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Step 8: PLOTTING AND COLOR-CODING ROAD CONDITION DATA WITH GPSVISUALIZER.COM

First, let's open GPSvisualizer and open the "Plot data points" page:  http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/map_input?form=data

STEP 1: Find the scroll box titled "Or paste your data here" and delete everything in it then paste the data you have copied from Excel into it. You should get a clean three column content with the headers N Latitude Longitude. Make sure you don't change the headers in any way after you paste them and don't add commas or tabs in between. Just a straight paste from Excel.  

STEP 2:  You can skip this step for now or you can make changes to "Data point options" to follow my settings as shown in the figure. 

STEP 3
: Click "Draw the map" button and watch the magic. 

HOW TO READ THE MAP

A Google Map will be displayed and overlaid with the route points captured by our geo data logger. In my case, I have selected stars as the icons for the data points. The larger and more blueish the data point or the smaller the more reddish the bigger the road bump or pothole. 

By clicking on a star, a balloon will pop up with the z-axis value read by the ADXL335 accelerometer.

Long road stretches of comparable greenish colors and values (typically 520 in my case) mean the road is smoother.

We can change the icon shapes, their minimum and maximum sizes, and other parameters from the "Data point options" section.

TRANSLATING SENSOR DATA INTO ROAD CONDITION INFO

I have simplified this part so almost no math will be needed to assess road conditions using the data generated by the ADXL335 sensor.  So there will be no translation from raw accelerometer sensor outputs to g values.

The whole trick wrests in road condition profiling and sensor data comparison. 

PROFILING ROAD DATA

Different geo data loggers may produce different readings than mine for various reasons having to do with sensor type if a different accelerometer is used, suspension system differences from one car to another, orientation of the geo data logger, etc. So we need to profile normal road conditions and abnormal road condition before we can make sense of our data using your geo data logger in your particular environment.

Profiling road conditions is simple. We record senor data generated by the ADXL335 sensor while  we drive over a good road stretch then do the same with sensor data generated when we drive over a rough road stretch such a bump or pothole.

In my case, I get an average of 520 for the z-axis on a good road stretch. I can use this as a frame of reference so if I get sample data of 520 plus or minus a few notches (you decide what's the acceptable range) then this is a good road. So 520 +/- some value of your choosing is the profile of a good road condition. But if I drive over a bump or pothole, I get sensor z-axis readings that hover around 500 on the low end and 535 on the high end. This will be my profile of a rough road.

The basic assumption here is that I am using the same car, with the sensor placed in the same spot in the car, and driving at the same speed every time I profile the road with my geo data logger.

In the "Data point options" by assigning the "Min" color field my my lower z-axis number and "Max" field my high z-axis number, now I can use GPSvisualizer.com to determine visually, by color or size of marker, where to find poor road stretches, potholes, and bumps.

ANALYZING SENSOR DATA AND ROAD CONDITIONS

When it comes to analyzing the sensor data, sometimes bumps my look like potholes and vice versa. It's possible to log what seems like a pothole condition when in reality we are just dropping back to normal street level right after a road bump.  It's also possible to get a sensor reading the resembles that of a bump when the car starts climbing out of the pothole.

We look for small or large z-axis readings, based on the min/max values withing the range of captured data,  to identify abnormal road conditions. But classifying these road conditions might require more analysis. We can always play around with GPSvisualizer settings until we get the visual representation we need.

