Windows Phone Using Location Services (GPS)

GPS 101

Let’s spend a few minutes to just learn the basics of GPS, in order to better use it in our code. What GPS boils down to—the nitty-gritty—are two floating-point numbers representing the X and Y position on the Earth. The X value has traditionally been called longitude, and the Y value has been known as the latitude. From a game programming perspective, this is an easier way to grasp the terms, but a naval veteran would scoff at the overly simplistic way this is being presented. We’ll gloss over issues of precision in order to grasp the concepts first.

Longitude represents the “X” or horizontal coordinate on the surface of the Earth, running east or west from the zero point.

Latitude represents the “Y” or vertical coordinate on the surface of the Earth, running north or south from the zero point.

The origin (0,0) is located about 400 miles off the western coast of Africa, southwest of Nigeria and south of Ghana. From that origin point, longitude increases to the right (east), and decreases to the left (west); latitude increases up (north), and decreases down (south). In other words, it is oriented exactly like the Cartesian coordinate system we’ve been using all along for our trig-heavy examples. This makes translating GPS coordinates for the purpose of making a reality game a cinch!

To help make sense of the coordinate system, Table 17.1 shows the approximate latitude and longitude values of several major cities in the world, formatted in a way that makes sense to game programmers (such that longitude comes before latitude— remember, we aren’t navigating here). Note that these are far from precise, just rough estimates to present the general location of each city. More precise GPS coordinates will include up to six decimal places of increasing precision, down to just 10 feet or less in granularity.

GPS Data for Major Cities

If you want to learn more about latitude and longitude coordinates, there is an interactive world map available online at http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html.

Windows Phone Location Services

XNA provides us with a geographic location service in a library located in a namespace called System.Device.Location. This library is not included in the project’s references by default, so we must add it to use this library in our program.

Adding the Location Services Library

  1. Right-click References in the Solution Explorer, and then choose Add Reference.
  2. In the dialog box that comes up, there is a list with the .NET tab already in view, as shown in Figure 17.1. Select System.Device from the list and click the OK button.
  3. The geographic location services library is in a namespace called System.Device.Location, which must be added with a using statement to any program that needs these services:
    [code]
    using System.Device.Location;
    [/code]

Using the Location Services

To read the current device’s GPS location, we create an object using the GeoCoordinateWatcher class:

[code]
GeoCoordinateWatcherSim watcher;
[/code]

It is okay to create the watcher object in Initialize() or LoadContent(), or in response to a user event:

[code]
watcher = new GeoCoordinateWatcher(GeoPositionAccuracy.Default);
[/code]

At this point, the object is created but is not yet receiving any GPS data. We have to create an event handler to handle position status change events. The trigger that causes such an event is movement of the device, which can be fine-tuned with the MovementThreshold property:

[code]
watcher.MovementThreshold = 20;
[/code]

Adding a reference to the System.Device library.
FIGURE 17.1 Adding a reference to the System.Device library.

The first event we’ll tap into is StatusChanged. A new event method will need to be created to correspond with the name of the method passed to this new event object. In this case, the example is using a string called statusText, which can be printed out from the main Draw() call. Optionally, a programmer-defined status could be set here and used elsewhere in the game:

[code]
watcher.StatusChanged += new EventHandler
<GeoPositionStatusChangedEventArgs>(watcher_StatusChanged);
void watcher_StatusChanged(object sender,
GeoPositionStatusChangedEventArgs e)
{
switch (e.Status)
{
case GeoPositionStatus.Disabled:
statusText += “Location service has been disabledn”;
break;
case GeoPositionStatus.Initializing:
statusText += “Location service is initializingn”;
break;
case GeoPositionStatus.NoData:
statusText += “Location service is not returning any datan”;
break;
case GeoPositionStatus.Ready:
statusText += “Location service is receiving datan”;
break;
}
}
[/code]

The actual movement of the GPS device triggers position change events that we can tap into with the PositionChanged event. A similar event method will have to be created for this event as well. In this example, a GeoCoordinate variable called coord is set using the passed parameter that contains the GPS location data:

[code]
watcher.PositionChanged += new EventHandler
<GeoPositionChangedEventArgs<GeoCoordinate>>(watcher_PositionChanged);
void watcher_PositionChanged(object sender,
GeoPositionChangedEventArgs<GeoCoordinate> e)
{
coord = e.Position.Location;
}
[/code]

Simulating Position Changes

The WP7 emulator does not have a GPS receiver, and even if your PC has one, the emulator doesn’t know how to use it—the emulator is a self-contained system that only uses the networking of your PC to simulate connectivity. I say “simulate” because in a real WP7 device, that Internet connection would come through the airwaves, presumably G3 or G4, depending on what the service provider supports.

