Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The first "field" test

In preparation for our trip to the Philippines in September, the airboat team has decided to travel to Newark Delaware to see how the boats cope away from home.

We will be spending the next few days sending the boats around an irrigation lake to collect data. If all goes according to plan we will have three days worth of useful data that we can take back to Pittsburgh to build better boats.

The chosen test side is a closed system irrigation pond in Chesapeake City. A satellite image of the pond is shown below:

Google Map

This image, showing the 3 acre pond, has been provided by Google Maps.

Everything looks good so far? Well..

..we aren't using Google Maps for our software. Instead the current interface uses World Wind maps (provided by NASA). These maps are easy to embed and manage within the software. When we look at the same spot on the World Wind maps we see this:

World Wind map

See the problem?

Clearly, the map provided by World Wind is older. (NOTE: If the Google Maps is actually older and the pond and structures have since been demolished then we are in a lot of trouble)

Tomorrow will be interesting because, as far as the interface is concerned, we will be testing the boats in the middle of a field.

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