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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Software compatibility with RoadMap

Link for iPhone and iTouch users here.


Before we discuss the video, let me first mention that we hit 2000 votes yesterday!

This is again great news and I will update you on the manufacturing progress in a separate post (I have been very busy taking care of all the logistics behind the scenes and acquiring quotes for the manufacturing now that NDAs have been signed).

The video above shows a demonstration of the open source software RoadMap. This open source software was ported to the iPhone by Morten Bek. Of course it is a work in progress and not everything is perfect yet and neither are all features ported, but at least it shows the concept and future potential: 3D real time location mapping (with local maps on your iPhone/iTouch; no need to connect to the internet) and hopefully in the (near) future full voice-assisted navigation support.

I was very impressed by what Morten has accomplished so far!

It seems there are two branches of the RoadMap software. The one that Morten is working on and the one that Ehud Shabtai is working on. The second branch is a little further ahead maybe in terms of features, see this video, but unfortunately the language and Wiki for that branch is in Hebrew and it only comes with the map of Israel. Hopefully the two branches will be able to join efforts and converge into one great iPhone/iTouch application.

For Morten's branch, I downloaded all the maps for California from here and I can now locate myself on my iPhone without the need for the Maps.app or internet connection.

The video shows the main aspects of the RoadMap application:
  • Arrow icon at left top: this switches between a fixed map view or a rotating map view. In the last case, your driving direction is always pointed upward and the map will rotate along with you.

  • Satellite icon: its color varies, green for GPS lock and red for no GPS signal. Pressing the icon will move the center of the map to your current GPS location.

  • Satellite screen: provides a view of the signal to noise ratio (SNR) for each satellite, longitude, latitude, elevation, speed, etc. This screen is accessible through the left button on the menu bar in the bottom (hard to see in the video)

  • 2D/3D icon: pressing this icon will switch between a 2D view of the map and a more navigation like 3D view of the map (see end of video)

  • Zoom in/out icons: pressing these buttons will change the scale of the map accordingly.

  • There are some more buttons in the bottom bar, but not all of them are working. With one of them, you can email your currently logged GPS route to your friends.

Unfortunately, my video recording ended abruptly as the camera ran out of memory, so the 3D view of the map (which I think is really neat) is not that long. But I hope you get an idea of what it looks like.

11 comments:

Bobby said...

looks amazing cant wait to try it out.

J D said...

Woohoo! Fantastic news! Also looks guaranteed to be better than the Apple/TomTom solution, which is ironic since we'd have to PAY for that. :)

Guess all you'd have to do is load a GB or so of maps onto your touch/iPhone to navigate around. Not a big deal for me as I have a fair amount of free space on mine.

iGPSD said...

Nice video. if it can combine the download method from xgps, and the rending tech from roadmap , would be much more interesting.

Leech said...

Wow, very nice.
The software allows tracklogs? Is there a way to use Garmin maps?

Can't wait!

J D said...

Also, I confess that I may or may not have been posting a link to your site just about everywhere people talk about iPod touches and iPhones :)

Konsti said...

This is really excellent work. It's a shame that it's only confined (for the time being) to USA maps, since there's little or no info available for European countries. I do hope some clever programmer can create a plugin to read other maps, such as Garmin, iGo and Destinator (currently for PocketPCs). Well done!

zhou said...

great job!!!!

GPS said...

@j.d.: All the maps for California are about 200MB. And feel free to post about the site where-ever you wish :)

@leech: Yes, the software stores your route in a .gpx file that you can download from the phone (it will leave dots on the map). The RoadMap file format for the maps is very specific, so it won't work with Garmin maps directly, but maybe they can be converted.

@konsti: there is maybe a way to convert maps from other navigators (unless they have some proprietary format)

Johanne og Morten said...

konsti: it's not only for the us - roadmap supports maps from openstreetmap.org - they are constantly getting better and better maps all around the world.

I live in Denmark and I use roadmap on the iPhone to contribute to OSM. All major roads and most streets in the major cities are mapped. I am mapping my local area on foot/bike and by car. It's great fun and soon we'll beat the quality of any proprietary maps. The great thing about OSM is that it is really quick to adapt to road changes - something that garmin/tomtom does not.

Leech: yes, it allows tracklogs. I don't think that there are any converters for garmin's maps, but the converter for OSM looks relatively straight forward, so you could have a go at it! :-)

gps จีน ติดรถยนต์ said...

give it a try

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