There is a workaround for the limitation. If you want to create a game that uses location services, it’s a given you must be able to test it extensively, and even with a real WP7 device, testing GPS code can be a challenge. So, even with hardware, it may be preferred to develop this code with a GPS simulation rather than the real thing. With a simulation, you can define the location data yourself and write the gameplay code to respond to location data in a predictable way. Only the final testing stages of the game would need to be done “in the field.”

So, a question arises: How do we simulate GPS data?

The solution is to write a class that inherits from GeoLocationWatcher and then fill in data events with a timer that generates real-time updates via GeoLocation events. Voilà!

GeoLocationSim

There are three classes involved in the geographic location simulator. The first is GeoLocationSim, which inherits directly from GeoCoordinateWatcher, the main GPS class in XNA. There are quite a few properties, events, and methods defined in this abstract class that are required to pass this off as a legitimate GeoLocation class so that it works with normal GeoLocation code, but we don’t need all of that for testing purposes. Nevertheless, they are all required. In the sample project for this hour, I have added all three classes in a source file called GeoLocationSim.cs. First, take a look at Listing 17.1, the code for the sim class.

LISTING 17.1 Base GeoLocation Simulation Class

[code]
abstract public class GeoLocationSim : GeoCoordinateWatcher
{
private GeoPosition<GeoCoordinate> current;
private Timer timer;
public GeoLocationSim()
{
current = new GeoPosition<GeoCoordinate>();
Status = GeoPositionStatus.Initializing;
RaiseStatusChanged();
}
private void RaiseStatusChanged()
{
GeoPositionStatusChangedEventArgs args =
new GeoPositionStatusChangedEventArgs(Status);
if (StatusChanged != null)
{
StatusChanged(this, args);
}
}
private void RaisePositionChanged()
{
GeoPositionChangedEventArgs<GeoCoordinate> args =
new GeoPositionChangedEventArgs<GeoCoordinate>(current);
if (PositionChanged != null)
PositionChanged(this, args);
}
public void OnTimerCallback(object state)
{
try
{
if (Status == GeoPositionStatus.Initializing)
{
Status = GeoPositionStatus.NoData;
RaiseStatusChanged();
}
StartGetCurrentPosition();
TimeSpan next = GetNextInterval();
timer.Change(next, next);
}
catch (Exception)
{
throw;
}
}
protected void UpdateLocation(double longitude, double latitude)
{
GeoCoordinate location = new GeoCoordinate(latitude, longitude);
if (!location.Equals(current.Location))
{
current = new GeoPosition<GeoCoordinate>(
DateTimeOffset.Now, location);
if (Status != GeoPositionStatus.Ready)
{
Status = GeoPositionStatus.Ready;
RaiseStatusChanged();
}
RaisePositionChanged();
}
}
abstract protected TimeSpan GetNextInterval();
abstract protected void StartGetCurrentPosition();
//override base property
public GeoPositionPermission Permission
{
get { return GeoPositionPermission.Granted; }
}
//override base property
public GeoPosition<GeoCoordinate> Position
{
get { return current; }
}
//override base event
public event EventHandler<GeoPositionChangedEventArgs
<GeoCoordinate>> PositionChanged;
//override base method
public void Start(bool suppressPermissionPrompt)
{
Start();
}
//override base method
public void Start()
{
TimeSpan span = GetNextInterval();
timer = new Timer(OnTimerCallback, null, span, span);
}
//override base property
public GeoPositionStatus Status
{
get;
protected set;
}
//override base event
public event EventHandler
<GeoPositionStatusChangedEventArgs> StatusChanged;
//override base method
public void Stop()
{
timer.Change(Timeout.Infinite, Timeout.Infinite);
Status = GeoPositionStatus.Disabled;
RaiseStatusChanged();
}
//override base method
public bool TryStart(bool suppressPermissionPrompt, TimeSpan timeout)
{
Start();
return true;
}
}
[/code]

Filling in GPS Data with Timing

SampleGeoCoord is a helper class that is used to fill in GPS position data with timing. Each position coordinate corresponds to a one-second interval at which the position update event is triggered. So, this class supplies longitude, latitude, and time.

