10-23-12 11:50 PM
38 12
tools
  1. meltbox360's Avatar
    Hmmm I take it offline maps is in demand.... Have been looking into making an app and google maps are illegal to cache and you aren't allowed to pull a lot of tiles from openstreetmaps or at least they ask you not to. How would everyone feel about needing to torrent maps if the app came with very specific instructions? (Figured I might as well ask here.) This way you have one app and access to free worldwide maps. No routing or anything at first but with positioning through gps.

    I'll keep looking for ways to provide a smooth user experience in app along with free maps. I could probably do better if I hosted an openstreetmaps server but the cost would transfer to the end user which I would rather avoid. Which brings me to this question. How much is a basic offline map app without navigation worth to you?

    Thanks to all who answer (I didn't mean I'll hit the thanks button but you know I might xD)

    Edit: Would you pay $5 for an app like this if you knew it would not be abandoned?
    Last edited by Meltbox360; 01-02-12 at 03:13 AM.
    RoboticGolem likes this.
    01-02-12 02:57 AM
  2. belovedson's Avatar
    its worth enough to pay some cash for
    meltbox360 likes this.
    01-02-12 02:59 AM
  3. KermEd's Avatar
    Mmm it is tough for me. Because i always have internet... but if ithad nicer feauture like tourist spots id buy it
    01-02-12 04:56 AM
  4. mundo472's Avatar
    I'd love this, especially if it included good topographic maps. Skylab apps really suck. I was stupid enough to buy their topo map that claimed to work without a connection. Not even close.
    01-02-12 10:11 AM
  5. FF22's Avatar
    Interesting thoughts and mixed messages.

    And the current internet breeds these issues. The data is out there but the providers only want us to use it in a certain way. That ignores the reality that sometimes we are not online or being online is not affordable. Verizon use to have a reasonably priced package if you traveled from the US to Europe. So grabbing data (maps) online could be reasonable. That's gone. So I'd want maps cached.

    But here you are talking about selling a program but that may rely on, ahem, grabbing maps we are not entitled to use without fees (or at all). So you propose earning money by accessing the potentially forbidden.

    Go for it!
    01-02-12 10:26 AM
  6. tartosuc's Avatar
    i would pay for such an app for sure.
    01-02-12 03:20 PM
  7. Torresr's Avatar
    I would pay for offline maps but they must be really smooth plus have a trial version.
    01-02-12 08:48 PM
  8. meltbox360's Avatar
    Well actually the map hosting is still an issue as mapquest requires their name on anything you download, openstreetmaps begs you not to pull too much data and google just says no. I will make a demo and I will not even think about releasing if it is not buttery smooth. Tourist spots should be possible but the very first release most likely wont have that.

    When you say tourist spots do you mean just a spot marked or a spot with a long description? Also topographic maps meaning maps which are terrain pictures and not street maps correct?

    I have decided I will start this app although it may not be done for a little while. It depends on how much I screw up along the way and whether opengl on the playbook has issues. It will be hardware accelerated graphics maybe with pinch to zoom maybe just buttons at first. I will put up demos in a new thread that will show my progress once I have a user interface and can load some maps.
    KermEd and ralfyguy like this.
    01-02-12 09:21 PM
  9. RoboticGolem's Avatar
    USGS Maps : Free Image : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

    found this after a short search. Seems the maps are all public domain, but the disc costs $1600, the guy got enough donations to re-coup his losses and put them up here. They are a bit old, but its a start.

    (http://freegovinfo.info/node/611) Reference
    Last edited by RoboticGolem; 01-02-12 at 10:07 PM. Reason: the refernce site
    meltbox360, hondok9 and KermEd like this.
    01-02-12 10:02 PM
  10. meltbox360's Avatar
    How would everyone feel about the possibility of having a world map on 32 and 64gb PlayBooks?

    Nice find on those maps I will look into it but my priority is street maps. I believe adding different types of maps will be possible later but don't hold your breath just yet.

    On second thought at first glance I think those maps could be implemented faster... Interesting

    Am I correct that all images on there are high res tiff images? If thats the case I can whip together a "map reader" that can view them but it would not be much different than a picture app except for gps. Problem here is that I don't have files with gps data that tell me what lat/long the map is centered on and I also need to know the map projection and only then can I point to your location.

