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Vehicle order: Use of a GEO map to visualize operations


The Vehicle disposition (in the menu: (im Menü: "Disposition \ Bearbeitung \ Fahrzeugdisposition") has previously displayed the data of a vehicle order in a timeline or in a table-like manner and in a color coded manner in the order pool, the additional pool and the extra pool or in the "Vehicle order" tab of the main area. In the tree structure "Vehicle park" the vehicle orders are also displayed color coded in the respective tours. 

A GEO map view has been integrated into the program window of the vehicle disposition for visual display, localized viewing and interactive processing of the individual vehicle orders of a vehicle. The settings, options and use of the GEO card are described in detail below.


The GEO card data are taken from the OpenStreetMap® database, which has been distributed since 12.09. 2012 under the license "Open Database License (ODbL) 1.0".

Version 1.0 License can be found on the following website:

http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/

Information on the contributors, copyright, and license of OpenStreetMap® can be found on the following website:

http://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright


If the above-mentioned license conditions change, we will check whether the functionality can be deactivated, provided that the corresponding use of the GEO map data in our software is no longer legally possible.


Overview


Like the order pool, the GEO map is embedded in a separate window area and can be freely moved, maximized, minimized and hidden by the user.

The GEO map is a licensed extension of the vehicle disposition. The full functional scope of the GEO map is enabled via the basic parameter "000003 Vehicle disposition". To do this, set the "DispoCard = 1" or "DispoCard = true" property. Otherwise, a demo variant is activated.

In the demo variant, only the vehicle orders of the current day are displayed as a single vehicle, or only the first hit is taken into account when searching for a geographical address.

In principle, both the vehicles to be considered and the time period to be displayed must be specified for the GEO map.


However, the GEO map provides a variety of settings, which can be intuitively defined by the scheduler. 

The vehicles for which vehicle orders are displayed in the GEO map for a given period are based on the same vehicles, which are also displayed in the "Vehicle fleet" tree structure. Accordingly, certain vehicle types can be blocked.


Setting parameters


The "Settings" tab is contained in the central detail area of ​​the disposition window.

The "GEO map" tab contains the basic setting parameters for the map view. These are automatically stored in the personal profile of the scheduler.


In the input field "Max. Vehicles" you can specify the maximum number of vehicles to be displayed in the GEO map. Too many vehicles make the GEO map confusing and extend loading times because the GEO map must read and check all relevant vehicle orders from the database.

In the area of ​​the settings, the scheduler has the option of activating individual vehicles that are to be explicitly included in the GEO map. If no active vehicles are selected, all vehicles from the "Vehicle park" tree structure are active. Otherwise, only the activated vehicles will be included in the GEO map.

Vehicles to be activated are selected with the appropriate button to the right of the text "Active vehicles" .

In the area of ​​the settings, the dispatcher has the option of blocking individual vehicles that are not to be included in the GEO map. This is done, as with the active vehicles, with the corresponding button to the right of the text "Locked vehicles" .

When one of the two buttons is clicked with the left mouse button, a selection dialog box appears for setting the corresponding vehicles.

In addition, the dispatcher can also mark individual vehicles directly in the tree structure "Vehicle park" via the context menu of the respective vehicle for consideration in the GEO map.

The "map content" allows the user to select which content is displayed on the GEO map via a dialog box.

After pressing the "OK" button, the selection of the content types is taken into account when generating the waypoints in the GEO map. Vehicles are displayed according to their last location data and vehicle orders (open or tour-based) are displayed according to their GEO coordinates or addresses.



The the area "Miscellaneous" you can set parameters for specifying the time period during which the GEO map searches for vehicle orders to be displayed.


The dynamically adjustable period offers the advantage that the dispatcher does not have to make a new restriction every day or is not overloaded with too many expired or processed vehicle orders.

Using the text field "Cycle" and the checkbox "Active" ,  a background process can be started which cyclically updates the GEO map. The default value for the wait between two cycles is 120 seconds. The field "Cycle"   is displayed in seconds and must be at least 10 seconds.

A value smaller than "10" is corrected to 10 seconds.  If the field is left empty, the default value of 120 is entered.


For reasons of performance, a small cycle time should be avoided, particularly in the case of a long period and many vehicles. Especially since, in the few seconds, hardly any decisive data changes in the vehicle orders, which are relevant for the visual display and the localized view. 

