GooPs FAQ

 

How do I use my USB GPS?
How do I Add a remote vehicle?
How do I play back my trip?
How do I interface my application to GooPs?
How do I Pre-load the Google Earth Cache?
How do I change my vehicle’s name?
How can I change the AutoView behavior?
What are the GooPs Shortcut Keys?
How do I use the GooPs FTP Client?
How do I make a GooPs 3D Model Cursor?


How do I use my USB GPS?

  • Your USB GPS should have come with a virtual COM port driver. If it didn’t, check the manufacturer’s web site.
  • Install the virtual COM port driver.
  • To find the correct COM port open the windows Device Manager and look in the “Ports (COM & LPT)” tree.
  • Select the corresponding COM port in the GooPs Options dialog.

How do I Add a remote vehicle?

Remote GooPs Vehicle: (user must be “visible” on your network)

  • In the GooPs Options Dialog ”Add/Update Vehicle” area:
  • Press the ”New” Button
  • Enter a user name (this can be anything)
  • Enter the host name or IP address of the remote GooPs vehicle ”Host” field.
  • Press the ”Add” button
  • The remote GooPs vehicle will now appear in Google Earth.

GpsGate.com Buddy: (see also Using GooPs with GpsGate.com)

  • In the GooPs Options Dialog ”Add/Update Vehicle” area:
  • Press the ”New” Button
  • Enter the user name of the “Buddy” you want to track in the ”Name” field
  • Enter the string ”gpsgate.com” in the ”Host” field.
  • Press the ”Add” button
  • The GpsGate.com Buddy will now appear as a GooPs vehicle in Google Earth.

 

How do I play back my trip?

GooPs Pro has a built in record/playback capability. When you press ther “Record” button, all NMEA data from your GPS will be logged to a file (any previously recorded data will be lost). When you press the “Play” button, whatever was recorded will be played back in Google Earth. You can adjust the speed of the playback with the Playback/Demo speed slider.

You can play back NMEA logs with any version of GooPs. You just need to convert the data from your GPS to NMEA (try gpsbabel) (also try to turn off any track compression in your GPS if you can).

Once you have the NMEA logs, there is a somewhat hidden feature in GooPs that allows you to replace the “Demo” vehicle track data with your own data. Just name the NMEA logs with the names of the demo vehicles followed by “.nme” ( e.g. “Cin.nme”, “David.nme”, etc). Place the files in the same directory from which you are running GooPs. This will allow you to play back all of the vehicles at the same time. You may need to edit the logs so they all start at the same time. In the current version of GooPs the “race” may not start ’til about 120 points in. This will be fixed in the next release.

How do I interface my application to GooPs?

GooPs can receive data from other applications via a TCP/IP socket. GooPs listens on port 51234 for messages containing NMEA data. If the message is a raw NMEA sentence GooPs will append it to the local vehicle’s data. If the NMEA string is prepended with an ID and host name. GooPs will treat it
as a remote vehicle. GooPs will automatically add any remote vehicle that hasn’t already been manually added.

The format is:

<id>@<host>:<nmea sentence>

Example:
joe@joescar:$GPRMC,130043,A,3731.5300,N,12221.2400,W,1.0,0.0,082507,0.0,E,A*01

  • here is no requirement on the id and host names, they are only used to identify the vehicle in the user interface.
  • The socket must be closed and reopened for each message.
  • A message can contain multiple NMEA sentences separated by an ascii carriage return/line feed (cr/lf)
  • You can save bandwidth by only sending GPRMC, GPGGA, and GPVTG sentences. All others are ignored.
  • Unless you need altitude data you can just send $GPRMC sentences.
  • Currently only status, timestamp, latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, and heading fields are used)

$GPRMC format:
$GPRMC,hhmmss.ss,st,ddmm.mmmm,ns,dddmm.mmmm,ew,spd,crs,date,mvd,mvcs

hhmmss.ss        in UTC (coordinated universal time zone). UTC used be known as GMT.
st                      Status A = Valid, V = Invalid
ddmm.mmmm    latitude of the GPS position fix
ns                      N/S Indicator S N = North, S = South
dddmm.mmmm  longitude of the GPS position fix
ew                     E/W Indicator E E = East, W = West
spd                    Speed over ground in Knots
crs                     Course over ground 0.00 Degrees
date                   UTC Date 211200 DDMMYY
mvd                    Magnetic variation   Degrees
mv                      Magnetic variation   E = East, W = West
cs                       Checksum *25
Terminator CR/LF

$GPGGA format:
($GPGGA is only necessary if you need altitude data)
$GPGGA,hhmmss.ss,ddmm.mmmm,n,dddmm.mmmm,e,q,ss,y.y,a.a,z,g.g,z,t.t,iiics
hhmmss.ss              in UTC (coordinated universal time zone). UTC used be known as GMT.
ddmm.mmmm,N      latitude of the GPS position fix
dddmm.mmmm,W   longitude of the GPS position fix
q                            quality of the GPS fix (1 = fix, but no differential correction)
ss                           number of satellites being used
y.y                          horizontal dillution of precision
a.a,M                      GPS antenna altitude in meters
g.g,M                      geoidal separation in meters
t.t                            age of the deferrential correction data
iiii                           deferential station’s ID
cs                          Checksum *25
Terminator CR/LF

Algorithm for using the GooPs external API:
For each position received
Format the position data into an NMEA sentence as described above.
Calculate and append the NMEA checksum.
Prepend a name and host to the NMEA sentence.
Create and open the the socket (the destination is port 51234).
Send the sentence.
Close the socket.

 

How do I Pre-load the Google Earth Cache?