The important thing is to record presence of a road condition in need of attention or to avoid it next time you are on the same road.
<p>Hi im just wondering whether it will able to track the location like within a room because i want to implement this in a lego track for detecting faulty track.</p><p>Can you assist me with this?</p>
<p>Can anyone help please? I am new <br>to this, and been trying to put together the project. So far I have everything <br>assembled as instructed. However, as soon as I try to verify the code, I get <br>this error:</p><p>Arduino: 1.6.5 (Windows 7), Board: &quot;Arduino/Genuino <br>Uno&quot;</p><p>C:\Program Files <br>(x86)\Arduino\libraries\SD\src\utility\Sd2Card.cpp:26:17: fatal error: SPI.h: <br>No such file or directory</p><p>#include <br>&lt;SPI.h&gt;</p><p>^</p><p>compilation terminated.</p><p>Error compiling.</p><p>What do I need to do to fix this?</p>
<p>Newer versions of Arduino IDE can't find the SPI library, so you need to add them by adding the following line at the start of sketch:<br>#include &lt;SPI.h&gt;<br></p>
<p>I'm no expert but had this same problem on another project. All of the files (including the additional libraries) need to be in the right folder. The Arduino IDE seems to be a bit picky about this (on Linux at least).</p>
<p>can i have the code for storing Accelerometer ADXL335 data into SD card with time staps (say every 5 min interbal)</p><p>and how can name the stored file as a YYYYMMDDHHSS format </p>
<p>could not get code to compile</p>
<p>I made an equivalent tool in python that print real time data from ADXL345 accelerometer.</p>
<p>like</p>
<p>I made an equivalent tool in python that print real time data from ADXL345 accelerometer.</p><p><a href="https://github.com/mba7/SerialPort-RealTime-Data-Plotter" rel="nofollow">https://github.com/mba7/SerialPort-RealTime-Data-P...</a></p><p>may be it will be helpful for someone</p>
<p>I made an equivalent tool in python that print real time data from ADXL345 accelerometer.</p><p><a href="https://github.com/mba7/SerialPort-RealTime-Data-Plotter" rel="nofollow">https://github.com/mba7/SerialPort-RealTime-Data-P...</a></p><p>may be it will be helpful for someone</p>
<p>I need create a file GPS.log in SD card before do this work ? Or the file GPS.log will be created by code?</p>
<p>You can read the accelerometer more often than the GPS, so there should be no need to interpolate the accelerometer reading.</p>
<p>great</p>
<p>good</p>
<p>super</p>
<p>super</p>
<p>In this tutorial I find what I need to start interfacing the gps sensor with an Arduino. And because I want to help many more hobbyists to start building robots, I share this tutorial on my post http://www.intorobotics.com/gps-sensors-tutorials-resources/. Thank you!</p>
<p>Hello techbitar - I'm thinking of building an adaption of your project but am considering changing the SD card adapter to the microSD card shield from Sparkfun: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9802</p>
True but not all sensors (temperature, humid, etc.) possibly used by others will be as fast as the accelerometer I am using in my project.
Hello techbitar, <br> <br>I just ordered all the hardware for this project, and I should be beginning it some time next week. I just had a question. Obviously all of these components would need to be powered up whilst in car data collecting while driving, so would one of these do the job: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3802146 . Also, I got this for the 'in-home' programming and construction of the actual project: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9442? ..... Do you think that'll be good as well? I would assume so.
The Arduino Uno specs are as follows: <br>Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V <br>Input Voltage (limits) 6-20V <br> <br>As for current, I have tested my Bump-O-Meter with a USB connection which provides 5V and up to 0.5A. I did not run into any issues but I did not perform any exhaustive tests. <br> <br>While driving around in my car, I powered the Arduino Uno via the DC plug using a battery brick made of 6 X 1.2V (NiMh) = 7.2V @ 2A. That voltage is close to the minimum recommended voltage. It worked but of course the moment the battery dropped to 6V and below I am sure I would have ran into all sorts of issues. <br> <br>If I go production with this, I would use a 3S LiPo for a cool 11.1 Volts and 1.5A or 2A current for safety margin in case I need to add additional power hungry gizmos to the bump-o-meter. <br> <br>Check you choices of power supplies against the min/max voltage specs and add a comfortable margin to the current with an eye on your future plans. then decide what fits your requirements best.
I was riding my bike recently and remarked to another rider that it would be useful to quantify just how bad our roads are. My thinking is to first breadboard components as you have laid them out, and then substitute an Arduino Micro and micro SD card reader for compactness. While I like LiOn batteries, a 3S 11.1V 2 amp battery is fairly large (and heavy and needs a requisite charger). Do you have an idea for a compact battery with a 3-hour runtime?
Hello techbitar - I'm thinking of building an adaption of your project but am considering changing the SD card adapter to the microSD card shield from Sparkfun: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9802 <br> <br>Do you see any obvious problems with this change, and would it break the code you've written? Cheers
I have not tried it but if it Sparkfun's SD adapter does not work out of the box you may need to tweak my circuit and/or code.
You can read the accelerometer more often than the GPS, so there should be no need to interpolate the accelerometer reading.
