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Thread: 3BF Race Tracking via cell phone system - a means to assist RC & show your course

  1. #1
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    Default 3BF Race Tracking via cell phone system - a means to assist RC & show your course

    Name:  delivery.jpg
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Size:  45.3 KBA possible assist for the race committee is to ask racers to volunteer and enable their on board smart phones to share location with Google Latitude as they sail the course. Here is how it would work:

    0) The RC establishes a Google acct with the Latitude feature for use during the race and makes this acct name available to racers.
    1) Each volunteer racer sets up a google email account and enables Latitude, a Google feature.
    2) Each racer "friends" the RC's acct. and the RC acknowledges same.
    3) Each racer adds an App (BackTiTude[free] and Motion X are examples) to their smart phone. This is set up for timed release of position data per the apps features.
    - The reason for the App is to reduce power consumption of the smart phone and only connect to the cell phone system at set timed intervals.
    4) On race day the App is enabled on the racers cell phone at any time or throughout the race. It would help the RC most if enabled at least in the last period of the race.
    5) Only the RC has access to the accumulated position data as the race progresses.
    - RC can use this data to track progress, and most importantly have a record of approximate finish times allowing rapid analysis.
    6) After the race the data can be shared with all racers.
    - It could be replayed at the trophy presentation to show the flow of the event over the course.
    - It could appear on a tee shirt.

    I did a boat delivery recently and as an experiment used one of the Apps available. The delivery was from HMB to Richmond. I have attached the track captured. It has holes due to cell tower coverage and the fact that the phone was below deck. See the attached JPEG of the plot.

    This could be one tool that assists the committee for those willing to participate and could allow the creation of a unique record of the event for later use by all participants.

  2. #2
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    Name:  BayTourTrack.jpg
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    The attached file shows on the bay testing of the tracking app. There are missed samples due to cell phone tower coverage and settings in the Android app. Also there is one case where cell tower triangulation was used instead of GPS data, due to an incomplete sample. The App allows this to be prevented. The method looks promising as a means of real time tracking of vessel position without need for anything more than a smart phone and one of several free Apps.

    Brian

  3. #3
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    Default Tracking course on the bay via Android, Google Latitude, & Backtitude

    Name:  BackitiudeTest.jpg
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    The attached shows a days sail tracked with GPS data only, no cell tower triangulation. This cleans up the plot and removes errors caused by cell tower triangulation.

  4. #4
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    I think this and the jibeset post-race upload have value for racers and committees, but it seems most people don't bother.

    How about a separate trophy award for "fastest uploaded track" division as motivation for sailors to participate? Score all the boats that upload or log their track and give a flag to the fastest corrected, in addition to their regular divisions. Maybe jibeset would donate a perpetual cup

    -Mike

  5. #5
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    Question Uploading Tracks, Etc.

    I frankly don't know how to upload my tracks. I use a Garmin GSMap 478 on the boat and use a Mac at home. I readily admit to being computer/electronic dumb; I don't have a "smart" phone, for instance. Perhaps a tutorial or some other assistance might help? Or, I could bring the GPS to an SSS Awards Party and have someone there download/upload?

    Pat Broderick, Dumb and Dumber as the Electronic Revolution passes me by

  6. #6
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    Same here Pat, I'll admit it. (I also have a 478 on the boat, Mac at home, and use a "dumb" phone!)

    So here's a call for help: The two times I've arranged for a digital projector at OYC for SHTP seminars, etc, both times were a FAIL. Brian was the victim of one of those. It seems the laptop-to-projector system is an iffy proposition.

    As SSS's new Race Chair, I'd like to be able to put a chart up on the screen at the skippers' meetings to talk about the course, restricted areas, etc. (I use MacENC on my MacBook.) Can a couple of you tech-savvy members commit to helping me with this, for the benefit of our skippers?

    If we can get that working reliably, then maybe we can move on to showing GPS tracks at the awards meetings.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by P. Broderick - Elaine View Post
    I frankly don't know how to upload my tracks. I use a Garmin GSMap 478 on the boat and use a Mac at home. I readily admit to being computer/electronic dumb; I don't have a "smart" phone, for instance. Perhaps a tutorial or some other assistance might help? Or, I could bring the GPS to an SSS Awards Party and have someone there download/upload?

    Pat Broderick, Dumb and Dumber as the Electronic Revolution passes me by
    This technique doesn't require upload at all. The smart phone's internal gps captures pos'n, then this is sent via cell phone system to Google Latitude where the data is recorded. The key is the use of a free phone App known as Backtitude.

  8. #8
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    This is demonstrating real time upload of position from a smart phone. Hence a committee could actually watch a race's progress in real time by going to Google Latitude. As long as racers are within range of cell phone towers it works pretty well. I just did a trip from HMB to Richmond and had good tracking all the way.

    BB

  9. #9
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    So let me get this straight. The SSS race committee, volunteers du jour, will be asked to stay on full time a week or two after the Fiasco in order to watch the tracks of 355 sailboats? This after watching video of the starts and finishes for the Fiasco? How about GoPro videos to triangulate boats' performances in the background vis a vis other boats? Seriously? I knew buying that camcorder was a mistake.

  10. #10
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    If things are running smoothly on the race deck it could be another means to check the few finish uncertainties - much like the video was meant to be. None of these substitute for efficient recording as boats finish.

    It could also be a P/C tool to resolve restricted area issues. For that reason it may not be too popular with some boats . . .

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