    Duh, the info above the map downloads... All you would do is copy and paste it into a txt file or something unless those xml files are useable. I will check.
    Last edited by Meltbox360; 01-02-12 at 10:18 PM.
    01-02-12 10:06 PM
  11. RoboticGolem's Avatar
    I would think the government would have the same thing, but I know this has been something people have been wanting for a while now. So I'm sure you'd get a lot of support.
    01-02-12 10:09 PM
  12. RoboticGolem's Avatar
    If you look at the detail on the maps, it gives the gps coords on the corners. Yeah, 14meg each or so. The one I'm currently looking at even has 'roads, unimproved roads, and trails'

    I also stumbled upon this

    State Map Sites - Perry-Castaeda Map Collection - UT Library Online
    meltbox360 likes this.
    01-02-12 10:20 PM
  13. meltbox360's Avatar
    If you look at the detail on the maps, it gives the gps coords on the corners. Yeah, 14meg each or so. The one I'm currently looking at even has 'roads, unimproved roads, and trails'

    I also stumbled upon this

    State Map Sites - Perry-Castaeda Map Collection - UT Library Online
    Wow thanks so much for the help. I think I will start them as two different apps and later on fuse them and offer customers of each app both apps features? That would mean the terrain one would cost more than if I left them as two different apps. Any thoughts on that?
    01-02-12 11:01 PM
  14. RoboticGolem's Avatar
    I think that would work well. Then have a bundled version. I know there are people that look for the topographic stuff just for hikes and dirt bike riding. Where-as people who drive out of town and may be in an area with-out wifi, and want a larger screen, with faster response time, than any handheld can offer.
    01-03-12 12:21 AM
  15. meltbox360's Avatar
    For now I will do a topographic app as open street maps is giving me a headache. I want to implement it efficiently but doing so looks like it will be mountains of work.

    Question to all: How big of a map do you regularly want to have?

    An efficient implementation can fit the world on a 32gb playbook. A not efficient could fit as little as a city but dev time would be shortened by a factor of perhaps 4.
    hondok9 likes this.
    01-03-12 12:56 AM
  16. rotorwrench's Avatar
    If you could come up with an app that would allow seamless download of the USGS free pdf topo maps, specifically the 7.5 min or 1:24000 scale maps, would be great. The maps are free and on a dedicated site, so a nice loading app would be spectacular. I load them through a work to pc and then load them to the PB, but prefer to download straight to the PB. There would be a lot of interest there and I would pay more for that app than any other app I've purchased so far.

    If you go to the PB forum and check out a motorcycle mount thread from about a week ago, you'll see quite a bit of interest for this kind of app there. Also, check out the for pilot thread around the same period. Much need from pilots on a viewer for navigation charts and approach plates. Thanks for looking into it.
    Last edited by rotorwrench; 01-03-12 at 02:50 AM.
    mundo472 and meltbox360 like this.
    01-03-12 02:41 AM
  17. Wolfgan's Avatar
    Well actually the map hosting is still an issue as mapquest requires their name on anything you download, openstreetmaps begs you not to pull too much data and google just says no. I will make a demo and I will not even think about releasing if it is not buttery smooth. Tourist spots should be possible but the very first release most likely wont have that.
    Why don't ship the product packaged with only a high level/small file world map and let the user get their local maps ala TrekBuddy? The end user may grab maps from many well known repositories...
    Wolf
    meltbox360 likes this.
    01-03-12 07:38 AM
  18. meltbox360's Avatar
    My thought was that tiles (picture format maps) are large. This is impossible to get around in terrain maps but in street maps you can take a binary file and encode all the roads and generate the map while offline. This gives you a world street map in 21gb or so. I can probably strip it down to less.

    I see now however that everyone likes their tiles so I will first make a version that accepts tiled maps. I will look into pulling data from usgs as long as nothing on their website restricts me from doing it.

    So far I have this for planned features:
    GPS location
    (I can add heading when they release the compass to non beta developers)
    Offline tile map loading with coordinate file or manual input.
    Online map pulling from USGS.

    I am unsure if I can do the last one without requiring a link to the map or something but I will try. I'm assuming people would also like a speed indicator or avg speed? I can try to implement heading based on movement but it would be slow to respond to a change in movement. You would have to go a few meters before it noticed.

    Above is for terrain map app. Could someone link or clarify on the pilot one?
    Below is for street maps.

    Large maps in pbf format from openstreetmap support. (world/multi city/city/town/1 street)
    Tilemaps supported from openstreetmaps (if I support more sources I would have to use a specific naming scheme otherwise I could not display current location on the map)
    Google maps online support?
    Speed/heading
    Add compass when I can use the playbooks apis to make heading work better.

