Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby floppyrod84 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:16 am

The only reason I would see altitude data as useful is for an economical mode, less hilly terrain being more fuel friendly.
The errors we are talking about are for a single point in time by one gps device. Surely, if you have 3 or 100 at that one position, you could cut away the really high ones, the really low ones, and take the average of the rest to get a pretty accurate reading?
It could be stored in the gps trace part of the database (might even already be there), and routes calculated using that data for the economy mode as I explained above.
No one think this is a good idea, both as an idea, and technically?

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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:29 pm

harling wrote:Under any signal conditions, no matter how poor, even a rough estimate in the third dimension will be an improvement over NO estimate in the third dimension, when it comes to discriminating between two roads at different altitudes.

I disagree here. If the best case scenario is off by 20m (60ft+), that would have Waze estimating you on the bottom level of a 3-level stack instead of the top. I don't see how that is any better than providing no information at all and just using what we have. Most people do not start navigating in the middle of a stack. That and Waze deciding to re-route are about the only time when Waze should get confused about where you are in the stack. It knows how you got there, and most of these don't allow you to switch between levels in the middle, so I don't really understand why elevation is needed. The road you are on is the road Waze guided you in on, most of the time.
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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby harling » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:33 pm

AlanOfTheBerg wrote:
harling wrote:The Long/Lat precision goes way down--which is why a third dimension (altitude) would be so helpful in distinguishing among stacked roads.

Except the altitude value, which is, IMO, highly suspect in smartphones today anyway, would be off by just as much margin of error as lat/lon thereby rendering just as useable/useless.

Under any signal conditions, no matter how poor, even a rough estimate in the third dimension will be an improvement over NO estimate in the third dimension, when it comes to discriminating between two roads at different altitudes.
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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby WeeeZer14 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:29 pm

Some info from the USGS:

* Survey grade GPS receivers typically have horizontal accuracies around 1cm. Vertical accuracy is twice that (2cm).

* Differential grade GPS receivers from 0.3 to 1.0 meter horizontal. Vertical accuracy is 2 to 3 times that.

* Consumer grade GPS receivers are between 3 and 10 meters horizontal. "This type of GPS handheld unit provides elevation data with poor accuracy."

So figure at best a consumer grade GPS is going to have 20 to 30 meter vertical accuracy. Cell phone GPS is probably also at the low end of consumer devices. And if we have stacked roads, we also are going to have signal multi-path issues. So that will make that number even larger.

Plus, GPS signals will tell us how far we are from the satellite. It will not directly tell us how high off the ground we are. There are mathematical models to estimate the surface of the earth and that is used to give an indication of where you are in relation to the ground. Different devices may use a different model or at least interpret the same model differently.

I am by no means saying this is a bad idea, I'm just saying there is a big signal to noise ratio so it isn't going to be easy.
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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby floppyrod84 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:32 pm

I still see some merit in this tbh. Would help a long way towards a "eco mode" for routing. Besides, GPS traces from many users can be averaged on the altitude anyway to give a decent indication of the real height in the same way it's done currently for lat/long.
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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:59 pm

harling wrote:Exactly! The Long/Lat precision goes way down--which is why a third dimension (altitude) would be so helpful in distinguishing among stacked roads.

Except the altitude value, which is, IMO, highly suspect in smartphones today anyway, would be off by just as much margin of error as lat/lon thereby rendering just as useable/useless.
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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby harling » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:02 pm

WeeeZer14 wrote:I was just in Boston a few weeks ago and I was there before the Big Dig as well. Chicago also has similar stacked roads (as does most cities in at least one place). To me the problem is that those situations are where a feature like this would be most useful, BUT at the same time, those situations are where such a feature would have the most trouble due to lack of a clear signal.

Exactly! The Long/Lat precision goes way down--which is why a third dimension (altitude) would be so helpful in distinguishing among stacked roads.
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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby WeeeZer14 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:05 pm

harling wrote:
AlanOfTheBerg wrote:I'm certain Waze could display this data, or make it available to display. But, since Waze is not currently focused on the general navigation market, but on the commuter market only...

Actually, the problem areas that I have in mind in Boston--multiple levels of overlapping, often nearly-parallel ramps--become a major difficulty for Waze when the Log/Lat is within the margin of error of three roads at different levels, each of which leads to a very different destination. And they carry a lot of commuter traffic, and generate their share of URs to the effect that Waze put them on the wrong road, and of course the directions to get them "back" are completely wrong.

I was just in Boston a few weeks ago and I was there before the Big Dig as well. Chicago also has similar stacked roads (as does most cities in at least one place). To me the problem is that those situations are where a feature like this would be most useful, BUT at the same time, those situations are where such a feature would have the most trouble due to lack of a clear signal.
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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby harling » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:23 pm

AlanOfTheBerg wrote:I'm certain Waze could display this data, or make it available to display. But, since Waze is not currently focused on the general navigation market, but on the commuter market only...

Actually, the problem areas that I have in mind in Boston--multiple levels of overlapping, often nearly-parallel ramps--become a major difficulty for Waze when the Log/Lat is within the margin of error of three roads at different levels, each of which leads to a very different destination. And they carry a lot of commuter traffic, and generate their share of URs to the effect that Waze put them on the wrong road, and of course the directions to get them "back" are completely wrong.
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Re: Please add an ELEVATION/ALTITUDE field...

Postby WeeeZer14 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:47 pm

ASW20C wrote:BTW, bicycling commuters also would use altitude... In this case for route planning. I guess this argues for the 3D model...

Waze should not be used on a bicycle, so it is a moot point.

Also, there may be some concern on Waze's side in providing elevation/altitude data and people using Waze in a plane. We know people already do. The last thing we want is someone suing because Waze wasn't reporting a correct value. :roll:
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