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Author Topic: Recommended to come here for help. Map for FD w/hydrants addresses etc.  (Read 7031 times)

drew23

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I was referred to come here off of another forum, here is my post from that forum.

My name is Justin and I currently work for the local water/sewer utility company. I am the person in charge of GIS Mapping of all the utilities. I have access to the new ESRI road and address layers for my area as well as the data I have created. I am using Arcmap 10, and SDImaps to map out the utilities. I would like to buy a GPS(unsure on model I need) that I can create an address, road, and fire hydrant map for use in the Fire trucks and Officer POV vehicles. I have a few questions:

I would like it to work as follows, climb in truck, address search, routing to the address, then set up proximity alarms on the Hydrants to show there location while en route. Once you arrive on scene, the truck that is in charge of hydrant operations could search nearest POI (Hydrant) and go out to get water. We don't have computers in the truck. I thought this would be a great alternative if possible.

1. How Possible is this?
2. Since I have this data, how hard would it be to build this map?
3. Recommended Brand and Model?
4. What software would I need?
5. Can I use my Address and Road layer to build the turn by turn navigation? We have updated address and the current addresses on most GPS units are off by as many as 5-6 houses.

Our County is about 484 Sq. miles of which we provide vehicle extrication to 100% of and Fire protection to about 75% of. We have a new E911 system in which the entire County and City were readdressed and, some of the road/street names changed about 2 years ago. Most of our guys know where the roads are to an extent but it is at times hard to remember exactly.

The main purpose to having this would be to get us headed the right direction and point out hydrants along the way and be able to find the nearest hydrant when looking for a water source.

Thanks,
Justin

Boyd

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Welcome Justin, I was the person who suggested you visit here. In addition to Mapwel, which I already suggested, the other common way to do this would be to import your shapefiles into GPSMapEdit: http://www.geopainting.com/

This will allow you to manipulate them and then save in an intermediate format known as "Polish Files" which have the .mp extension. These files are then used as input to the cgpsmapper compiler: http://cgpsmapper.com/

Another program that many of us here use is Globalmapper: http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/global-mapper/ It can open almost any kind of map data file, and also exports .mp files for use by cgpsmapper.

As far as what device to use for the maps, Garmin has many choices - arguably too many. The Nuvi series is very user-friendly and easily operated, with big bright screens and they are reasonably inexpensive. An advanced device such as the Montana 600 has many functions not found on the Nuvi series, and may display your map in a better style depending on what you're trying to do. It is more expensive and has more complex menus that might confuse some users however.

But one advantage of the Montana would be that you could overlay your maps on satellite imagery, which the Nuvi can't do.

drew23

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Boyd, thanks for the invite. Can you explain the process in steps from my data to the garmin.

Seldom

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Do you need turn by turn directions to the hydrants?  If not, it should be trivial to just create a set of hydrants as waypoints or POI and, add them to a NUVI, and have just about the best address search available.  To DIY, you'll need at least the Personal Version of cgpsmapper ($50) or the routable version ($900) and you'll need to figure out how to make a  map that will handle address search.

AFAIK I'm just about the only person on this site who fools around with routable maps, and all the address search data i deal with comes from OpenStreetMap data.  Unfortunately, they've been going through a licensing purge of their database which should make OSM a lot less useful for a while.

Seldom

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Can you explain the process in steps from my data to the garmin.
One workflow would be to generate a routable roadmap from shapefiles would be to open the road map shape files in Global Mapper and Export Vector to a county MP file.  Next thing to do is open it in GPSmapedit and Tools>Generate Routing Graph, followed by Tools>Verify Map.  Depending on how well your map is drawn the verify process can be easy or wrist numbing.  Primary error types are Self Intersecting Roads, Closed Loop Roads, Too Close Nodes, and Duplicate Nodes.  Once the errors have been eliminated compile with cgpsmapper.

Although GPSmapedit can import shapefiles directly, classifying them for an area the size of a county can be really labor intensive.  Global mapper makes it really easy if you have the data attributed well.

drew23

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Thanks for the help everyone. Looked around a little this morning and looked at the 2300LM. Any ideas on that unit? I want to use this for my normal navigation and try to do this little project too, or do I need a dedicated unit to try my project on?

Justin

Boyd

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It may work OK for what you want.... or maybe not. Most of the newer devices simply won't display POI's that are part of the map. Others will only show them when you zoom WAY in. Garmin has gone in the direction of optimizing the Nuvi's for use with their own City Navigator maps and not third party maps.

Again, I'm going to suggest that you visit another site to get more information about specific Nuvi models since GPSFileDepot is oriented towards making maps: http://forums.gpsreview.net/viewforum.php?f=2 You may bump into me over there too, since I'm one of the moderators. :)

If you are making your own map and it includes POI (Points of Interest) that are part of the map data (ie: fire hydrants), then it will be important to find a device that shows them through a wide range of zoom settings. If you want a Nuvi, this may mean getting an older model.

