DS Geographic Information System

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Another World, Jun 28, 2009.

Jun 28, 2009
  1. Another World
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    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    [​IMG] DS Geographic Information System
    Hands-on Review
    [​IMG]

    The DS Geographic Information System, better known as DSGIS or RangerDS, is a joint effort between a small development crew and the M3 Team. The idea of the unit is to allow users to find where they are using Satellite positioned GPS navigation instead of local hotspot WIFI.

    A full review is forthcoming and dependent on the release of the final software revision. Until then read the hands-on review for impressions of the unit and a bit of information.



    [​IMG] Hands-on Review
    [​IMG] DSGIS Homepage
    [​IMG] Discuss
     


  2. Another World
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    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    DS Geographic Information System
    Hands-on Review


    The DS Geographic Information System, better known as DSGIS or Ranger DS, is a joint effort between a small development crew and the M3 Team. The idea of the unit is to allow users to find where they are using Satellite positioned GPS navigation instead of local hotspot WIFI.

    When the M3 Team got on board they immediately focused on the hardware development. Right out of the box the unit promises seamless cohesion of the M3 Flash Linkers, all involved software, and the RangerDS unit. Currently the AK2, EZ5, SCDS1, and R4 kits are also supported.

    The BETA software, known as Caelitis 0.99 RC-1, is a pretty piece of well polished homebrew. The application has a commercial feel and supports my Acekard 2.1, however, there are SDHC issues yet to be ironed out.

    The current kit configuration relies on a Slot-2 enabled NDS. The RangerDS is plugged into the Slot-2 and a small GPS tracker is tethered to the unit. The GPS tracker has a nice resting spot on the Slot-2 unit, ensuring that nothing gets misplaced. The review kit came packaged with a 10 foot GPS tracker extension cable as well. This allows you to position the unit for better use, as the human body may absorb the signal and corrupt the end result. DSI users don’t worry; the development team has released images of a Slot-1 only internal antenna version running on the DSI.

    The unit does not currently feature an easy to use point-to-point navigation as one would expect of a navigation based GPS system. While BETA software has been developed it consists of graphics built around nodes and straight lines. The development team has commented that the cost behind custom maps would be too great and out weigh the production value of the unit itself. Instead, the unit will be marketed towards pinpointing a user’s location on a Google rendered map.

    The unit features u-Blox support through a tiny USB plug. This will essentially allow any laptop computer running the u-Blox software to function as a GPS navigation system. The unit also supports AssistNow Online and AssistNow Offline A-GPS services, and SBAS (WASS, EGNOS, MSAS, GAGAN) as well.

    The kit itself is well constructed and feels very solid. The plug for the GPS tracker fits firmly and “snaps” into place. The kit slides smoothly into the NDS but does take up a bit of room when everything is hooked together. It makes setting the unit on a car dashboard rather cumbersome. This can be slightly alleviated by using the extension cable, however, I found that having wires hanging around my vehicle was a tad annoying and obstructed the view and/or seating arrangement of the passenger.

    While the software is easy to navigate, and is professionally made, it fails in one regard: The software is designed for Google rendered maps. The development team has gone as far as to rely on a PSP homebrew project known as the Global Map Download Tool. GMDL grabs Google maps and stores them in a way that the Caelitis software can access and then display on the NDS. The problem with this whole setup is that Google maps are by nature not accurate. This is a security feature, as explained to me by the Caelitis developer, which they do not have a work-around for. Asked if the software would allow the user to manually set a “starting” location received no response. As it stands the unit will show you where you are, but up to 1+ miles off. The user is essentially left to use a common paper map while drawing from the semi-accurate GPS coordinates. This is a serious issue which needs to be addressed before the kit is released to the public.

    About the only thing the review kit does accurately, at this point, is to calculate the speed of movement. However, the unit fails to make these calculations at slower speeds. I was unable to get a reading when walking or running. I did not get a reading on a bicycle until my bike computer said I was traveling at 15+ MPH.

    The current software is in no way a replacement for a store bought GPS navigation unit or a basic cell phone GPS navigation system. Although I hope to see this change when the unit nears release, of which no official date has been made nor has a cost point been settled upon.

    I will of course dive fully into this kit once the software is completed and beyond the BETA phase. I hope that a point-to-point destination based map system is included, that accurate GPS (not 1+ miles off) is also included by allowing the user to set or “mark” their starting position manually. By the time the unit drops it would also be nice to see support for all current Slot-1 Flash Linkers as well as SDHC support. A tool for building maps, which is not based on another project, would be a welcomed edition. If GMDL support is dropped this kit may have problems if Google updates the way their maps are created. Finally it would be nice to see the speed read-out in MPH as KPH has little meaning to those in the United States.

    Please post your questions and comments in this thread. I will do my best to get you the answers you need!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Joey90

    Member Joey90 Not around any more

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    Awesome [​IMG]

    I'm not sure how the DSi version is going to work though...

    Though to be really useful it needs to have some sort of map support. Does it do things like being able to navigate to a certain co-ordinate and route recording? (Things which don't rely on a map)
     
  4. KamuiX

    Member KamuiX GBAtemp Regular

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    yeah it's good to have support on maps from already knows GPS systems. Let's hope after it's release, we will have a homebrew software supporting this gadget.
     