The checkbox "Zoom" determines whether the displayed waypoints (vehicles, vehicle orders, addresses, etc.) that are to be displayed should be zoomed in during a cyclic update of the GEO map or the currently set zoom level should be retained.


Geo-Map


After lookin at the basic setting parameters we have a look at the GEO map itself.

The view of the GEO map can be moved or scrolled as desired with a drag or a swipe gesture of the mouse (left mouse button and drag the mouse pointer over the map).

The GEO map offers a MiniMap (lower right) with a map overview whose zoom level is a few steps smaller than the zoom level of the GEO map itself. The MiniMap is to be activated before it appears (see context menu of the GEO map further down). If you click the left mouse button in the MiniMap, hold down the left mouse button and then drag the mouse pointer over the MiniMap, the GEO card scrolls at an increased speed.

The zoom level can be changed by scrolling the mouse wheel (if available) or by moving the zoom lever (left side) or by pressing the two zoom buttons (bottom left).



The text "data from OpenStreetMap" and "Posted in ODbL" (lower right) can be clicked with the mouse. With appropriate authorization, the external standard browser of the computer or of the operating system environment opens and calls the websites of OpenStreetMap® or OpenDatabaseLicence.


Context menu of the GEO map


When the user presses the right mouse button anywhere on the GEO card (outside the zoom components and waypoints shown), then opens the standard context menu of GEO card.


Copy

(Xx ° xx'xx, x '' N - xx ° xx'xx, x '' E)

The entry "Copy (xx ° xx'xx, x '' N - xx ° xx'xx, x '' E)" represents the GEO coordinates of the point at which the GEO map was clicked with the right mouse button. This point can be copied and re-inserted in any program window in which length and width degrees are displayed or edited (customers, delivery notes, transport orders, etc.).
This is described in detail in the following section "Selection of geographical address coordinates using a dialog window".
 Zoom In This entry zooms up (magnifies) the view of the GEO map with the highest possible zoom level to the GEO coordinates of the selected point.
Address search ... The GEO card can also be used to search for global addresses and then display them in the map view. The individual properties of the address can be entered within a dialog box. The more detailed the guidelines the better the results. The search is processed using the Nominatim Web service from OpenStreetMap®. 

Below the enry fields is the "Recent searches" box. All search queries are listed here since the "Vehicle disposition" program window has been called. These can be selected again at any time and then adapted.

The results of the search are displayed as "address" waypoints in the GEO map and zoomed in so far that all found addresses can be displayed together.

Remove addresses
This entry removes all found addresses of the individual search queries of the GEO map.

MiniMap display
If this entry is selected from the context menu, the MiniMap is switched on and off alternately. The MiniMap is a map overview whose zoom level is less than the zoom level of the GEO map itself.

MiniMap size
The size of the MiniMap can also be set by the user. This is done via a dialog box to specify the width and height of the area in pixels. After pressing the "OK" button, the new size of the MiniMap is taken into account in the GEO map.

Scrollable at the side
This setting means that the GEO map can be scrolled as far as possible to the right or to the left, just like a globe, so the map sections are constantly repeating. If this map property is inactive (deselected), the scrolling of the GEO map stops automatically at the western or eastern edge.

Zoom buttons
The user can specify whether the two zoom buttons should be faded in or out of the GEO map. These buttons can be used to increase or decrease the zoom level.

Zoom slider
The user can decide whether the zoom scale with the slider should be faded in or out of the GEO map. This slider can be used to gradually increase or decrease the zoom level.

Customize view ...
There are further settings for setting up the GEO map, which have a direct influence on the display and the time duration for updating the waypoints and other map contents. However, these are not constantly adapted. They were therefore outsourced to a separate dialog window.


GEO Card: Customize display


Pressing the button "defaults" button restores the GEO map's basic settings. This affects all properties that can be set in this dialog box.

The number of load threads determines how many parallel background processes the OpenStreetMap® data are retrieved. The value can be between 1 and 32 are.

Higher values ​​reduce the time taken to update the GEO map because the data is retrieved several times in parallel from the Internet. This of course is at the expense of the bandwidth of the Internet access and slightly to the detriment of the performance.


The zoom levels "high" , "means" and "Low" define the zoom levels at which the display of the waypoints changes from detail to symbol to circle. The graphical symbols themselves can be set in the adjacent selection boxes for each zoom area.

In addition, the user can choose in which color the "addresses", the "vehicle" and the "multi" waypoints are to be displayed in the GEO map. A dialog box is available for color selection.

