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Posts: 87 | Thanked: 535 times | Joined on Oct 2010 @ Karlsruhe, Germany

I am happy to announce that Marble is now available in extras. Marble is a Virtual Globe whose mobile version features advanced routing capabilities.

Marble 1.0
Key features introduced by Marble 1.0.0 are
  • Online and offline routing (worldwide)
  • GPS tracking and route guidance
  • Many different map themes

The packages for the base version take up 4.9 MB. Support for map themes other than OpenStreetMap is provided in an extra package (6.6 MB). Further map data is downloaded automatically.

Online and Offline Routing

When an Internet connection is available, Marble can retrieve routes from OpenRouteService (Europe) and Yours (Worldwide). Additionally you can calculate routes directly on the N900 without the need for an Internet connection using the Monav backend. Offline routing requires additional country maps which can be downloaded conveniently from within Marble. See this tutorial for further instructions.

Routes retrieved from OpenRouteService and Monav include driving instructions. During your journey, these instructions are highlighted appropriately.

GPS Tracking and Route Guidance

The internal GPS of the N900 is used to retrieve your current location. The track is shown in the map and can be saved for further analysis in other programs.

In route guidance mode, driving instructions are announced in front of turn points. The map follows you as you move; Marble adjusts the zoom value automatically according to your speed.

Map Themes

A wide variety of map themes is supported, each consisting of one or more layers. The interactive legend can be used to adjust the current map theme to your liking.

Note that not all map themes can be shipped due to legal reasons. Google Maps or Ovi Maps themes are therefore not shipped, for example.

And More...

Translations for 50 languages are included. At the time of writing these translations are incomplete however; the final version Marble 1.0 (scheduled for 2011-01-26) will ship with completed translations.

Many more features are included, please check them out yourself.

Marble 1.1
Marble 1.1 brings gradual user interface enhancements, OpenStreetMap data sharing and introduces voice navigation as a technical preview.

Many dialogs have been replaced with the easier to use stackable windows. The turn instructions are now shown in their own window, fixing the scrolling issues that occurred in the routing dialog.

All info boxes can now be locked (position becomes fixed) and hidden. This allows for example to get rid of the overview map if you don't like it. Some info boxes provide configuration options. These features are available via the context menu of info boxes. Click on an info box with the pen and hold it down for some seconds to open the context menu.

To make it easier to use Marble alongside other applications like Mappero, OpenStreetMap data is now shared using the /home/user/MyDocs/.maps/OpenStreetMap I/ directory. Existing data is migrated during the upgrade. You'll be informed about the migration (which can take some minutes if you downloaded much data) and have the option to cancel it.

One of the much requested features is voice navigation. Marble 1.1 introduces this feature as a technical preview. You can choose between sound output (turn points are announced with a sound) and speakers. We don't ship any speaker with our packages, but you can use TomTom voices: Download one of the free ones (some websites offer them for personal use), convert it with our web frontend and copy it to your N900. See this tutorial for details.

We call the voice navigation feature a technical preview because there are two known problems: The volume is not adjusted correctly and the voice output does not indicate the distance to announced turn points. We'll fix these issues once we identified the problem in the phonon backend.

Please note that the Marble 1.1 relase is not (as usual) aligned with the other KDE application releases. For this reason new and changed strings have not been adjusted by our translation teams. Practically the translations shipped with Marble 1.1 are still much better than those in Marble 1.0 due to bugfixes in the translation conversion tools.

Marble 1.2
Marble 1.2 introduces offline search and comes with two speakers for voice navigation pre-installed. Further speakers can be downloaded from

Marble 1.3
Marble 1.3 is able to show elevation profiles for routes (worldwide). The required data is downloaded from a KDE server and cached locally such that subsequent calculations of elevation profiles work offline. Two new overlays show GPS information (speed, altitude, direction, precision).

Marble 1.4
Marble 1.4 brings some gradual improvements to the existing features.
  • Support for OSRM, MapQuest routing backends
  • The voice navigation mode now also supports routes retrieved from OpenRouteService
  • Much more voice navigation speakers to choose from (installed automatically as needed)
  • Support for additional turn types, more voice commands

Additionally we have
  • Kinetic spinning can be switched on/off (in the main menu)
  • Bookmarks are also shown in the map now


  • Marble 1.4 is available in extras since the end of August 2012.
  • We will keep releasing further versions as long as a significant amount of users remains. Marble 1.5 is planned for January 2013.

In parallel we're working on a MeeGo version using QML.

Lots of helping hands were involved to develop the current version. Would you like to get involved? Please do!

Further Reading

Last edited by earthwings; 2012-08-29 at 22:01. Reason: Updates for version 1.4

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