[Ovmsdev] Open Charge Map

Christopher Cook christopher.cook at webprofusion.com
Wed May 21 19:12:24 HKT 2014

Hi Mark,

So to recap, the idea your proposing here is to checkin to OVMS, rather 
than directly to Open Charge Map, then later allow OCM access to the 
checkin information via your API.

Since the existing apps have the ability to query OCM for the list of 
nearby charging locations then you can present a shortlist of OCM 
locations so the user can confirm which it is - maybe there's a need for 
the user to be able to Add a location though (that can be done by launch 
a webview to http://openchargemap.org/site/poi/add then waiting until 
the url changes to http://openchargemap.org/site/poi/details/12345 - you 
can then grab the OCM-ID from the url for the subsequent checkin to OVMS.

Note that there is the option to directly checkin/comment to OCM if you 
wanted to, either via the API or by launching a webview to a specific 
OCM page to start the checkin and pass in relevant info. We already 
capture various types of success/failure but we could also accept a 
general payload (as JSON) to store with the checkin (for instance 
charging times/power levels etc) which we can parse later.

A bit about the relevant bits of OCM API (if they were required):

For simple web browser based stuff:
checking in/commenting: http://openchargemap.org/site/poi/addcomment/12345
add photos: http://openchargemap.org/site/poi/addmediaitem/12345
edit a POI: http://openchargemap.org/site/poi/edit/1234
add a new POI: http://openchargemap.org/site/poi/add

For actual API level stuff:
An anonymous checkin to OCM can be done via the API by posting to 
with a JSON string for the comment object in the http post such as:

     "ChargePointID": 12345,
     "CommentType": {
       "ID": 10,
       "Title": "General Comment"
     "UserName": "A. Nickname",
     "Comment": "This place is awesome",
     "Rating": 5,
     "RelatedURL": "http://awesomevplace.com",
     "CheckinStatusType": {
       "IsPositive": null,
       "IsAutomatedCheckin": false,
       "ID": 0,
       "Title": "Did Not Visit Location"

Checkin/Comment types can be found at: 

I'll be setting up a sandpit API shortly so that app folks can try out 
checkins etc.

Note that authentication as a specific OCM user is slightly contrived 
(much like OAuth 2.0 etc) and currently requires initiating a browser 
workflow starting at:

  * http://openchargemap.org/site/loginprovider/?_mode=silent&_forceLogin=true&_redirectURL=AppLogin?redirectWithToken=true
  * And ending at: http://openchargemap.org/site/loginprovider/applogin
  * You then need to either reading the Username and OCMSessionToken
    cookies or we could include it in the url fragment of the applogin
    page and you can read that from the web view.

One option I'm pondering is for apps to be able to request the OCM 
Session Token just by supplying a PIN code and Username to the API, the 
user would need to go to the OCM website to generate the pin code (and 
conform the expected Username for it to work) probably by starting a 
certain OCM url with an API Key specific to OVMS.