[code]
public class SampleGeoCoord
{
public double Longitude { get; set; }
public double Latitude { get; set; }
public TimeSpan Time { get; set; }
public SampleGeoCoord(double Longitude, double Latitude, int seconds)
{
this.Longitude = Longitude;
this.Latitude = Latitude;
this.Time = new TimeSpan(0, 0, seconds);
}
}
[/code]

GeoCoordinateWatcherSim

The GeoCoordinateWatcherSim is our main workhorse simulation class, inheriting directly from GeoLocationSim. This class puts the GeoLocationSim properties, methods, and events to work using data populated within an array of SampleGeoCoord objects. In the example coming up that uses this class, I’ve centered the coordinates around Los Angeles, with 60 seconds of random locations within a radius of about 100 miles around the city coordinates (-118, 34). Listing 17.2 contains the code for the GeoCoordinateWatcherSim class.

LISTING 17.2 Usable GeoCoordinateWatcherSim Worker Class

[code]
public class GeoCoordinateWatcherSim : GeoLocationSim
{
List<SampleGeoCoord> events;
int currentEventId;
Random rand = new Random();
public GeoCoordinateWatcherSim(GeoPositionAccuracy accuracy)
{
currentEventId = 0;
events = new List<SampleGeoCoord>();
//create random coordinates in Los Angeles
for (int n = 1; n < 60; n++)
{
double Long = -118 – rand.Next(2) – rand.NextDouble();
double Lat = 33 + rand.Next(2) + rand.NextDouble();
events.Add(new SampleGeoCoord(Long, Lat, n));
}
}
private SampleGeoCoord Current
{
get
{
return events[currentEventId % events.Count];
}
}
protected override void StartGetCurrentPosition()
{
this.UpdateLocation(Current.Longitude, Current.Latitude);
currentEventId++;
}
protected override TimeSpan GetNextInterval()
{
return Current.Time;
}
}
[/code]

Creating the Geo Position Demo

Let’s write a program to demonstrate the GeoCoordinateWatcherSim class in action. The example requires only a font, because it just prints out the longitude and latitude of the geographical coordinate data and the status of the watcher. The code for the Geo Position Demo program is found in Listing 17.3, and Figure 17.2 shows the program running. Note that this example will work on a WP7 device without the simulated data with a single line change, from

[code]
watcher = new GeoCoordinateWatcherSim(…);
[/code]

to

[code]
watcher = new GeoCoordinateWatcher(…);
[/code]

The Geo Position Demo simulates GPS movement.
FIGURE 17.2 The Geo Position Demo simulates GPS movement.