  5. vhunter

    Member vhunter GBAtemp Regular

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    Wont work with dsi unless they make new slot 1 only hardware.
     
  6. Placeholder

    Member Placeholder GBAtemp Regular

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    Meh... I don't like the idea of all the external junk... An antenna is acceptable but if there is a big block sticking out of it, it's pretty lame.

    I heard the iPhone was getting GPS. Wouldn't it be better to use their maps instead of Google?
     
  7. Daku93

    Member Daku93 GBAtemp Regular

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    The iPhone is using Google Maps for its GPS!
     
  8. Placeholder

    Member Placeholder GBAtemp Regular

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    Haha, then it should be suitable for use with this then... o.O
     
  9. vobgro

    Newcomer vobgro Member

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    Why would you use your ds as an GPS ? the screen is not that big .
     
  10. Another World
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    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    does anyone know of google maps on the iphone are accurate? does the iphone also show you as being up to 1 mile off your current position? as for the dsi, as i stated in the hands-on review, there is a dsi version prototype. everything is internal, which means no extension cable. i didn't get one with the review kit, so i can't tell you all if it works or not.

    -another world
     
  11. Blue Zoidberg

    Member Blue Zoidberg GBAtemp Regular

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    From what I've experienced and read the iPhone is far more accurate than being one mile off. I can walk down the street and see the correlation of street names as they come up and go past me. I think the iPhone might use images from google maps, but the actual GPS runs either off of AT&T or some internal, iPhone specific method.

    Regardless, it'll be nice to see this piece of hardware up and running. Been tracking this off and on for a while now and DSMaps, while amusing, causes too many problems.

    -BZ
     
  12. Daku93

    Member Daku93 GBAtemp Regular

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    I have an iPod Touch that can find your location with W-LAN Routers. The more W-LAN Routers it can find the more accurate is the Location! When my iPod finds many W-LAN Routers it can track my location, very Accurate! (Ca. 2-3 Meters)
     
  13. Placeholder

    Member Placeholder GBAtemp Regular

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    That would make a lot more sense than google maps.

    Also, if this were to come out for DSi, I would definitely get it! Probably.
     
  14. Virgil

    Newcomer Virgil Member

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    This is a very promising device, and hopefully all the little problems are addressed quickly. Thankfully I still do have my NDS, so this does work on it as well right?

    But yea, this is incredibly promising; any pricing format for it yet, or is that still a ways off from being finalized itself?
     
  15. disgaea fan

    Newcomer disgaea fan Member

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    aww if only is for dsi [​IMG]
     
  16. dilav

    Member dilav GBAtemp Maniac

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    that seem so cool, but is it really useful, why would i use a ds for a gps...?(i didnt read much , kinda in a hurry right now) still very cool.
     
  17. DjoeN

    Member DjoeN Captain Haddock!

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    The reason i still don't post about it, is simply cause there is no software for it yet, so nothing to review atm.
    It's already laying around for almost a month (if not more), the only thing i can do is check my gps position with the software i had to google myself

    But i see shaun has given his unit to a person, who will deliver you guys an excelent review of the unit (once the software is out.)
    My review will only be for the Dutch speaking public (héhé) on a site most dutch ppl will know [​IMG]
     
  18. Another World
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    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    for the 3rd time in this thread... yes there is a dsi version. here are images. kindly stop making comments about it now. thank you =)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    ===

    i'm curious about the ipod/google maps news. i wonder if the problem with the rangerds is not a google maps security issue but that the gps is not accurate. i played around with a local map (just a few streets away from my house) and a larger map (most of the area around my house). it was always off by a few streets and could never tell me where i actually was. like i sad in the hands-on, the dev for the rangerds software said this is the way google maps are made. that the maps are designed so that the gps cord. do not match 100% exactly... a "security" feature.

    @DjoeN: have you tried the beta software yet? i'm curious if you get the same results as i do. if a map saved with GMDL shows accurate positons for you? i have not found another person yet with a working kit who was willing to run some tests =P. if you need the beta software let me know and i'll up it for you. i'd love to hear your take on how accurate the gps is for you.

    -another world
     
  19. notnarb

    Member notnarb Not narbing it up

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    I own an n810 and its most popular gps application, Maemo Mapper, downloads images from google maps as well (you can't download the maps themselves) and then uses the gps to show where you are on this map. From my experiences (as a San Diego resident), I have found the map system to be extremely accurate, more so than my new Magellan GPS (as far as your relative location on the map). Now the problem is that it only downloads the images - you can't do on the fly routing. Maemo Mapper can also download routes, but each time you want to change your route you have to be at a wifi hotspot, as it only downloads a path to draw on the map and gets the same directions that you might see yourself printing out. This makes such a mapping application largely unsuitable for in car navigation unless you are very careful. Now it is useful if you a driving, get lost, and then use it to find out where a specific freeway is relative to you by reading the images, but that isn't something you can do while driving. Now a GPS can be used for a lot of things, but I wouldn't recommend this one for in car navigation
     
  20. calebh

    Newcomer calebh Member

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    Why the heck does the DSI version look so small, and the regular DS version look like a huge brick?
     

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