On 21/05/2014 15:23, Kevin Sharpe wrote:
> FYI, I've asked Lee Howard from Mainpine to take a look at this in detail.
> Kevin Sharpe | Founder & Patron | Zero Carbon World is a UK Registered 
> Charity #1141347
> From: Mark Webb-Johnson <mark at webb-johnson.net 
> <mailto:mark at webb-johnson.net>>
> Reply-To: OVMS Developers <ovmsdev at lists.teslaclub.hk 
> <mailto:ovmsdev at lists.teslaclub.hk>>
> Date: Wednesday, 21 May 2014 07:19
> To: OVMS Developers <ovmsdev at lists.teslaclub.hk 
> <mailto:ovmsdev at lists.teslaclub.hk>>
> Subject: Re: [Ovmsdev] Open Charge Map
> Here is an email with a proposal / suggest I sent out last year. This 
> would be wonderful to do, just limited resources to do it with.
> Regards, Mark.
>     I've always been interested in the possible uses of OVMS for the
>     greater good of the EV community, and to assist with the
>     widespread adoption of Electric Vehicles. The anonymised Tesla
>     Roadster charging records we provided to Tom Saxton for his work
>     on a Charge Time Predictor for these cars showed how beautifully
>     such information sharing can work.
>     One big target for me has always been the sharing of information
>     on public charge stations. Most of these systems are walled
>     gardens at the moment (either for the charge station network or
>     for the vehicle manufacturers), and there seems to be very little
>     sharing going on. Chargepoint know when you start to charge, when
>     you finish, the result (completed successfully or interrupted),
>     volts, amps, etc - but not SOC% or which vehicle was actually
>     being charged (just the owner). Leaf Carwings presumably knows
>     where you charged, and the result, per vehicle, but has no way of
>     sharing that with charging station networks. You can use Recargo
>     to find a charging station, but have to manually go in and enter
>     the charge result (if you want to feed-back positive/negative
>     reviews to Recargo for the benefit of other users). The end result
>     is a wallet full of charging network membership cards, RFID tags,
>     and a cellphone full of Apps for all the different networks. Over
>     time this will resolve itself, but for the moment it is a mess.
>     Open Charge Map goes a long way towards opening the charging
>     station information, but the information seems to be flowing out
>     of OCM to others, but not necessarily the other way.
>     Well, it turns out that for OVMS at least, we have a possible
>     solution. A solution that can be both charging network and vehicle
>     agnostic (at least for the vehicles supported). The rest of this
>     eMail outlines my ideas for how this could be implemented. Think
>     of it as an old-fashioned Request For Comments, and let me have
>     your feedback.
>     Thanks, Mark.
>     *_Sharing Public Charge Data_*
>     _*The Problem*_
>     To allow OVMS users to automatically and simply share their usage
>     of public charging stations. The information shared would be
>     openly available to charging networks, charge station databases,
>     apps, researchers, and other interested parties.
>     _*Pre-Requisites*_
>     Participating users would be required to have OVMS installed in
>     their vehicle, and for the vehicle to be supported in as much as
>     it can provide to the server indication of location, charge start,
>     and charge completion events. Users would also require a cellphone
>     app for authorisation and control of the sharing of their data.
>     _*Licensing*_
>     The data produced should be licensed in some 'open' way. Do with
>     it as you will. Perhaps creative commons, or something similar.
>     _*Vehicle Firmware Changes*_
>     Specific messages for "Charge Start" and "Charge Completed" should
>     be created and sent to the server at the appropriate times.
>     Control of this can be in the common vehicle.{h,c} code, and is
>     not hard to implement. Only the 'last' charge is required, and the
>     normal historical data interface can be used.
>     _*App Changes*_
>     The Apps (Android and iOS) would require a mechanism for the user
>     to opt-in to the scheme, and for that opt-in to be either
>     anonymous or with a user-defined nickname. The opt-in is
>     per-vehicle and the default is for all vehicles to be opted out.
>     When the App connects to the server, it will inform the server as
>     to the opt-in status.
>     The Apps will occasionally receive push notification messages from
>     the server, at the start of a charge. Those messages will lead to
>     a dialog for the user to confirm what he would like to do with the
>     current charge:
>       a) Always shared charging information for this location
>       b) Share just this once charging information for this location
>       c) Do not share this one charging session for this location.
>       d) Never share charging information for this location
>     If the choice is made to share, additional information can be
>     provided (such as the charging post number, comments, etc). It