LISTING 17.3 The Geo Position Demo Program

[code]
public class Game1 : Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game
{
GraphicsDeviceManager graphics;
SpriteBatch spriteBatch;
TouchLocation oldTouch;
Random rand;
SpriteFont font;
string statusText = ““;
GeoCoordinateWatcherSim watcher = null;
GeoCoordinate coord = null;
public Game1()
{
graphics = new GraphicsDeviceManager(this);
Content.RootDirectory = “Content”;
TargetElapsedTime = TimeSpan.FromTicks(333333);
oldTouch = new TouchLocation();
}
protected override void Initialize()
{
base.Initialize();
StartGeoLocation();
}
protected override void LoadContent()
{
rand = new Random();
spriteBatch = new SpriteBatch(GraphicsDevice);
font = Content.Load<SpriteFont>(“WascoSans”);
}
protected override void UnloadContent()
{
base.UnloadContent();
watcher.Stop();
}
protected override void Update(GameTime gameTime)
{
if (GamePad.GetState(PlayerIndex.One).Buttons.Back ==
ButtonState.Pressed)
this.Exit();
base.Update(gameTime);
}
protected override void Draw(GameTime gameTime)
{
GraphicsDevice.Clear(Color.Black);
spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteSortMode.FrontToBack,
BlendState.AlphaBlend);
spriteBatch.DrawString(font, “Latitude: “ +
coord.Latitude.ToString(“0.000”),
new Vector2(100, 10), Color.White);
spriteBatch.DrawString(font, “Longitude: “ +
coord.Longitude.ToString(“0.000”),
new Vector2(100, 30), Color.White);
spriteBatch.DrawString(font, statusText,
new Vector2(100, 100), Color.White);
spriteBatch.End();
base.Draw(gameTime);
}
void StartGeoLocation()
{
coord = new GeoCoordinate();
//try to create geo coordinate watcher
if (watcher == null)
{
statusText += “Starting location service…n”;
watcher = new GeoCoordinateWatcherSim(
GeoPositionAccuracy.Default);
watcher.MovementThreshold = 20;
watcher.StatusChanged += new EventHandler
<GeoPositionStatusChangedEventArgs>(
watcher_StatusChanged);
watcher.PositionChanged += new EventHandler
<GeoPositionChangedEventArgs<GeoCoordinate>>
(watcher_PositionChanged);
watcher.Start();
}
}
void watcher_StatusChanged(object sender,
GeoPositionStatusChangedEventArgs e)
{
switch (e.Status)
{
case GeoPositionStatus.Disabled:
statusText += “Location service has been disabledn”;
break;
case GeoPositionStatus.Initializing:
statusText += “Location service is initializingn”;
break;
case GeoPositionStatus.NoData:
statusText += “Location service is not returning any datan”;
break;
case GeoPositionStatus.Ready:
statusText += “Location service is receiving datan”;
break;
}
}
void watcher_PositionChanged(object sender,
GeoPositionChangedEventArgs<GeoCoordinate> e)
{
coord = e.Position.Location;
}
}
[/code]

There are many uses for GPS tracking, not to mention potential multiplayer games, but one thing to keep in mind is that GPS only provides location data, but there’s no transmitting of that data. After the location is received, that’s it—it’s data, and it’s not transmitted anywhere. GPS is read-only. So, if you have in mind a game, there must still be a network infrastructure connecting all the players, wherein each player will transmit his or her GPS location to the other players over the network. The WP7 platform supports Xbox Live for networking, so that is likely the next subject to study if you’re interested in making a networked game.

What Does a Civil Lawyer Do?

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Trapped in the Maze of a DUI?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense given to someone who is caught driving a motorized vehicle while being legally intoxicated or impaired. Law enforcement can arrest a driver with 0.08% of blood alcohol content (BAC) and charge him with a DUI. What comes next? Hiring an attorney in Los Angeles is the very first thing you should do after being arrested. You need to find out what your penalties are and even though, DUI penalties vary from state to state, most states charge a first misdemeanor DUI offence with the following:* A small amount of jail time.* License suspension.* Probation.* Attending Alcohol programs.* One or more fines.* Installing and renting an ignition interlock device into the driver’s car.For these charges you will need a skilled and experienced attorney which has been greatly successful in the area of criminal defense. This is how he/She can help you:* The Los Angeles attorney is the only person that will stand between you and a hard punishment for a crime that you might have not committed. If you only had a couple of drinks you may think the court will have leniency in your case. The truth is they will find the harshest punishment available you.* He/She can make sure the law enforcement and the prosecutor have done all the procedures correctly because any mistakes can have a case thrown out of many courts and may mean fewer penalties.* Attorneys can get a more understanding judge to view your case. He may accept a No Contest Plea which means that you do not plead guilty but will you assume the charges given. A No Contest plea can help you retain some driving privileges.* Getting the assistance from lawyers can prevent you from getting any additional charges. You will know how to answer questions wisely and what you should not say.We know that a DUI charge can roughen up your life but don’t let it get any worse…a good DUI lawyer in Los Angeles will help you with all your legal needs!

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What You Can Do When Charged With a DUI

