Smoke Point has been updated to v1.5 for iPhone and Android. In the new version, there are visual changes to how readings are displayed, as well as an early version of the new target prediction algorithm.
Visual changes to reading display
Reading display has been updated to more clearly indicate the quality of the reading. Quality here means how likely the heading of the line on the map is to the real heading from the observer’s position to the target. Since mobile phone compasses are sensitive to interference, these headings are not always accurate. Sometimes, they can be wildly inaccurate. This is called “compass error”.
Early results from the Smoke Point data collection project, the goal of which is to collect real-world compass error values, have been integrated into the new visual display of readings.
To further visualize the accuracy of a reading, a reading’s detail view shows the accuracy of that reading on an accuracy gauge, like this:
Preview of the new algorithm
We’re excited to bring to you a preview of the new target prediction algorithm. The development of this algorithm was made possible by some excellent mathematicians who have volunteered their time and expertise. This version outperforms the existing algorithm in most cases, and importantly, shows confidence ellipses on the map indicating zones of increasing target likelihood.
Why is it a preview? Good question. For one, the error values that are used to calculate confidence zones are not final. Second, we would like to perform more quality testing on the new algorithm. There are some cases where the new algorithm is not able to calculate a target location at all. I’ll write more about how the algorithm works in a future post.
To use the new algorithm in your app, go to Settings (on the main screen) > Advanced Settings > Use new target prediction algorithm:
- UI tweaks
- Opening an incident zooms to it during loading
- Automatic crash reporting
- Scale the UI down for smaller phones
- Ask fewer post-reading survey questions