>     would be nice to include information from Open Charge Map at this
>     point (such as the name of the charging station, and validation of
>     the charging point number), but we will need to verify licensing
>     and other considerations (such as whether this would be acceptable
>     / desirable to Open Charge Map).
>     The Apps will occasionally receive push notification messages from
>     the server, when charges are aborted. Those messages will lead to
>     a dialog for the user to confirm the reason for the abort:
>       a) Charge was successful, but interrupted by the user
>       b) Charge was unsuccessful, due to a problem with the charging
>     station
>       c) Charge was unsuccessful, but not a problem of the charging
>     station.
>     The user's response must be returned to the server appropriately.
>     The Apps, when connected to the server, can also receive a list of
>     charging records that have not yet been responded to. A dialog
>     should be presented to the user for each such location.
>     _*Server Changes*_
>     The servers will maintain opt-in status for each vehicle in the
>     system, and if opted-in, the nickname / anonymous handle for the
>     vehicle.
>     The servers will maintain a historical list of charging locations
>     for each vehicle in the system. Each location record would have:
>       a) Latitude, Longitude (geofenced).
>       b) Sharing flag (pending user, just this once, always, not this
>     once, or never).
>       c) Charging information (date/time charge started, etc).
>       d) Date and result of last charge here.
>     When the server receives a 'charge started' message from the
>     vehicle, it would look up the geofenced location in the database,
>     for the vehicle, and use the sharing flag to determine what to do.
>     If there is no matching record found, a new record would be
>     created (sharing flag: pending user).
>     When the server receives a 'charge completed' message from the
>     vehicle, it would look up the geofenced location in the database,
>     for the vehicle, and use the sharing flag to determine what to do.
>     If the sharing flag indicates that the charging information should
>     be shared, the server would publish the charging session
>     information appropriately.
>     If the server receives an indication from the car that a charge
>     has been aborted, it will have to PUSH notify the user - but also
>     ask the user for confirmation of the reason why the charge was
>     interrupted.
>     When the server receives a user decision message from an App
>     (either before or after charge completion), it should update the
>     charging location record appropriately. This may also result in
>     the publishing of the charging session information.
>     The server will maintain a database of partners, and their API
>     access keys. This database should allow for PUSH messages (via
>     HTTP) to the partner. If PUSH is enabled, every time a charging
>     session is updated (either started or completed), the server will
>     connect to each partner (in randomised order) and send them the
>     information for recent charges. The server will also provide an
>     API to allow partners to PULL messages past a certain date/time
>     stamp (to allow for periodic synchronisation).
>     _*Partners*_
>     Partners would just have to subscribe to the system (signing up
>     with a user account and being given an API key). They would have
>     to agree to the license terms, but other than that there would be
>     no restrictions to partnership.
>     Partners can choose to either retrieve updates via PUSH (they
>     provide a server URL to receive the data), PULL (they periodically
>     poll the OVMS server for updated data), or a combination of both.
>     _*Overview (start to finish)*_
>     An OVMS user opts in to the service. He uses the nickname 'Jimbo'.
>     He arrives at a public charging station and plugs in. The OVMS
>     module in his car detects the charge has started and informs the
>     server. The server looks up the vehicle charging locations and
>     finds that the vehicle has never charged here before, so sends a
>     PUSH notification to the user's Apps to ask him about this charge.
>     Within seconds of the charge starting, the user's cellphone beeps
>     and he sees an OVMS notification. He clicks on it and is taken a
>     dialog asking him about the charge he has just started. This is a
>     public charge station, so he just clicks "Always share charging
>     information for this location" and turns off his phone. The App
>     sends a notification to the server, and the server updates its
>     records to never both the user about this location again. The
>     server also updates all partners (via PUSH notification) that a
>     charge has started at this location.
>     Partners can use this information to record statistics on charge
>     station usage, or even as a rudimentary indication of if the
