January 8th, 2019 08:08

Hardware Rental uptake and examples?

Steven Horner
Steven Horner Public Seen by 244

Wondering how much up take there has been in renting the 360 and dashcams and any examples.

Steven Horner

Steven Horner January 8th, 2019 08:14

Personally I decided to buy my own 360 Camera, a Xiaomi version. The main reason for doing this is that for me I couldn't commit 3 consecutive weekends to maximise the use of the rental model. I have seen @gregorymarler excellent videos and his Mapillary uploads but wondered if there were any other upoads from people here. It didn't look like anyone was renting it when looking at the calendar?

Jez Nicholson (Director)

Jez Nicholson (Director) January 8th, 2019 08:49

Hi Steve,

I have the Waylens at the moment. The OSMUK account is now #108 in the all-time leaderboard and 6th for this month :D http://www.openstreetcam.com/leaderboard

Tracks can be seen at http://www.openstreetcam.com/user/osmuk-waylens

Short (20-40 min) journeys will upload overnight, but a long (4hr+) journey took 1.5 days.

I am in Brighton and try to vary my route each time I go out. The sad thing i've noticed is how seldom I leave the confines of the city these days. ;)

Screenshot 2019-01-08 at 8.44.59 am.png
- Jez

RobJN (Director)

RobJN (Director) January 8th, 2019 09:11

The idea for the 360 rental was to allow people to get a tester before committing to buying their own. It's been rented a half dozen times. It seems that Gregory's videos have been well received, especially if you bought yours after watching the video. Hopefully we can get his help to do a waylens video.

How long do you think the rental period should be?

Steven Horner

Steven Horner January 8th, 2019 09:33

Thanks Rob. I think the rental length is probably about right for most people. I just didn't want to hog the camera and not have the time to actually use it. I had already been looking at cameras for uploading to Mapillary, seeing Gregory's video helped me make a decision along with some browsing of their forums, so the intended purpose of the program definitely worked. For anyone wanting to buy a 360 camera, you can buy the LG 360 the same as the rental program for between £40-£50 if you lurk on Ebay for a while. The Xiaomi I've just bought was £165 from Aliexpress but the image quality should be a lot better and if I decide I'm not using it could be resold for over £100. I should have some uploads to Mapillary this week, mine just arrived yesterday.

Steven Horner

Steven Horner January 8th, 2019 09:39

Thanks Jez, it's good to see the uploads to OpenStreetCam from the Waylens. I have looked at using my Dashcam for street level imagery but I have to extract the frames from the video, crop etc and the quality after all of this is not great but still usable. This time of year most of my driving is in the dark, when it becomes a bit lighter and I have some time off work I will see about renting the Waylens.

Steven Horner

Steven Horner January 8th, 2019 10:07

It could be a good idea to add a link to one of Gregory's Mapillary 360 cam sequences directly from the rental page, I know the video is there already. The same for the Waylens a direct link to the OpenStreetCam account, I hadn't found the account because the username was different to what was mentioned on the OSMUK page.

I'm normally a lurker and not a poster but want to contribute more to OSM this year.

Jez Nicholson (Director)

Jez Nicholson (Director) January 8th, 2019 17:16

I have updated https://osmuk.org/camera-rental/ to link to the osmuk-waylens user page on OpenStreetCam.

@gregorymarler do you have a link to an example output from the 360 camera?

Gregory Marler (former Director)

Gregory Marler (former Director) January 9th, 2019 13:40

A friend said they spotted someone in Gilesgate, Durham walking along with a 360 camera. It wasn't me, so I hoped it was someone that was using one for OpenStreetMap. Could that have been you Steven?

Here is a link to some Mapillary with 360 photos: https://www.mapillary.com/app/?lat=54.77604972222222&lng=-1.577295&z=17&focus=photo&panos=true&pKey=dN04pEprpFoFURrzVWz2cQ
One of the buttons in the top right of Mapillary is for filters, and you can set it to only show 360 ones then find the green lines on the map.

Although Rob is managing loan of both cameras, I have had the 360 camera for a while because nobody else has requested it. I don't use it for all my mapping, as I think it's best suited to high streets/shop-mapping.
Still, the ones about this camera are some of my most-popular videos. Our rental scheme also inspired OSM US to start their Waylens rental scheme.

Jez Nicholson (Director)

Jez Nicholson (Director) January 9th, 2019 14:46

I have added images (and link outs) from Mapillary and OpenStreetCam to the OSMUK rental web page.