True but not all sensors (temperature, humid, etc.) possibly used by others will be as fast as the accelerometer I am using in my project.
awesome and super useful..
SUPER Tutorial and explanation!! Thanks.
Does anyone know why I am getting this: http://imgur.com/AeUVEwj , and not what the instructable shows? Any help would be much appreciated, especially seeing how far I've gotten.
&quot;We have to level-shift the Arduino's 5V signals to 3.3V before we can connect them to the SD card.&quot; &nbsp;<strong>Why?</strong><br> <br> Can I <strong>power the SD</strong> card via a <strong>3.3V output of the SN74AHC125?</strong> I just have the SD socket and have got all components except the LM1117 to build a circuit like the LC STUDIO.
Wikipedia says &quot;The power consumption of microSD cards varies by manufacturer, but is in the range of 66&ndash;330 mW (20&ndash;100 mA)&quot;
&quot;Just because this SD card socket can be powered with 5V or 3.3V, we still can't connect 5V Arduino pins to the SD card socket's pins&quot;. <br> <br>Also ask why? If the arduino's 5V socket can hold 500mA shouldn't I be able to connect this socket to the shield's 5V socket directly?
Hw to make this data logger into real time to upload the SD card contents after formatting into any GPS visulaizing website automatically !! <br>Can any one help me !!!
everything is well
does the GPS data logger always have to be connected to the internet or all it needs is a power source? i need an urgent reply coz im about to start making it please help me hehe tnx in advanced
there's no need to connect the gadget to the internet.
oh i get it thank you very much<br>
You can read the accelerometer more often than the GPS, so there should be no need to interpolate the accelerometer reading. Either you would interpolate the position reading (write 10 accelerometer readings for every GPS reading and do the interpolation in post processing,) or characterize the 10 accelerometer readings (likely take RMS or peak) and record once per GPS reading.
actually this is my 2nd time to use the arduino and im a student, most of the materials that you use is available in the Philippines but they differ on the look and sizes but the function remain the same <br> <br>SN74AHCT1G32DCKR 2 input OR Gate tsop-5 &lt;--- is this IC are allowed to use? i find it hard to find the IC SN74AHC125 as level shifter from 5V to 3.3V <br>or do you have any alternatives?
Google it and see if others have used it and what are their impressions. then check the datasheet and see if the specs meet your requirements
ok tnx for the reply
awesome and super useful....keep going :)
this is a LOT better than your previous version, i am planning to build it, i am from the Philippines, is it okay if i present it to my school? anyway i hope you can help me out if i encounter trouble in making this prototype :D <br>GOD bless thank you :)
Hi tolstoyan, by all means you can do whatever you want with the design. But if this is your first Arduino project, may I suggest that you start with something more basic (so many nice Arduino projects on instructbales.com) before you start with the geo data logger. I have provided point to point wiring diagrams both visually and textually so you can implement this with little need for intervention from anyone. if you use the same parts and wire them according to my instructions, the accompanying software will also work as-is. I would love to see some videos of your final project. Best of luck and keep me posted please.
Hello, this looks pretty awesome. I am learning to fly a Powered Paraglider and would live to have some type of instrumentation that gives similar results to what you have here. Just a simple GPS or Variometer seems like minimal information. Thanks for the post ill keep up with you to see how things progress. If you ever need an aviation instrument tester let me know!
Thanks, Scubamatt. I am not sure I will be flying things with my gadget any time soon :) but I think the nice folks at DIYDRONES.com have great guides and tools for what you have in mind. Check this out: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/a-newbies-guide-to-uavs <br>
Air quality depends a lot on time of day. This seems like a good way to measure that variation on a local level over many, many trips through the same area at different times of day.
good point.
I would like to use something like this to log mileage driven in my informal two-household car-sharing program, for the purpose of sharing expenses. We determined that we don't need to know where the car has been, but would like to know just the amount of time it is driven + time it is away from the garage, for each user. So I think it's three sensor inputs needed to log three pieces of info: <br>1. am i away from the garage? <br>2. if so, am i moving? <br>3. if moving, who is driving me? <br>And the rest can be worked out offline. Any ideas?
my first impression is that you will have write a program to analyze the data generated by the geo logger. we already capture location, speed, and date/time. Since know your garage's latitude/longitude you can analyze logged data ranges that start and end with your garage's location.this signifies a completed round trip. then you calculate difference of time/date when you left the garage vs when you returned. that's the duration of your journey. then you scan the previous data for in between locations to look for periods where location does not change much which should mean the car is stationary. subtract the time for the stationary locations from total round trip time to determine for how much time the car was moving. this is very preliminary approach but you get my drift. the solution will be mostly programmatic.

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