tracking files, people testing stuff etc etc. It is a user compiled system so I cannot stop that from happening. The EO treks are a highly managed and reduced data set that in the most cases never takes multi lines over the same route.

I am right now actually re-instating the old fashion way in the new fashion system to see how it goes but I have filtered the data significantly to kill off the not very accurate ones (which is a lot). But I am still trying to render more than 2000 lines on the map (this is over 100MB of data to output on the fly) and give you a method to select them separately. I have had to enable another web server to provide the map tiles and provide an entry point to the query system just to try to make this function - this is reason it was decommissioned previously - because it is hard and costly.

As for how the track names do not match the actual tracks - I do not control this, people name the files as they see fit - nothing to do with me.

I am happy for you to tell me it is easy and should just work - but I know that it is not and we are doing our best to work with the data provided, increased workload and reducing revenue stream.

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 16:54

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017 at 16:54
Thanks David. Is there something I or even a crowd group could do to tidy up and sanitise some of the treks so they could be categorized for example as raw uneditied, edited and renamed, and EO quality, then they may even be useful in the Traveller app. Only the EO and edited ones are available in the full search. Other low resolution ones such as Spot treks etc are only of use to the owner.

I am sure there is a lot of work in that, I used to edit and chop up user treks to get rid of a lot of errors when I used them myself.

I may not be aware of what I would be getting myself into but it is something to consider. there is a lot of unique great info there.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 at 21:22

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 at 21:22
Ok guys have a look at User Treks now there is a map option. This is a complete new re-write - took me two full days. Give it a whirl and send me the feedback. I have tried to make it as easy as possible and this took the majority of the time. Full screen is the best way to view but it will work right down to mobile phone.

All the data is being built into a high performance memory cache but this only triggers after you initially click on the map and it loads the user treks - second and subsequent clicks will open the already cached data (stored for several months). So basically this just means it will only get quicker.

Anyway have a go and report back before we make a song and dance via a newsletter etc.

David
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 at 21:30

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 at 21:30
Looks good David,

You could probably "loosen" up the filter a bit as there some long straight roads.

Cheers
Alan
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 at 21:47

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 at 21:47
Alan, Loosen or tighten do you mean?

The filtering is fairly basic at the outset it just calcs the number or points and the distance of the whole file - it then uses this Distance Between Points (DBP) to determine the Accuracy value - the Map Search is showing all files where the average DBP is better then 500 metres. We still seem to get some funky straights and I will have to have a better look at these. However there is a different method of drawing the orange line on the map when you click on the route name - this line that is rendered from the whole line passed via a simplify function using the Radial-Distance algorithm, I am thinking I should go to the Douglas-Peucker algorithm which will work better on removing straight lines.

I will have to have a play with this some more and analyse the two algorithms with some of the massive files (some files have over 1.5million points).

But all this maths does not effect the initial filter however you may see a different result in the orange line vs the map on the actual User Trek Open page.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 at 21:53

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 at 21:53
Hi David,
I think I meant Looser :-)
I'm not familiar with the two algorithms you mention.
I can see you problem though. Some short distances points are not visible, and also points along a straight track are sometimes are not visible.

Can you manually alter the algorithm points visible if the next point is say, 500 meters or less from the closest adjacent point?
Cheers
Alan
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 at 09:19

Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 at 09:19
WOW,

I'm blown away by the speed of the response to fix it and the result.

I have just looked at it quickly David but it looks fantastic. That is a million times better.

It looks pretty much like I imagined and seems to make searching for track really easy. If you click on a trek, you can easily see if it covers the area you are interested in and the quality of the track.

I'll spend more time looking at it tonight with feedback but what a great surprise.

It make sharing tracks really easy and useful again. You have even inspired me to upload some personal tracks from my GPS.

Thank you. Give yourself an elephant stamp.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 07:00

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 07:00
David, thank you . I played with it and it looks like it does everything I would want.

I hope it is useful for the app as well so you gey more value out of it.
Just some comments / questions.

1)It seems to have been cleaned up compared to the way it was a year ago or so. A lot of tracks that had gaps or large chunks of missing waypoints are missing. For example there are no tracks starting off the West coast of Africa at 0, 0 or lines crossing Australia in one jump. Did you filter some tracks to clean the up?

2)it appears there are several "categories" of treks.
a)High quality / resolution ones. Look like they are collected by a dedicated GPS and uploaded or EO tracking device set to high resolution. These seem to be for sharing
b)Low quality or resolution treks from devices like Spot etc. The primary purpose of these seems to be family or personal tracking and are of limited value to others.


One day........is it possible to tag these by type ( eg if it is from a SPOT then it is low resolution..).. Alternatively maybe users like myself could have some scalable way to sort the treks in a role similar to the volintary role of mods for the forum.

Just a thought

But as is it is 10 / 10 thank you.
Tony
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 12:57

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 12:57
Boobook (and others),

1. Yes I installed a number of filters and drawing adjustments. The first main filter is to only get User Treks that have a DBP of 0.5 or better (thus only User Treks where the average distance between points is 500M or less - DBP = Distance/No. Points). Then with this result we draw the lines (build a mapping shapefile actually) and during the build of this we take each point of the user trek and compare it to the previous - if the User Treks DBP is say .1 (100 m) and the distance of the point we are working on is more than 10 times the DBP it is determined that that is a missing piece or a long straight line and we break the User Trek into parts (which results in no line on the purple index map). I think the most useful data is 500m or better so this is the result for the map lookup. Of course the data is still in the system for the others it is just not on the map search.

2. Correct the Accuracy value is based on the DBP formula - here is some code that shows how this is determine:
If DBP < 0.1 Then Return "Very High"
ElseIf DBP < 0.3 Then Return "High"
ElseIf DBP < 1 Then Return "Medium"
ElseIf DBP < 2 Then Return "Medium/Low"
Else Return "Low"
As mentioned above the map search database is built using DBP .5 (500 m) which is between High and Medium.

You mention is it possible to tag these - well it is already done based on the DBP and when you open each User Trek you will see at the top the Accuracy details for all User Treks. There is already a way to sort in the Text Lists at the top you can select Accuracy (High to Low) as a sort option but this is on the Text List. In the Map Search LHS widow list it is sorted based on Length, so the shortest Treks appear at the top as all in that list are already high accuracy.

I am hoping to be able to have Trek Note type active maps for people's personal results in the future - these active maps with all the user treks on it that you have travelled will allow you to see what you have in the system in one go and maintain/edit easily.

User Treks are currently editable (you can click on a line on your own map and edit the point in the list to kill off errors etc). I am working to extent this to allow you to fully edit, copy, cut and save sections at the moment - this will be for both User Treks and EOTrackMe via the Web and App. We are wanting to work on the sharing ability of the trek data and these tools are important to this task. We are also looking at the next generation of Trek Notes as a result of this new work on the data for use within the APP.

David


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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 13:50

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 13:50
Jesus David, that is fantastic.

Love it.
Tony
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Reply By: Member - wicket - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 14:42

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 14:42
David
Is there any chance that ipad EO Traveller app users may in the future be able to download user treks direct to the app ?
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 16:33

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 16:33
Why restrict your request to ipad users of the app? Why not give users on all platforms the benefit?
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 17:37

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 17:37
I stole this from Friday Funnies, but it is so appropriate.

How do you milk sheep?




Release a new IPAD every year.

:-)
Tony
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