Friday, May 31, 2019

GPS Speedreader

In recent years, I had gotten a bit frustrated with the existing GPS analysis software. For some of the GPS prototype testing, there were too many bugs that just made the life hard. Furthermore, the "older" software that was developed almost 20 years ago can be painfully slow when looking at new, higher-rate GPS data from the Locosys GW60 or the Motion GPS.

So I wrote my own, and I'm releasing it to the public today. It's free software, supplied without any warranties - but if you want to send me "beer money" to support the further development, that's great! There's a donation button on the  GPS Speedreader Help page for that. 

This post will show a few screen shots, and point out a few useful functions in GPS Speedreader. Here's the main window:
The session shown is my recent 12-hour, 306 km session where Nina grabbed the #1 spot in the GPSTC women's ranking for distance. It's a large file, and trying to see the 1-hour results in GPS Results on my Windows computer took more than 5 minutes. In GPS Speedreader, the file opens in less than half a minute, which includes calculating the results for all GPS Team Challenge categories.

The main window is divided in a left side that shows the GPS points on the top, and the category results on the bottom. The right side can show up to three graphs: tracks on top, doppler speeds in the middle, and error estimates on the bottom. Clicking anywhere will select the point or region; here, I have selected the top 2-second speed. You can zoom in using the mouse scroll wheel or trackpad gestures:
There are a few different dialogs where you can choose what you see, what your time zone is, and so on. Here are the general preferences:
GPS Speedreader was developed specifically with the GPS Team Challenge in mind, and with a lot of feedback from GPSTC advisors. It's pretty easy to post session results to the GPSTC - just select "View results in browser" from the "File" menu. This will open up a browser page with the results:
At the bottom of the results, there's a button. Click on it, and a session page on GPSTC will open, with all the numbers filled in for you. You just have to add a comment and press the "Post" button. 

GPS Speedreader does not have all the functions that other programs have. For example, background images are not supported, and there is no "Jibe analysis" like in GPS Action Replay Pro. I will probably add some more features over time, based on feedback on the Seabreeze GPS forum. But with summer starting here, I'll hopefully spend more time on the water soon!

A couple of things are unique to GPS Speedreader, though, and deserve mentioning. One is the "Compare files" function which I wrote to make comparing different GPS units easy. You can open two (or more) GPS files from the same session, and Speedreader will compare the results in all GPSTC categories. It will even compare the error ranges, and flag any discrepancies with a yellow, red, or orange background. If you want to have a close look at the data, you can pick which columns are shown in the data table:
But that may be more for geeks. Perhaps a thing that's more useful for many is that Speedreader supports opening files by drag and drop. On Mac and Windows, you can drop GPS files onto the application icon; on Mac, Windows, and Linux, you can drop files onto the main window.

To read more about GPS Speedreader, check the online help at https://ecwindfest.org/GPS/GPSSpeedreaderHelp.html. To download the program and start playing with it, visit https://ecwindfest.org/GPS/GPSSpeedreader.html.

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