In addition to the color, the settings for the "multi" waypoint also include the "Circle" entry field and the "Pattern" checkbox. The perimeter defines the number of pixels over which a circle with a corresponding diameter is placed to determine if multiple waypoints overlap. The valid range is between 1 and 500 pixels. A checkmark in the "Pattern" checkbox means that "multi" waypoints are represented by a pattern instead of a picture symbol.

Customize font
The font of detail information to be displayed on one of the high zoom levels can be defined by the user. A dialog box for selecting the properties of the font helps to define the fond.

Information about the map
When selecting this entry from the context menu of the GEO map, a submenu opens. The two entries "Data from OpenStreetMap" and "Published under ODbL" are references to external websites. With appropriate authorization, the external standard browser of the computer or the operating system environment opens and calls the websites of OpenStreetMap® or OpenDatabaseLicence.


However, the waypoints for vehicle orders to be displayed in the GEO map are not only defined over the time period and the active vehicles. 

The affected vehicle orders can also be displayed by means of the "Show in Map" entry in the context menus for the date and for the tour in the tree structure as well as for the order line in the individual tabular overviews "order pool", "extra pool" and "additional pool".

This entry, however, appears only in the context menu, if the loading and unloading points of the vehicle orders with the associated tour (tour orders) have been selected in the contents to be displayed, or if the corresponding contents have been opened.


Waypoints


The waypoints shown in the GEO map are explained in detail below.

"Order" - waypoints (loading and unloading points)
"Order" waypoints represent the loading and unloading points of the open and tour-based vehicle orders in the GEO map. The GEO coordinates for the display of the waypoint are determined from the latitude and longitude degrees stored in the respective vehicle order.

If these are invalid or have not been entered and saved, they are determined using the Nominatim Web service from OpenStreetMap®. It is therefore sensible to store correct latitude and longitude in the master data and vehicle orders. This prevents unnecessary calls to the Nominatim Web service from OpenStreetMap®.

"Vehicle" - waypoints
"Vehicle" waypoints show the current positions of the vehicles according to the most recent location information in the GEO map.

Depending on the service provider (TomTom or EuroTelematik), the GEO positions are sent to the respective RMI server service by means of different message types, depending on the order or vehicle, and stored in the database (table: KONETEINGANGANG). 

The GEO map determines the latest location information for each vehicle from the data records of the receiving pool, depending on the service provider, and converts these to GEO coordinates. Using the image symbol stored in the vehicle, a "vehicle" waypoint is created and displayed on the GEO map.

"Address" - waypoints
The GEO card can also be used to search addresses and display them in the map view. The search result is a single "address" waypoint.



"Multi" - waypoints
"Multi" waypoints are automatically generated by the GEO map when multiple waypoints are close together and overlap partially or completely. The size of the relevant area for determining overlays is configured using the settings of the GEO map (see above).

However, in order for the user to be able to address overlapping waypoints individually and to call up their context menu, so-called "multi" waypoints are displayed in the GEO map instead of the individual waypoints.

The tooltip of a "multi" waypoint indicates how many and which waypoints are contained in it. The first 15 waypoints are listed with their names. After the 15th waypoint, only "..." appears to indicate that there are other waypoints at that place in the GEO map.

The context menu of a "multi" waypoint contains, in addition to the already described entries, special entries for switching between the individual waypoints.

Each included waypoint is listed with its icon and its name as a separate entry, if a maximum of 15 waypoints are included in the "multi" waypoint.

For a larger number of existing waypoints, the entry "Select waypoint ..." appears instead.

If this entry is clicked, a new dialog box opens to select the desired waypoint.

If an entry is clicked directly from the context menu of the "Multi" waypoint (with a maximum of 15 waypoints) or a waypoint is selected from the dialog box, the context menu of the selected waypoint opens at the same location. The user can interact with the waypoint in this way.

If the wrong waypoint has been accidentally selected, the user has the option to return to the "multi" waypoint by clicking the corresponding entry "Back to: Multi ...". The context menu of the "Multi" waypoint will appear again. The user can now change to a different waypoint.



The use of the GEO map in the vehicle disposition gives the dispatcher a completely new view of the vehicles and the vehicle orders to be handled. The dispatcher can work with the order pool, the extra pool, the additional pool, the time beam or the GEO map, depending on the requirements. Equivalent functions are available in all five areas.

In addition, the dispatcher recognizes at a glance where the vehicles are currently located or which vehicle is most likely to take another tour.


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