  • Jez
Steven Horner

Steven Horner January 9th, 2019 17:00

Yes that was me wandering around testing the camera, only 3 images actually live on Mapillary at the moment. The quality is good, but horizon wasn't perfectly level. Hoping I have fixed for the main batch. I wanted to cover somewhere well mapped on my lunch break and wouldn't matter if it didn't work. I'm hoping the quality of it is high enough to read house numbers, I think it is as well as shops.

RobJN (Director)

RobJN (Director) January 9th, 2019 22:30

We have decided to bring the 360 camera rental period in line with the Waylens camera so both are now 5 week rentals.

The 360 camera is available for rental whereas the Waylens is off to it's next home and will be available late February - although do contact me know if you want it.


blackadder January 10th, 2019 10:02

All that's needed now is a bike option (not necessarily for rental). Any ideas on what might work? I'm thinking a 360deg (180deg isn't really enough) but need a degree of ruggedness/handlebar mount capability plus the ability to be hands free for operation when moving.

Steven Horner

Steven Horner January 10th, 2019 10:09

I was hoping to test my 360 camera tomorrow cycling. I was going to attach a selfie pole to a rigid backpack and see if that would work. I've seen a few pictures on the Mapillary forums. I can report back if it works. Also wanting to test it on top of the car. This is my personal Xiaomi 360 camera which is showerproof, not the LG available for loan.

Jez Nicholson (Director)

Jez Nicholson (Director) January 10th, 2019 10:11

I had an idea about building a rack that bolts on to the rear axel and the saddle. This supports a pole with optional gimbal to keep it steady.


blackadder January 10th, 2019 10:13

Wouldn't be too difficult to fit a pole to a standard rear bike pannier carrier rack.

Steven Horner

Steven Horner January 10th, 2019 12:53

An example of the Xiaomi 360 Mapillary imagery test is here. Lots of tweaking to do and realised I have to leave my phone screen on to geotag location or tag afterwards. Very impressed with the quality though, a collegue commented that it looked sharper than Google Street View that was even in very bright low sunlight. Try zooming in slightly and giving it a second to load the full resolution image and you can easily read house numbers.

Brian Prangle

Brian Prangle January 27th, 2019 12:17

I now have the WayLens camera and I think it is a dream device - thankyou Telenav. The UI is clean and simple and instructions for use are easy to follow. Lots of recording already done, but I decided not to use the OBD dongle as I didn't feel comfortable about it recording personal data about driving habits that are not needed for the purpose of collecting images for OSM.

One of the issues I've found is the stickiness of the windscreen suction cup is wearing out, and the suction fails in low outside temperatures when the inside of the car warms up and expands the cup: solution is judicious use of gaffer tape which I'd recommend all subsequent users to adopt( the camera unit detaches from the suction cup which you can leave safely in your car when unattended).

The other issue is battery life when the unit is detached and uploading data. I'm not sure if you can simultaneously charge and upload

Brian Prangle

Brian Prangle January 27th, 2019 12:18

A suction cap and attachment for the 360 camera for the roof of a car and we're away!

Brian Prangle

Brian Prangle January 27th, 2019 13:08

This is a useful link - it's in Spanish but the pictures are useful.

RobJN (Director)

RobJN (Director) January 27th, 2019 14:09

Hi @brianprangle

The ODB dongle helps with the location data as it supplements the GPS. Telenav demonstrated this at a previous SOTM showing how ODB data (car speed, steering data) can be used to follow the position of a car through a tunnel when GPS is not available. See https://youtu.be/XuGjahx8CFc?t=1428 for a good demo. Perhaps @mvexel can help explain exactly what data is uploaded to help reduce the privacy concern you have.

The stickeness of the suction cap was an issue for me too. If it is dusty you can clean it with warm water. Then apply to the windscreen and push the suction cap around the full circumference. Finally, there is a plastic lock that you need to twist (quite firmly) clockwise. This is the step that I missed at first. Once I figured it out the camera stayed up no issue. The plastic lock that you need to twist is shown in orange on page 13 (15) of https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/images/1/17/Waylens_Horizon_user_manual_v_2.0.pdf

Yes, you should (almost must) charge and upload at the same time as the battery life is not very long. The box includes 2 cables. One is for use in the car. The other is for use in the home for uploading images. Use the shorter cable with the "USB adapter" shown on page 5 (7). There is no 3 pin UK plug included, but you can use one from a mobile phone. You could also plug in into a USB socket on a computer to keep it powered.

RobJN (Director)

RobJN (Director) January 27th, 2019 14:14

Hi all. We currently have said that the 360 camera we rent out should only be used whilst walking. The concern was that the camera could get damaged if it falls off a bike/car. Worst still, the camera could do damage to someone else if it broke loose. We wanted to reduce the risk of this.