>     charging station is in use (at least by an OVMS user).
>     After a few hours of charging, a breaker trips and the charge is
>     interrupted. The OVMS module in his car detected the abort and
>     informs the server. The server looks up the vehicle charging
>     location, and if sharing is enabled for this location sends a PUSH
>     notification to the user's Apps asking him about the cause of this
>     interruption?
>     The user returns to his car and finds the problem. He responds to
>     the dialog in his OVMS App to let the system know that the charge
>     was interrupted by a problem of the charging station. The server
>     receives the response, updates its records, and updates all
>     partners (via PUSH notification) that a charge has been
>     interrupted at this location.
>     Partners can use this information to record statistics on charge
>     station failure rates, as well as updating that the charge station
>     is no longer in use.
>     Partners not using PUSH notifications can retrieve all this
>     information at a later date by a simple HTTP PULL request.
>     _*Further work*_
>     There are many extensions possible to this system, but I would
>     first of all like to concentrate on getting a basic implementation
>     designed and implemented, and some partnerships in place.
>     For example:
>     * Pictures of new charging locations.
>     * Information for new charging locations.
>     * Charging station information.
>     * Showing current usage of a particular station in the Apps.
>     * and so much more
>     _*Privacy Issues*_
>     The biggest privacy issue is that the server would have to record
>     the locations of charging stations that the user has requested not
>     be shared. For example, someone's home. We could avoid this by not
>     recording these, but that would not be optimal as the system would
>     then have to ask the user whether he wanted to share, each and
>     every time they charged at that location (rather than just once,
>     the first time). As this information is not actually shared, it is
>     not a true privacy issue - but should the security of the server
>     be compromised, that data could be exposed.
>     Perhaps a one-way hash could be used for storing locations, but we
>     would have to find one that also worked with geofenced lookups.
>     *_Conclusions_*
>     The above is not hard. In particular, the vehicle firmware changes
>     are trivial (it could even be done without any vehicle firmware
>     changes, by looking at the S and D messages coming back from the
>     cars). The server code is not difficult at all. The largest amount
>     of work would be in the Apps (in particular, handling the PUSH
>     notifications and user dialogs).
>     _______________________________________________
>     OvmsDev mailing list
>     OvmsDev at lists.teslaclub.hk <mailto:OvmsDev at lists.teslaclub.hk>
>     http://lists.teslaclub.hk/mailman/listinfo/ovmsdev
> On 4 May, 2014, at 7:01 pm, Christopher Cook 
> <christopher.cook at webprofusion.com 
> <mailto:christopher.cook at webprofusion.com>> wrote:
>> Actually, on that topic (almost) - we should discuss how OVMS users 
>> might checkin (or even auto-checkin) to OCM. That would help us track 
>> which locations people are using and the quality of their experience 
>> there.
>> Are there any recent thoughts on this from the OVMS side? Currently 
>> there are no third party apps writing to the OCM API. Doing so 
>> currently requires at least authentication (via the web UI) - this is 
>> also the method used by the OCM mobile apps.
>> There is the possibility of a quicker/simple login to OCM via third 
>> party apps by way of a security code emailed to the user (who would 
>> either be new to OCM or an existing user). Not massively secure 
>> (there are holes in the approach) but it would make it easy for third 
>> party apps to quickly authenticate.
>> Alternatively we can provide URLs which OVMS users would open in a 
>> browser/webview which go on to use the standard mobile app or site. 
>> This is the easiest for OVMS apps to implement.
>> Depends on what integration people would like to see?
>> Chris
>> J-C Saint-Pô <jcsaintpo at gmail.com <mailto:jcsaintpo at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Hello guys,
>> Just a reminder.
>> http://openchargemap.org/ is used as database of chargingstations in 
>> the OVMS apps
>> You can add / remove chargigstations via 
>> http://openchargemap.org/site/poi or http://openchargemap.org/app/
>> For some uses you need to login.  This can be done via your twitter 
>> google+ or facebook-account.  So no extra account to be made solely 
>> for OCM
>> here some other examples of apps/ websites that use OCM
>> http://openchargemap.org/site/develop/apps
>> Here the google+ community of OCM 
>> https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112113799071360649945
>> Kind Greets
>> J-C
>> _______________________________________________
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