But you might be able to get around this depending on what kind of point feature you use for the hydrants. For example, if you code them as "cities", that may cause them to show. But this just gets tricky, because sometimes POI will show and other times they won't and I find it hard to understand Garmin's logic...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 04:44:42 AM by Boyd »

Seldom

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Thanks for the help everyone. Looked around a little this morning and looked at the 2300LM. Any ideas on that unit? I want to use this for my normal navigation and try to do this little project too, or do I need a dedicated unit to try my project on?

You'll want to see how much free memory is available on the Nuvi.  (On my 1490LMT, not much.)  Probably it will be best to put your map on a card in the microSD slot.

drew23

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Do you need turn by turn directions to the hydrants?  If not, it should be trivial to just create a set of hydrants as waypoints or POI and, add them to a NUVI, and have just about the best address search available.  To DIY, you'll need at least the Personal Version of cgpsmapper ($50) or the routable version ($900) and you'll need to figure out how to make a  map that will handle address search.

AFAIK I'm just about the only person on this site who fools around with routable maps, and all the address search data i deal with comes from OpenStreetMap data.  Unfortunately, they've been going through a licensing purge of their database which should make OSM a lot less useful for a while.

1.I have 11,333 Addresses in my address layer that I want to use. This is every address currently in the County. I also have 582 Hydrants. Would this amount of data be too much?

2. My info is in Arcmap, this will work correct?

3. Do I need turn by turn on the hydrants? For example: If I was at the location marked in the map below, and asked for the closest hydrant using POI, could it point it out and show me where it was, or do I have to have turn by turn in order to do this?

I apologize for being such a noob.

 

Seldom

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Are you trying to do this the easy way (just hydrants) or make a complete map?
You don't say what software you plan to use besides Arcmap.  If your Arcmap files are shapefiles, GPSmapEdit will import them, but you'll need to either manually edit the separate types of roads or classify them as a single road type.   If your budget allows you to get a copy of Global Mapper this will be much easier.

1.I have 11,333 Addresses in my address layer that I want to use. This is every address currently in the County. I also have 582 Hydrants. Would this amount of data be too much?
I doubt that either the number of hydrants or the number of addresses should cause a problem.  To deal with address search you'll need to familiarize yourself with the cgpsmapper manual available here 
After you've familiarized yourself with it, you'll be the address search expert.  Although I must admit it will be a pretty interesting thing to know how to do. ???

Does your address table include latitude and longitude of every address?  Can the addresses be saved as points?


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2. My info is in Arcmap, this will work correct?
You will need to have your streets and roads as shapefiles.  If Arcmap can be saved as shapefiles should be no problem.   Page 58 of the cgpsmapper manual indicates that shapefiles can be imported directly.  I've never tried this, but if you are on a tight budget it might be worth a try.

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3. Do I need turn by turn on the hydrants? For example: If I was at the location marked in the map below, and asked for the closest hydrant using POI, could it point it out and show me where it was, or do I have to have turn by turn in order to do this?

I'm pretty sure that if you just had POI labeled with hydrant names on a Nuvi you could be at the fire station and have the Nuvi give you turn by turn directions to either the fire at 2150 South Whatever street or Hydrant 158.  This wouldn't even require a map, just a list of POI with their latitudes and longitudes.  The Nuvi's own internal map could provide the address search.  The only downside to this would be if you found inaccuracies in the Nuvi's map or addresses, or changes in the county streets were several months or years ahead of the Nuvi's map.
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I apologize for being such a noob.
Actually, this is a pretty interesting problem.

This tutorial isn't as thorough as -Oz-'s tutorials on this site, but it should give you a quicker overview of the non-routing aspects of the process.

This is a link to Garmin's POI loader page.  POI format is just a decimal longitude, decimal latitude, name, street address (or other text) saved as a CSV file.  Both lon and lat are saved to 6 decimal places.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 11:38:35 AM by Seldom »

SmugWimp

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Just throwing in some resources I found worthy when I was starting out oh so long ago... (about a year, lol!)

Some of these can be used for anything, but I focus on Garmin compatibility...

Mapset Toolkit is a good utility - http://sites.google.com/site/cypherman1/

TypWiz Rocks - http://pinns.co.uk/osm/ostyp.html

Turbo CCC Makes some really great utilities - http://turboccc.wikispaces.com/home

When you check out Turboccc, definitely look at the 'Extra POI editor' which can add the useful 'proximity alerts' in a fairly easy fashion.

The 'Down' side to using TurboCCC's POI Editor is that you'll create them and they'll wind up in your 'favorites', NOT in the 'Point of Interest' section. 

If this is a problem you may end up having to contact Garmin (http://developer.garmin.com/web-device/content-toolkit/) and get a license to use their 'content toolkit' package ($500 a year plus content licensing costs). Frankly, I'm writing software to convert a Turboccc file (he saves them in GPX format) into XML that the Garmin Content Creator can read, because Turbo's is so much easier to use.

A Free 'Hybrid' idea may be to add the hydrants as 'official' Garmin POIs in your MP file, and then add them again with the proximity alerts as a GPI file with Turbo's utility.

If some of this doesn't make sense, eventually it will ;)

-- Smug

In a nutshell, I get claustrophobic.

 

anything