Open Software Interface
The RavTrack Real-Time tracking AVL system uses an open interface to its GPS radio transponders and to the RavTrack PC software platform. With the richest set up user-interface options in the AVL industry, RavTrack can be configured to meet your vehicle tracking or asset tracking system needs.
PC Software Options:
There are numerous PC software applications for vehicle tracking and asset tracking available for use with the RavTrack system. RavTrack PC is Raveon’s AVL software, but many excellent 3rd-party vendors also support the Raveon RavTrack transponders in their systems. Following is a list of PC software applications that utilize the $PRAVE message from the RavTrack transponder, to display position and status information.
1. RavTrack PC. This PC software program by Raveon Technologies, is an advanced AVL system for tracking, reporting, and alerting. Compatible with Windows XP and Vista, and utilizing Microsoft’s .NET framework, it provides a low-cost easy solution to construct a complete real-time tracking system.
2. CES Wireless. CES software products are designed to offer real time vehicle data transfer with and without monthly service fees and compatible with most of the popular radio and wireless systems including Raveon’s M7 GX transponders, 2-way radios, radio trunking, satellite and cellular systems.
CES’s Power-trak 3 AVL software is ideal for public safety dispatch systems and fleet management systems. It has powerful mapping and reporting capabilities, and interfaces with many Computer Aided Dispatch systems.
3. Dynamic Survey Solutions. GPLocator by Dynamic Survey Solutions is an application capable of tracking up to 100 vehicles simultaneously in real time. GPLocator allows each vehicle to be configured with regard to its symbol type, color and label. Several serial and network communication protocols are supported, including interfaces for Raveon’s M7 series GPS transponders.
4. GlobalMapper. Global Mapper Software LLC designs, develops, and distributes the Global Mapper software package. They are committed to bringing powerful GIS software within the reach of everyday users by combining unparalleled ease of use with a vast feature set and an amazingly low price. With the release of v10.01 in late 2008, GlobalMapper is compatible with Raveon’s M7-GX transponders.
5. MaxSea. MaxSea-NavNet software brings NavNet radar, Fish finding and chart control directly to a PC. The critical combination of the navigation network and software is the ultimate solution to serious boaters. Raveon’s M7 series of GPS transponders works with MaxSea software, allowing boaters and fishermen to track their support craft, buoys, air-support, and other vessels.
M7 GPS Transponder Interface Options:
The M7 GX transponder may be user-configured to output a number of different GPS tracking messages, usable by many different GPS displays, PC software, GPS navigation systems, and hand-held GPS.
1. NMEA $GPWPL message. Position reports using the NMEA $GPWPL message format are used to display position reports on any GPS navigation screen that supports a serial RS232 connection, such as a marine plotter, hand-held GPS, GPS navigation display, marine chart-plotting PC software, and mapping/GIX software applications.
2. Raveon $PRAVE message. Raveon’s $PRAVE message format provides a rich set of tracking ans status information. Besides lat/lon information, it contains speed, heading, altitude, UTC time, battery voltage, temperature, I/O status, and alert status. <$PRAVE protocol>
3. NMEA $GPTLL message. Position reports using the NMEA $GPTLL message format are used to display position reports on any GPS navigation screen that supports a serial RS232 connection, such as a marine plotter, hand-held GPS, GPS navigation display, marine chart-plotting PC software, and mapping/GIX software applications. $GPTLL message include everything a $GPWPL message contains, with the addition of an “icon name” and optional heading, temperature, and speed parameter shown on-screen.
Interfacing With Your Own Software:
If you have or are developing your own software application, there are a number of ways you can receive GPS position information from a RavTrack radio system into your software application. Here are a few of the most direct methods.
1. RS232. Connect the RavTrack receiving station’s RS232 serial port to a computer running your application. When a position/status message is received, the receiving station will output the information using its serial port. You can configure the receiving station to send it out in the $PRAVE, $GPWPL , or $GPTLL message format.
2. Terminal Server. Connect the RavTrack receiving station’s RS232 serial port to a Terminal Server. Connect the Terminal Server to your network LAN/WAN. Configure the Terminal Server to connect to a TCP/IP socket on the computer running your application. When a position/status message is received, the receiving station will output the information using its serial port, throught the Terminal Server, to your application. You can configure the receiving station to send it out in the $PRAVE, $GPWPL, or $GPTLL message format. See AN 140 for more details.
3. RavTrack PC – SQL. You can use Raveon’s RavTrack PC to communicate with the receiving stations. It can process up to 6 channels at one time, parse and process the messages, and store the position/status of each tracked vehicle into an ACCESS database or a Microsoft SQL Server database. Your application need only make SQL queries to the database to find the location and status of any object in the system.
4. RavTrack PC – TCP/IP. You can use Raveon’s RavTrack PC to communicate with the receiving stations. RavTrack PC can be configured to forward the position/status messages to another IP address. Your application need only open and listen on a TCP port to retrieve the live position messages from the system.
5. RavTrack PC – KML File. You can use Raveon’s RavTrack PC to communicate with the receiving stations. RavTrack PC can be configured to periodically store the position information in a .kml file. Your application need only retrieve the .kml file and parse it to find the current location of all tracked vehicles.
Other PC Software Options:
Using either the NMEA protocol in the M7 transponder, or the .kml file export feature of RavTrack PC, the following list of software applications will work with the RavTrack system GPS transponders.
1. Google Earth. Using the .kml file automatically generated in real-time by RavTrack PC, any number of Google Earth sessions can monitor the positions of all of the GPS tracked vehicles.
2. Ozi APRS. OziAPRS is a part of a full GIS system that allows moving objects to be tracked in real time and displayed on networked computers. http://www.radio-active.net.au/web/gpsaprs/oziaprs.html
3. DataNet. DataNet is a software product from DataLink Systems, Inc. DataNET Software is the result of eight years of evolution. It has been used by U.S. and Canadian Government Agencies for secure GPS tracking and IP packet data routing.