Personnel Tracker Tutorial
NEON Personnel Tracker tracks your location wherever you go and shares your location with others in real-time. The app uses a combination of inertial measurements and feature constraints to narrow in on your location. Features can constrain your location when your movement and nearby signals match the pre-mapped environment.
This tutorial will guide you through the steps to map a building and then track within the building.
Before arriving on-site to map or track within a building, you will need to create a building model on NEON Command. The building model serves two purposes. First, it is used for display purposes to show the building floors and floor plans alongside the tracking information. Second, the building model is used in the navigation algorithms to help determine which floor a user is on. Knowing how many floors there are in the building helps NEON solve the building floor heights. Information about the building outlines is opportunistically used to improve tracking performance.
Obtain Floor Plan Files
Floor plan files can be obtained from many sources such as the building owner, the building website, or a conference website. Floor plan images must be in .png, .jpg, .jpeg or .pdf format. The size of the floor plan image will determine how clearly the floor plan is displayed on the screen. However, the larger the floor plan file, the slower it will load in NEON Command and in the NEON Personnel Tracker app. When higher resolution images are loaded in, the images may not be rendered completely. We encourage downscaling the images to a lesser resolution, a maximum of 2048 pixels.
Create a Building Outline
- Right-click on the map and select “Scan OSM Buildings”. This will scan the database of Open Street Maps buildings. The buildings that are available for import will be displayed on the screen as a gray polygon with a dashed yellow outline. Click on a building to import it.
- If your building is not available from the Open Street Map database then you can manually create the building outline. Right-click on the map and trace the building outline by clicking on each corner of the building.
Note: The best practice is to trace the roof of a building and then use the editing tools to translate the building outline to match up with the true footprint of the building.
- A prompt will appear with fields to enter the building name and number of floors. Enter this information.
- Add a floor plan image by first selecting the floor, then right-click and select “Floor Plan > Add Floor Plan”. A file browser will appear. Select the floor plan file.
- Adjust the floor plan by right-clicking on it, then use the control points to rotate, scale, and translate the floor plan image.
- Adjust the building outline if it does not line up with the floor plan image by right-clicking the building and select “Floor > Edit Layout”.
- Save your building using the save icon. The building will automatically be saved to the Cloud so that other members of your subscription can access the building.
Adjustments can be made to the building by opening up the “Building Editor” in NEON Command or in the Mapper Mode of the NEON Personnel Tracker app itself.
For information on how to keep building data in local memory and prevent it from syncing with the Cloud, refer to the offline buildings feature.
Once you are onsite, it is time to collect data for the Signal Map.
Pairing the Tracking Unit
The NEON Tracking Unit must be paired with the Android device in order to track your movements.
Attach the tracking unit to your belt in the front or back center. Once the Tracking Unit is placed, pair and connect to it. Do not move the Tracking Unit once it is attached to your belt. Avoid placing the Tracking Unit on your hip and never clip it or place it in your pocket. Doing so will degrade the tracking accuracy.
Initialization is necessary to calibrate the NEON Tracking Unit to your gait. Initialization must be achieved each time you power on the NEON Tracking Unit. You can initialize by performing double check-ins.
- Walk to an area that is easy to identify on the map such as a doorway or hallway intersection.
- Tap the check-in icon and move the pin to the location where you are actually standing.
- Tap the green check mark to apply the check-in. You should now see your location update to the location where you dropped the pin.
- Walk at least 10 meters forward and perform another check-in. At this time you should be initialized.
Open the menu on the left and select “Switch to Mapper” to switch to Mapper Mode. Mapper Mode is a mode in the Personnel Tracker app that geo-references unique features in a building and enables you to create a virtual environment by discovering features that will improve accuracy and your tracking experience. Discoverable features include Wi-Fi, BLE beacons, TRX anchors, stairs, elevators, escalators, and building entrances. Tap the green play button to start mapping. While mapping, walk around on each floor to map floor heights and important building features. When a feature is discovered, you will be prompted to confirm the placement.
Tap the red stop icon to stop mapping. The data will be uploaded to the cloud and will display on NEON Command when the device is connected to the Internet.
Now that we have completed pre-mapping of the building, you can now start tracking. Open the menu on the left and select “Switch to Tracker” to switch to Tracker Mode. Tracker Mode is a mode in the Personnel Tracker app that uses pre-mapped and pre-planned environmental features to help pinpoint your location.
NOTE:In the absence of environmental features, NEON uses inertial measurements to track your movements.
Open the menu on the left and select a name and color for your avatar. Begin walking around the building to begin tracking. Users have the option to correct their position by selecting the “Enable Manual Check-ins” option. BLE Beacons, TRX Anchors, or other features can be placed to determine and initialize the user’s location. Automatically your location data is sent to your subscription in the NEON Cloud and another user using NEON Command can view your location live.