Author Topic: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app  (Read 167 times)

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Offline catsynth

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Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« on: February 15, 2018, 04:44:36 pm »
Hi all-

Some of you may already know me from the AARoads forum.  For the past year or so, I have been working on a mobile app Highway☆ that allows users to "collect" signed highways as they travel.  You can find the existing iOS and Android versions via these links:

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/highway-star/id1209913631
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.catsynthappwerx.highways&hl=en

One of the most requested features is to support logging and recording of Travel Maps directly from the app, and I'm ready and excited to get started on this!  I'm familiarizing myself with the existing documentation, but wanted to get feedback and thoughts from the community as I start the process.  (Probably will also need beta testers at some point.)

Thanks, and look forward to your responses.

-Amanda (CatSynth)

Offline Jim

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 07:00:39 pm »
Welcome to the TM forum.  I think it would be great to come up with a way for TM and Highway☆ to benefit each other and our common users.

It seems the most useful thing to get started would be to have access to TM's DB.  When the site update runs each night, a huge .sql file is created that is used to replace the existing DB with a new version.  During development and testing, you might want to have a version of that somewhere accessible to your app.

How do you envision a TM/Highway☆ collaboration working?  I'm thinking TM is a good source of information about the highways that are out there and which ones have been traveled by a given user, and Highway☆ could export (maybe even automatically submit) a TM .list file for its user.  But there are probably many opportunities and stumbling blocks I haven't though of.

Offline catsynth

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 07:29:11 pm »
Thanks for the welcome!  I'm excited about bringing these projects together.

I do envision being able to record travels in Highway☆ and update those as .list files to TM, which I think would be both very useful as well as fun.

Accessing the SQL data files would be very useful.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around what they do (or do not) include and how it relates to other data sets out there (e.g., OSM).  I'm reviewing some of the resources in the Developer area of tm.teresco.org right now :)



Offline catsynth

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 07:30:14 pm »
Another feature that TM might help with is detecting when a route is clenched - this has been challenging.

Offline Jim

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 09:45:10 pm »
I'm sure we can find a way to get you access to poke around the DB and get a feel for what's there.  If you're comfortable with the Unix command line and interacting with mysql at its command line, I can set you up (PM me to arrange).  More information could probably be added to the DB if there's something that would be helpful.

Offline mapcat

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2018, 01:12:53 am »
I'm intrigued by the app and look forward to trying it out on my way to work tomorrow.

Before we get too far into any sort of collaboration, what's the ultimate intention of this app? If it's likely to become profitable at some point, how will that affect the data we've collected and presented here on TM? Is it legal for it to be used commercially by another party? I know we've been careful to use OSM and other non-commercial data as much as possible, but there was never (to my knowledge, at least) a desire on the part of TM or CHM to use the site as anything but a source of free information for hobbyists. I don't believe it's generating any income for anyone. Would all collaborators need to be on board with the commercial use of data we've contributed?
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Offline yakra

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2018, 12:36:23 pm »
stumbling block:

How will the app know whether I traveled TX TX130 458 461 or TX US183 TX45/130 TX21 ?

Offline CharlotteAllisonCDTG

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 07:08:58 pm »
Do you have a link to the app?  Is is on Google Play?  I couldn't find it.

Offline Jim

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2018, 07:19:16 pm »
We definitely need to take care that this would not make commercial use of data we have done work to ensure is based on open sources.

Offline catsynth

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2018, 12:35:03 am »
I'm sure we can find a way to get you access to poke around the DB and get a feel for what's there.  If you're comfortable with the Unix command line and interacting with mysql at its command line, I can set you up (PM me to arrange).  More information could probably be added to the DB if there's something that would be helpful.

Yes, I am quite comfortable with the Unix command-line.  I'll PM you tomorrow to get started :)

Thanks everyone for the interest, and the great questions!
In terms of the commercial issue...that's one I can't really answer, but I can try and give info to help the community make decisions.  CatSynth apps are commercial, even though they aren't really making any money at the moment.  Right now our backend uses a mix of free sources and Google/Apple APIs for location and mapping, and numerous manual updates based on user input.  I would initially envision TM integration for uploading travel maps that would become part of the open-source database (users would have to agree to that before saving a trip).  That, of course, brings in the questions of maintaining the integrity of the data, etc.

-A

Offline catsynth

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2018, 12:36:31 am »
Do you have a link to the app?  Is is on Google Play?  I couldn't find it.

Yes, here is the Android version on Google Play
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.catsynthappwerx.highways


Offline CharlotteAllisonCDTG

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2018, 09:45:26 pm »
Thank you for the link.  Is there a tutorial as to how to actually use it?  The interface is odd and I don't know what to do with it.

Offline mapcat

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2018, 01:46:02 pm »
Now that I've played with the app for a few days, it's clear that it has some general overlap with TM, but its overall purpose is different:
  • Users get credit (10 points) for a highway if they have driven any part of it, driven past an intersection with it, driven over or under it, or driven within some radius of it
  • Users get a bonus (1 point) for traveling on, or past, another part of a highway they've already received credit for (It's not entirely clear under what circumstances the bonus is awarded: it might be a certain distance away from the part previously encountered, or a part that's in a different county, or something else)
  • Users are not credited for clinching a highway, beyond the 10 points and possible bonuses listed above
There is no way to tell how much of a highway has been travelled in the app. Crossing a highway at every intersection could earn a user the same number of points as driving its entire length.

So I'm not sure how Highway☆ might benefit from TM, or how TM might benefit from Highway☆, other than cross-promotion. Ultimately it might be nice to have a TM app, but this shouldn't be it, IMO, since it serves a different purpose which is excellent in its own right.
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Offline catsynth

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Re: Hello + Getting Travel Mapping into Highway☆ app
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 01:10:48 pm »
Thanks for checking out the app!  And congrats on making it onto the leaderboard in one day :D

The scoring system is 10 points for a discovery, which means driving on or intersecting with a highway.  There is 1 additional point for encountering a previously seen highway in a different "secondary administrative unit" (e.g., in the U.S. a county or parish).

I still see some potential intersection between TM and Highway☆ for two features I want to add.
  • Clinching.  As pointed out, there is currently no detection or scoring of clinched routes.  I would like to add clinching, with a score that scales with the length of the route (e.g., clinching I-5 in California should be worth more the I-980)
  • Recording trips.  I was envisioning being able to share recorded trips to TM as a contribution to the community, and as a feature that Highway☆ users have requested