[OSGeo-Discuss] Mobile GPS data collection...

Mateusz Loskot mateusz at loskot.net
Tue Aug 1 00:25:30 PDT 2006

Dave Patton wrote:
> map it out wrote:
>> Hello group, It's my first posting here, and I would like some 
>> input/ideas/collaboration on the development of an open source data
>> collection application with GPS.
>> So, first I would like to know if people think this is a good idea
> There has been lots of discussion and ideas about this, but it
> strikes me that all of the "what OS/database/platform" discussions
> may be premature.


You're right.
Simply, I see it as a kind of brainstorm with an euphory
and enthusiasm :-)
So, this is a general all-in-one discussion quite common on the very
initial phase and we're trying to touch many aspects of the problem

Certainly, we should focus on the key features brainstorm to prepare
ourselve for wider discussion with users.
But I think we should be aware of many possibilities and details (like
remote or not remote db, Web-based app, standalone app, etc.) to help
users to express their needs.

> One approach would be to 'sit down' with some 'potential actual
> users' (i.e. field personnel, not 'techies') to see what they want,
> take their ideas, and, on paper, build the 'ideal system'. Then start
> designing/coding.

Definitely, agreed.
I am sure you've touched very important problem: where to find potential
users, how to discuss with them, plan of the survey, etc.
If anyone could give some ideas on this subject, please do.

> A more practical approach might be to ignore the form factor
> altogether for now, and build a 'prototype' using a laptop plus 'the
> extra bits'. Don't worry for now if that means having to mount a
> laptop plus a battery onto a backpack frame, and have 'a bunch of 
> cables' to connect external devices such as a GPS receiver, camera,
> compass, data logger, etc.

Generally, prototyping seems to be the best way to succeed in such a
kind of project. Laptop-based prototypes are much easier to start so I'd
say this is a good idea.

Bob, am I correct your idea about PC-based
approach is similar to Dave's?

> Having a working prototype, no matter how crude, would allow for
> 'proof of concept' demonstrations, and I'm sure lots of people would
> give useful feedback (beyond just "make it smaller"!) based on such a
> prototype.

That's a good idea.

Thank you Dave for your valuable feedback!

Best regards
Mateusz Loskot

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