It is a very exciting combination! On the one hand the idea of RaceDirector to compare and analyze recorded GNSS position data. On the other hand, a tool called Mapbox with which every point on the earth can be reached and displayed. What Mapbox in RaceDirector means, I’ll describe it in this post.
The biggest challenge for RaceDirector is to make as many racetracks as possible available to users. This means that the circuit has to be drawn by a graphic designer. This has the advantage that the racetrack contains many details and produces a very good graphical effect – the more accurate the racetrack is designed (buildings, fences, trees, other objects next to the racetrack), the more impressive is the presentation in RaceDirector. The disadvantage is that it is a considerable amount of time to draw these racetracks. Even if the racetrack is only drawn in low poly (low detail level), it takes about 2 days to finish – and that’s already a top score. Usually, designers draw up to a year at a track. In RaceDirector we currently use two solutions:
- Racetrack Builder – see examples like Mugello, Cremona or Tazio Nuvalori
- Bob’s Trackbuilder – the remaining racetracks in RaceDirector
With Mapbox in RaceDirector we have discovered an approach that does not reach the same level as the previously drawn racetracks. But all position data – no matter where on earth – can be displayed in RaceDirector. Yes, no matter where on earth !!!
What does that mean?
You have recorded position data, but the track is not available in RaceDirector. That’s the case, which we do not really want, but was not solvable until now. With Mapbox in RaceDirector no problem. This allows you to select “World” and upload your GNSS (GPS) position data. If you then select the track “World” in the app and go to “Check Your Track”, you will find your data here. That’s cool, but has a few limitations. You can view the data, but you can not compare or analyze your data with other turns/trips/laps. This is only possible with dedicated RaceDirector racetracks. If the race track is available in RaceDirector, you can use all Analytics and Comparison features.
Contrary to the “RaceDirector World” position data, on all other racetracks we check the quality of your uploaded position data. For all RaceDirector racetracks (except “World”) the data must have at least a 5Hz sampling rate. Thus, the accuracy and the related presentation is much better and more accurate than with “RaceDirector World”. Details about GNSS and accuracy can be found in this post – GNSS, Why is it useful for RaceDirector?
Check your track
Thanks to this new option, position data of your laps/trips/turns can now be checked independently of a racetrack and quality. A classic and good example is GPSies. It’s a platform where people upload their routes / tracks / rides – whether on foot, bike, motorcycle or car. The GPSies data can now be viewed in RaceDirector. Currently only for loop tracks. With longer one-way tracks we still have a problem with the interaction between Unity3D and Mapbox – the farther the point is from the origin, the farther it is next to the track. GPSies is just one example. In principle, all data can be checked in RaceDirector – in theory, position data from drones, aircraft (such as flightradar24) or boats / ships can also be used.
Fly around the world
Since in RaceDirector it was always possible to fly with a drone or helicopter and therefore to see the racetrack from a different perspective, we have extended this feature. With Mapbox in RaceDirector you can select every point on earth and start a sightseeing flight from there.
A highlight are the buildings, which are also displayed in 3D. If you, for example, choose New York, Chicago or Miami, you can dive into the skyscrapers of these cities. Of course, this also applies to mountains, such as Kitzsteinhorn or Pikes Peak (one of the famous mountain racetracks).
Innovation goes hand in hand with new or up-to-date hardware and software. Mapbox in RaceDirector requires a lot of memory and a strong CPU. This means that older devices (smartphones or tablets) can not be used – at the latest, when the memory (RAM) is full, the app crashes. So we do not bother anyone, we have introduced different versions:
- Windows, Mac and WebGL
- There is only one version 4.x.x, since PC and Mac have enough RAM these days.
- Android: There are two versions available
- 3.x.x – is available in the Play Store and stable for all devices from Android 4.4. However without Mapbox
- 4.x.x – if you participate in the beta program (Play Store) and your device uses Android 7 (or higher), you can download this version. However, it only works stably on devices where the RAM is > 2GB and on 64 bit CPUs
- iOS: There is only one version 4.x.x in the App Store
- If your device has less than 2GB of RAM (for example, iPad Air or iPhone 5), then the “World” track will not be displayed for selection. This means that Mapbox will not be available.
- For devices> 2 GB of RAM (for example, iPhone X), the track “World” is available for selection
Just try it and make your own opinion.