UTM data


Sunday, 16 September 2007

Description and Screenshots - UTM data

Do you have a Series 60 phone with GPS capability, such as Nokia E90 or N95, and want to use the GPS satellite information to locate your position on maps printed with grid references? Or do you have coordinates not in the decimal coordinate format required by Series 60 phone landmarks, yet you need to use these coordinates in Google Maps or Nokia Maps?

I tried to do this in the French Alps with the IGN topographic maps. What I found was the coordinates shown in the phone are in decimal format; but the French maps like IGN TOP25 have Universal Transverse Mercator “UTM” gridlines which are impossible to convert in your head from the decimal lat/lon format shown in the phone. (Go to Wikipedia and other web pages if you want to understand what all that means .. back to school geography lessons for you!).

So I looked for S60 software to display GPS decimal coordinates as UTM and other grid coordinate formats such as OSGB for the UK. In the end I wrote this Java [J2ME] application myself. Here it is for you to download and use. It’s simple with the main view for the current GPS location in several coordinate types:
- degrees in decimals (WGS84 datum)
- degrees-minutes-seconds (WGS84 datum)
- dd mm.mmm (WGS84 datum)
- UTM coordinates (WGS84 datum) in metres
- MGRS coordinates (WGS84 datum) in metres
- OSGB coordinates (1936 datum) shown when in UK
- Swiss coordinates (CH1903) shown when in Switzerland
- Irish grid coordinates (1965 datum) shown when in Ireland
- Maidenhead Locator System (WGS84 datum) for amateur radio

Note: US maps with USNG grids using NAD83 datums may be supported by using MGRS wgs84 coordinates - a wikipedia entry states "when the WGS84 datum is used, USNG and MGRS coordinates are practically identical", as does another site. Please test this first with your USNG maps (the older datum NAD27 may also be similar to MGRS).

There are also several other indicators such as position accuracy, altitude, speed relative to ground, heading in degrees relative to true North, bearing and distance to a landmark, distance to north pole and south pole and equator, civil twilight, sunrise and sunset times, time and date of the last captured position.

Two additional views provide a Compass heading bearing to a selected landmark from the device landmark store, and a Map view to a world map. Toggle between these views using Left/Right or "8" key. You can also load small map image files to the Map view by following the instructions here
Coordinate viewCompass heading view to a selected LandmarkMap view
In addition to viewing coordinates for the current GPS position, you can take coordinates (in grid datum formats: Irish grid 1965, Swiss CH1903, OSGB-1936, UTM wgs84, MGRS wgs84, Deg-Min-Sec wgs84, dd mm.mmm wgs84) and convert and save these map positions to the device's Landmark store (in decimal degrees). Then later when trekking using applications like Nokia GPS data or navigating with Nokia Maps or Google Maps you can set your target destination to the saved Landmark and navigate to the position. There is also application UTM converter which performs same conversions.

Landmarks in the device Landmark store saved by other applications can be viewed in the different coordinate types supported by UTM data.

Before travelling check your paper map is printed with one of these gridline and datum formats and test the application coordinates against your map before real use! Other applications like Nokia Maps, Nokia GPS data and Nokia Sportstracker have lots more functionality for navigation and can run in the device at the same time as UTM data.

This is a beta release so may contain bugs. I have used these applications with Nokia E90 with the internal GPS, Nokia 6120 using an external Bluetooth GPS accessory (and earlier versions with Nokia E61).

S60.com listing: link. Application page: link - you may want to vote!. There is also a WAP browser page here for UTM converter and UTM data. Number of downloads was 11450 on 16/11/2008.

Information relating to copyrights: UTM data is free to download and use but all users must respect the copyrights asserted by the following developers and content providers:
- Jcoord and Jsuntimes code from JStott. Regarding the licence: source code is downloadable here.
- Float11 code from Nikolay Klimchuk
- Irish grid conversion code by Chris Davey (Apache licence)
- also some parts developed using Geotrans
- NMEA package from Dominik Schmidt, copyright (C) 2006 Media Informatics Group, University of Munich. Software distributed under GPL licence
- public domain World image from wikipedia
- concept for sun and moon plotting on the Heading view came from Dana Peters' compass software. This application is a must-have and does not require GPS. Regarding the licence: source code is downloadable here.
- UTM data is not a commercial application

UTM converter uses the same code sources above plus:
- metadata J2ME library from Catholic+Linux+Monkey. Original code GPL copyright belongs to Drew Noakes

Read the notes supplied with the download and test the coordinates with your maps before use. Always take a compass with you as mobile phone battery life is finite. Exit GPS applications if you are not using them to save battery charge - the Pause option in UTM data does not ensure the GPS receiver powers down!


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