It is never easy to stay composed in the face of such obstacles. It is important to remember that you have the right to aggressively defend your best interest. Regardless of whether you are partially at fault in any crime, you have a right to pursue your best interest and seek a beneficial outcome.Know Your RightsWhen you are arrested, you have the right to be treated according to pre-determined legal procedures. Oftentimes in the case of a traffic violation, the confusion surrounding the arrest or charge means that these procedures are not followed in every case. Especially in a city like Los Angeles where there is constant confusion on the roadways, it is possible your rights may be violated. If you feel your rights have indeed been ignored, you should seek the advice of a Los Angeles DUI attorney immediately to begin evaluating the circumstances surrounding the arrest. You have the right to an attorney; your DUI lawyer will act as your partner and advocate throughout your legal battle.Seek a Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal defense lawyers specialize in aggressively seeking the best possible resolution for an individual accused of a crime. Often, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will have extensive knowledge of traffic litigation due to the unique circumstances present in Los Angeles. The southern California area, which encompasses Orange County and San Bernardina County, has the second highest commute time in the nation and eight times the national average of car accidents. Criminal defense attorneys in Los Angele’s are intimately familiar with the laws that govern traffic in the area including DUI legislation. Furthermore, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer will be highly familiar with the prosecutors and judges who try criminal cases in the Los Angeles area, giving you a distinct advantage.Find an Attorney with Experience in DUI CasesAny criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles should have some knowledge of traffic and DUI legislation. It is advisable, though, to seek a DUI attorney in particular. A DUI attorney will have knowledge of previous DUI cases and will likely have tried many such cases in the past. You should be able to locate records of these cases without too much difficulty. For example, The Law Offices of Rodney Nosratabadi have an excellent blog that highlights current cases being heard and opinions or advice on the circumstances. You may find that by looking at these cases that you are not alone in your desire to resolve a DUI case without facing extensive penalties. Many other people have worn your shoes, and your DUI attorney will be sympathetic to your cause moving forward.

Los Angeles Malpractice Attorneys

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Best Los Angeles Attorneys

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Los Angeles Cerebral Palsy Attorneys

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Los Angeles Contingency Attorneys

Accident and personal injury litigation is frequently handled on a contingency basis. When an agreement is made to pay a lawyer on contingency basis, the fee is set at a prearranged percentage, of the awarded amount. The percentage of the amount to be paid, will vary from state to state, and lawyer to lawyer, and is generally determined by the type of case involved. In some states, the percentage that a lawyer may charge, by way of a contingency fee is set by law. It may be a fixed percentage, such as 33-1/3% of all sums recovered, or based on a sliding scale, such as 40% of the first $10,000 recovered, 35% of the next $40,000, 30% of the next $150,000, and25% of the next $300,000.The advantages of paying on a contingency basis are manifold. Firstly, if the claim is lost no payment is made to the lawyer. In case there is a settlement, which is paid over time, the attorney can be paid as the settlement amount is received. The plaintiffs can hire an expensive attorney though they cannot afford to do so when filing the case. The disadvantage of paying on contingency is that a sizeable percentage of any award or settlement has to be given away.Though the attorney will not have to be paid in case the claim is lost, the plaintiff is responsible for expenses the attorney incurred for medical reports, investigative services, expert witnesses, court costs and court reporter fees. Whatever may be the outcome of the claim, the cost of bringing the claim to court is borne by the plaintiff.It is advisable to fully understand any legal agreement, or arrangement entered into with a lawyer before commitment. It is an established legal practice as such cases involve large claims and financial liabilities. For this reason, attorneys are assured of high service fees in case of a favorable verdict.

Finding a Trustworthy Los Angeles Lawyer

If you are looking for a Los Angeles defense attorney, particularly a criminal defense attorney, it can be overwhelming with the amount of advertising online. Just searching on your favorite search engine, will return somewhere in the region of half a million links in the LA County area. However, the best place to check for a reputable organization is the official Los Angeles County Bar Association’s lawyer referral service, (LRIS).The LA Bar Association is a member of the American Bar Association and can be considered a highly trustworthy source for a referral. You can visit them online at smartlaw.org where you will find plenty of resources available for your use.When you go to the home page, you will notice a form in which you can specify the type of lawyer you are looking for, such as a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer or malpractice lawyer. You can then select the specific LA area you wish your lawyer to be located in, which is handy so you don’t have to travel very far in the event of a last-minute meeting.This will then take to a more in depth form, where you will be required to fill in personal details such as; your name, address and contact details. Once you have confirmed these, you will be referred to a suitable lawyer in your area. You will be given all necessary contact details, whilst they also give you directions from your address to the Los Angeles Attorney’s office.The Los Angeles defense attorney you are referred to will be informed by the LRIS so that they can expect to be contacted by you. If after consulting with the lawyer, you are not comfortable, you can simply contact the LRIS, who will give you further referrals, until you find one suited to you and your needs.