    TrekBuddy allows for google maps input which I can do but your on your own for getting the tiles since its illegal to cache tiles.

    Google maps naming scheme tile support for both apps then? That could be doable.

    I will see about the large maps being included. Maybe first 3 or 4 zoom levels.
    Last edited by Meltbox360; 01-03-12 at 12:18 PM.
    01-03-12 11:53 AM
  19. Wolfgan's Avatar
    My thought was that tiles (picture format maps) are large. This is impossible to get around in terrain maps but in street maps you can take a binary file and encode all the roads and generate the map while offline. This gives you a world street map in 21gb or so. I can probably strip it down to less.
    That's why I was suggesting small maps bundled in, like google maps at level 0 or 1 just to make sure the app works and the pkg size is reasonable.
    The apps mentioned at Trekbuddy tools (I used Googleak.Net and worked well) allows the end user to generate their maps as they see fit from different sources (I don't recall if terrain maps are also allowed, but will try to check)
    Wolf
    Last edited by Wolfgan; 01-03-12 at 12:09 PM. Reason: Add URLs
    01-03-12 12:08 PM
  20. meltbox360's Avatar
    That's why I was suggesting small maps bundled in, like google maps at level 0 or 1 just to make sure the app works and the pkg size is reasonable.
    The apps mentioned at Trekbuddy tools (I used Googleak.Net and worked well) allows the end user to generate their maps as they see fit from different sources (I don't recall if terrain maps are also allowed, but will try to check)
    Wolf
    After giving it some thought I have decided I will not include google maps offline for legal/moral reasons. I will include zoomed out image but those will not be from google but rather from maps that are in the public domain and free to use. I will include support for maps however the problem at the moment is if I allow custom maps then the end user must know what the projection of the map is (mercator, equirectangular etc etc)

    This is doable however those things would have to be set by the user.
    01-03-12 05:41 PM
  21. meltbox360's Avatar
    If you could come up with an app that would allow seamless download of the USGS free pdf topo maps, specifically the 7.5 min or 1:24000 scale maps, would be great. The maps are free and on a dedicated site, so a nice loading app would be spectacular. I load them through a work to pc and then load them to the PB, but prefer to download straight to the PB. There would be a lot of interest there and I would pay more for that app than any other app I've purchased so far.

    If you go to the PB forum and check out a motorcycle mount thread from about a week ago, you'll see quite a bit of interest for this kind of app there. Also, check out the for pilot thread around the same period. Much need from pilots on a viewer for navigation charts and approach plates. Thanks for looking into it.
    Could you post up a link to one of these pdf files?
    01-03-12 06:03 PM
  22. Wolfgan's Avatar
    After giving it some thought I have decided I will not include google maps offline for legal/moral reasons.
    IIRC, I think Googleak just stayed as the app name, but it may be used to convert/import from other services as well (ie OSM, local charts). I just wanted to point out that there are several tools available to get custom maps from different sources, so you're able to focus on the app functionality 100% rather than on maps and zones covered and the like.
    Regards, Wolf.
    meltbox360 likes this.
    01-03-12 06:32 PM
  23. rotorwrench's Avatar
    01-03-12 11:00 PM
  24. meltbox360's Avatar
    IIRC, I think Googleak just stayed as the app name, but it may be used to convert/import from other services as well (ie OSM, local charts). I just wanted to point out that there are several tools available to get custom maps from different sources, so you're able to focus on the app functionality 100% rather than on maps and zones covered and the like.
    Regards, Wolf.
    Ahhh thank you Wolf. In fact I figure that even if all the downloaded tiles have different file layouts (meaning my application would have to support a lot of configurations) I can write an app that fixes it on peoples pcs.

    How many people here have macs that they use and would really want/need a mac version of such a program?

    Rotorwrench I have a question. You would only expect the app to do one pdf at a time without stitching maps together correct? Stitching them together would be tricky. Heh I may as well make a pdf viewer app after I'm done with this. That is also highly requested :P
    Last edited by Meltbox360; 01-05-12 at 03:22 PM.
    01-05-12 03:19 PM
  25. Wolfgan's Avatar
    BTW, Trekbuddy offers an Android instalable apk. Did anyone tried to convert it to .bar for testing?
    Wolf
    meltbox360 likes this.
    01-12-12 05:28 PM
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