I suggest we review this policy and see if we can be more flexible. @stevenhorner how have you got on with mounting it to your bike?

Brian Prangle

Brian Prangle January 27th, 2019 15:16

Thanks Rob - totally missed the locking mechanism on the suction cup. I wondered what those little fins were for! Thanks also for the tip on simultaneous charging.

Steven Horner

Steven Horner January 27th, 2019 20:03

I have been using my 360 camera cable tied to a backpack and it's now working perfectly. I tried wearing the backpack while cycling and the first test wasn't that successful mainly because I lean forward while cycling and the Xiaomi didn't stabilise the images. Although that was within the first couple of days of getting the camera before I had got used to it.

Here's a pic ( https://imgur.com/a/TCACJFe ) of my backpack with the camera on a selfie pole, which is pushed into the hydration pouch inside the bag and cable tied in place. I then cable tie a USB cable down the pole and into a power bank, the cables weren't hidden in the pic.

Here is an example ( https://www.mapillary.com/app/user/stevenhorner?lat=20&lng=0&z=1.5&pKey=VLwbOIqFABttr5QdpRdtTQ ) sequence while walking.

I intend to use on the car eventually and have looked at the suction cup mounts but not sure I would trust the ones I have seen. Considering buying a magnetic mount like this ( https://amzn.to/2S99iN9 ), but need some way to get it higher to not have too much of the car in the pic. The other option I am probably going to try is similar to this ( https://youtu.be/OedU4dlRRh8 ), but mounted on the roof and again raised higher. I feel more confident that the DIY solution would hold when they are made to lift glass.

This thread on the Mapillary forums ( https://forum.mapillary.com/t/picture-s-of-your-bike-camera-setup/1351 ) may give some ideas.

RobJN (Director)

RobJN (Director) January 27th, 2019 21:56

Thanks. The backpack arrangement is similar to what I used (pole through the headphone hole in the bag, min tripod with splayed legs in the bottom of the bag to keep the pole upright).

If you try with the bike again, or with a car, do let me know how you get on.

Brian Prangle

Brian Prangle February 7th, 2019 16:39

Waylens Issues
I'm having great fun with this device and have improved the quality of lots of highways in OSM as a result. But.......
1. Processing: All my tracks except one have been uploaded and are showing on OSC's web map successfully. It's now 5 days since the missing one was uploaded and subsequent ones have uploaded OK. I know the data is there because I can see it in the JOSM plugin but not on the OSC web map.
2: JOSM plugin #1 the missing data when viewed in JOSM shows as the usual track of icons but without the continuous line joining them- well sometimes it's there and sometimes not
3. JOSM plugin #2 sometimes the OSC track shows up as greyed out and you can't access it
4. Software functionality: Licence plates not always pixellated, usually when car in front is close like when moving off at lights and please don't pixellate shop names and street names. If the software is intelligent enough to recognise traffic signs (well at least in the US) surely it can differentiate vehicle licence plates from stationary objects?
5 Contact: nowhere obvious for users to ask questions and submit feedback and learn from each other (github is not in my opinion an easy option for the non-technical). This functionality should be accessible from the OSC website.

RobJN (Director)

RobJN (Director) February 10th, 2019 20:36

Curious. Can you share the location (road name) of the missing upload? As for contact the best option is probably email waylens_support@telenav.com -- you will generally get a response within 48 hours. There is also slack and IRC as described here: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Foundation/Local_Chapters/United_States/Waylens_Camera_Lending_Program/Knowledge_Base#Getting_Support

GitHub need not be complicated. For example, if you go to the following page you can click the "New Issue" button to start a thread describing your JOSM plugin problems. You'll need to be logged in to GitHub (or create a new account if you don't have one).


Brian Prangle

Brian Prangle February 11th, 2019 11:11

Thanks for the email contact Rob - I've copied my entry above there. Github issue with me is I just wilt whenever I'm asked for another login to manage and I think it's poor "customer relations" to have github as the main interface for user issues. I'm sure the interface is simple

RobJN (Director)

RobJN (Director) February 14th, 2019 00:33

We heard back from telenav regarding data collected by the ODB dongle:

"The only information transmitted from the OBD2 dongle to the camera is the vehicle speed, which is used to determine the position of the vehicle more accurately, augmenting GPS signal especially in challenging locations for GPS reception such as tunnels and urban canyons."

Given that you can infer approximate speed from GPS tagged images, using the dongle therfore doesn't really result in extra data being recorded about you, just a refined / higher quality version of the GPS data.