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Mobility Trace Generation using the Google Maps API

  • Student: Tiago Cerqueira
  • Mentors:
  • Abstract: Mobility trace generation in ns-3 is done either by using the Mobility module included in NS-3 or by importing mobility traces generated by third party programs in a compatible format. The Mobility module included in ns-3 gives programmers the building blocks to create simple or complex traces, but is hindered by the fact that creating complex traces using the current module alone takes too long, even for simulations with just a couple of mobility capable nodes. As for mobility traces generated by third party programs, such as SUMO, they can involve too much work for their generation, especially when the researcher's interest - and expertise - is more on the data communication than on the traffic simulation. Using the Google Maps API it is possible to generate complex mobility traces, simply by providing a start and end point. Since the API is robust, well documented and supported, it can be assumed it will be available in the future.
  • About me: I'm a bachelor's student, currently doing an internship at CISTER (Research Center in Real-Time and Embedded Computing Systems) as part of my course's curriculum, where I'm working closely with ns-3. As part of my internship, I’ll be working closely with VANET simulations in ns-3.


I plan to download a mobility trace as the XML output of the Google Maps Directions API. This API provides its user with an encoded polyline string, which can be easily transformed into geographical coordinates. These, in turn, can be transformed into Cartesian coordinates for use with the NS-3 mobility module. I plan to use in particular ns3::Waypoint and ns3::WaypointMobilityModule classes to import the data contained in the XML trace into the simulator. I plan to allow easy integration for other APIs, if needed, but I'm not going to implement it in this project. I will also provide examples with different wireless technologies, such as LTE and 802.11p/WAVE.


I plan to add classes to the Mobility model to contact the Google API and parse the information received into geographical coordinates. By converting those coordinates to Cartesian coordinates it is then possible to create mobility waypoints It is also possible to provide a rough simulation for the speed at which a node can travel between given waypoints, by considering the speed limits in the tract for a car, and using default values for cycling, walking, and public transportation.


Each Milestone includes a period of half a week dedicated to test that milestone.

  • First and second week – Design the application and further study its implementation
  • Third and fourth weeks – Implement the design skeleton and implement methods for specifying the information to access and to convert that information to a format that NS-3 can understand
  • Fifth and sixth weeks – Implement methods for converting the information given by Google Maps into

waypoints in order to generate a trace based on the Google Maps route. Develop an algorithm to set up reasonable values for the speed of the car/person between two waypoints.

  • Seventh and eight weeks – Perform exhaustive testing to the functionalities implemented.
  • Ninth and tenth weeks – Correct existing bugs and prepare patch