If you don’t have a network connection in your vehicle you can still use Google Earth and GooPs
by pre-caching your data. Google Earth will cache up to 2GB of satellite imagery, roads, and points of interest/placemarks.

Most people pre-load the Google Earth cache before a trip. You can set the cache size to up to 2GB.

In Google Earth go to Tools->Options->Cache. Set the disk cache size to 2000 MB.

You can now use the Google Earth driving directions to pre-fly your trip and cache it. Or you can use the Google Earth view controls to manually “fly” over any areas you want to cache. Google Earth will cache everything you see.

Google Earth will cache exactly what you see so make sure you are at a range that gives you the level of detail you want. You also must move the view slowly enough to give Google Earth time to finish loading all of the data before you move on to the next screen.

Also be sure to turn on any layers you are interested (e.g. gas, restaurants, etc.) before you start cacheing data.

How do I change my vehicle’s name?

To change the name of the local vehicle (“Me”) go to the Options dialog,
select the local vehicle (“Me”) from the Add/Update Vehicle dropdown list,
enter the new name in the “Name” field, press the dialog “OK” button.

How can I change the AutoView behavior?

The AutoView configuration file allows you to control the range, tilt, and cursor icon based on your current speed.

To define your own AutoView configuration table: (this is a little complicated, if you mess it up you can just delete the file and GooPs will use defaults)

Create a file called autoview.cfg in the directory GooPs is running from

Enter lines/rows as follows:

  • Each line/row in the file designates a speed in mph, a range in feet, a tilt in degrees, and a path to an image or model file separated by commas.
  • The speed is the minimum speed for which this row’s factors will be applied
  • The factors will be applied until the current speed reaches the speed designated in the following row.
  • A negative range or tilt factor will cause the factor to be applied absolutely for given row.
  • A positive range or tilt factor will cause the factor to be adjusted between this row’s factor and the next row’s factor based on current speed.
  • For example the following table:
0,-1000,-80,c:\src\goopsv1.5\test\mycar1.png
5,800,70,c:\src\goopsv1.5\test\mycar2.png
20,3000,50,c:\src\goopsv1.5\test\mycar3.dae
50,3000,45

 

Will produce this behavior:
  • From 0 to 5 mph – range will be 1000 ft, tilt will be 80 degrees, mycar1.png will be displayed at the current position
  • From 5 to 20 mph – range will increase linearly from 800 to 3000 ft based on current speed, tilt will decrease linearly from 70 to 50 degrees based on current speed, mycar2.png will be displayes at the current position
  • From 20 to 50 mph – range will be 3000 ft, tilt will decrease linearly from 50 to 45 degrees, mycar3.dae will be displayed at the current position
  • Above 50 mph – range will increase from 3000 to infinity base on current speed, tilt will be 45 degrees, the GooPs 3D cursor will be displayed at the current position

The AutoView configuration table is reparsed with each update so you can experiment with different settings in real-time while running the demo.

What are the GooPs Shortcut Keys?

ctl-t – tracking on
alt-t – tracking off
ctl-alt-t – toggle tracking
ctl-u – AutoRotate on
alt-u – AutoRotate off
ctl-alt-u – toggle AutoRotate
clt-z – AutoView on
alt-z – AutoView off
ctl-alt-z – toggle AutoView
ctl-p – pause
alt-p – continue
ctl-alt-p – toggle pause/continue
ctl-m – force tracking selection to self (host=localhost)

How do I use the GooPs FTP Client?

The built-in FTP client allows you to upload your position to an FTP server as a kml file. The file can then be accessed via Google Maps or a Google Earth network link. This feature requires an account on an FTP server (provided free by many ISPs).

Configure the FTP client:

  • Open the Options window and press the “Save File Periodically… (FTP Client)” button
  • Check the “To FTP Server” button
  • Enter the file name in the “File Name:” box
  • Enter the desired update frequency in seconds
  • Enter the FTP server name (e.g. ftp.myserver.com)
  • Enter the user name and password for the FTP server

If you want to upload the positions of all vehicles being tracked, check the “All Vehicles” button
Check the “Force Updates” box to cause the client to upload data even if there are no GPS updates
Check the “Copy then Rename” box if you or your users are having problems accessing the uploaded file

Here’s an example that uses  the FTP client with Google Maps:
http://maps.google.com/maps?&q=http:…ps/ftptest.txt

Some http servers won’t serve files with the extension “.kml”. You can work around this by naming the file with a supported extension like “.xml” or “.txt”.

Here’s the kml for a network link that will track a GooPs vehicle remotely.
This one updates every 8 seconds.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<kml xmlns=”http://earth.google.com/kml/2.1″>
<NetworkLink>
<name>ftptest</name>
<Url>
<href>http://sites.onlinenw.com/goops/ftptest.txt</href>
<refreshMode>onInterval</refreshMode>
<refreshInterval>8</refreshInterval>
</Url>
</NetworkLink>
</kml>

How do I make a GooPs 3D Model Cursor?

You can use Google Sketchup to create and modify models for your 3D cursors. There are hundreds of cars, boats, and planes to choose from at the Google 3Dwarehouse.

Most models will require some minor Sketchup adjustments to work properly. This includes scaling, centering the model on the origin, and rotating the model to face north.

Google Sketchup exports models to kmz format. GooPs requires that the model file (.dae – Collada format) be extracted from the kmz file. You can use your favorite archiving program (winzip, winace) to extract the model file.

Once you have found or created a 3D model you simply copy the file to a local drive, open the GooPs Options window, Select the 3D option for your vehicle, click on the “…” button to select the 3D cursor model file you just copied.

You can try a sample model here: http://goopstechnologies.com/car2red.xml. After you download the file, rename it to “car2red.dae”.