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Posts: 87 | Thanked: 529 times | Joined on Oct 2010 @ Karlsruhe, Germany
#1

It's my pleasure to introduce Marble (the virtual globe and world atlas you know from your desktop system or your N900) in its Harmattan version for the N9/N950, available for installation from the Ovi Store.

The user interface has been rewritten completely based on the Qt Quick / Qt Components with the goal to simplify the interaction while still keeping all important features. An immediate change existing Marble users will notice is the introduction of a new startup screen where you choose an activity: Routing, Navigation, Virtual Globe and many more; each aligning the user interface in a way convenient for the task at hand.

In contrast to other Marble versions we will ship updates more frequently and introduce new features also in minor versions.

Marble 1.3.2
The following activities are integrated:
  • Virtual Globe - Different views (map themes) of the globe
  • Search - Find cities, addresses, points of interest
  • Routing - Calculate the way between arbitrary targets
  • Tracking - Record your way
  • Navigation - Turn-by-turn instructions while you travel (textual and voice guidance)
  • Weather - Temperature and weather situation of many places
  • Friends - Shows people from the OpenDesktop community
  • Space View - Views of different planets and the moon





















Let me highlight a couple of features which I like best personally:
  • Four different routing backends are queried at the same time: Yours, OpenRouteService, MapQuest and Monav (offline routing, see below)
  • Offline routing is possible when installing Monav Routing Daemon from the ovi store and downloading offline data for it in Marble's Preferences page
  • Switch between motorcar, bike and pedestrian routing with a single click
  • Voice navigation speakers for many languages can be installed directly from within Marble; just select the one you like in the Preferenes page
  • We provide many additional map themes; install the ones you like in the Preferences page
  • The search function queries nominatim (from OpenStreetMap), but also works offline when you install data for the region you're interested in (in the Preferences page again)
  • View realtime clouds, realistic day/night zones, and accurate satellite positions in the space view activity

Feedback is highly welcome! Please report bugs to KDE Bugzilla. Short-term planned changes are listed in KDE Techbase. Posting in this thread works great as well.

Roadmap
  • Marble 1.3.1: 2012-02-02 (available in Ovi Store). First release
  • Marble 1.3.2: 2012-02-08 (submitted to Ovi Store). Pinch zoom, MapQuest routing backend, download tiles along the route, more voice navigation commands
  • Marble 1.3.x: Bookmark support

Further Reading
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#2
Originally Posted by earthwings View Post
In contrast to other Marble versions we will ship updates more frequently and introduce new features also in minor versions.
Wooohooo, does "other versions" include Fremantle?
Don't make me break out in tears, please!
 
Posts: 87 | Thanked: 529 times | Joined on Oct 2010 @ Karlsruhe, Germany
#3
No, the fremantle version has the "conservative" policy still for two reasons:
  • The code is taken from the same branch as the desktop version, where KDE policies apply (no new features in stable branches)
  • The fremantle version includes translations, which must not be changed in between minor versions per KDE policy
I could resolve the first one by packaging the Fremantle version from the same branch as the Harmattan one, but the second reason would still apply.

That also means that once we introduce translations (user interface in other versions than english) to the Harmattan version, we cannot introduce new features as easily anymore. That should happen for version 1.4.

We're not the only KDE application facing this problem; I hope that policies change now that mobile applications become more and more popular (which are usually updated more often).
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#4
I noticed there is another app from you in the store, the monav routing daemon. Do I need to download that, too?
 
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#5
This is the most excellent development. Much appreciated!
 

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#6
Hi earthwings,

thanks a million, it's really a fantastic application.

I have a few comments and questions.

From the screenshots it looks like the openstreetmap hiking and cycling maps have to be installed, but in the downloadable routing maps for some regions, I noticed there are car maps only, whereas other regions have car/cycle/pedestrian maps.
Am I correct to assume that:
- for routing, one needs the downloadable map data with the right symbol (i.e. with a car only, the Swiss map data will not allow routing for pedestrians/cyclists)
- the map type (osm, cycle, hike and bike, etc) has influence only on the visible maps / downloaded tiles
?
If so, how/where does one get pedestrian maps of Switzerland (perhaps just main cities, OSM is not all that good outside major places) and Cycle maps of the Netherlands?

Next question: is the elevation data downloaded once for the area one is looking at? If I want elevation data for all of Switzerland, how can I do that? Or is that a bad idea?


On the Virtual Globe, I can change the setting to OSM, to be able to zoom more (default view Atlas won't allow to zoom much), but each time I go out and come back in, it's back to Atlas - any way to make OSM map view permanent?


The offline data list is very long (which is great) and slow to scroll, it would be good if there would be a way to scroll through it faster, or have a nested way to get to the right point (continents/subcontinents, then countries (then regions/cities).


If I search for something, and get multiple hits, the red markers that appear don't go away anymore.
They sometimes shift to the wrong place when for instance going to routing view then back to virtual globe...
When touched, a popup with the found name shows up, and the word route. I can't seem to make that go away just by tapping next to it.

Even when setting offline mode, I get the request for internet connection a lot...


Even with the bugs that I encountered, I would say that this the most impressive, coolest app for the N9.

What is missing is vector map drawing; I hope that gap can soon be filled.
Also, the openbusmap data would be cool.

Anyway, thanks again and keep up the good work!




BTW
@impact, you need MoNav for offline routing.


PS As an engineer who sometimes takes things too literally, I figured I'm not the only one when I saw the satellites view... seems like a conversation like this went on:
Dev A: I think we should offer a satellite view (thinking of satellite footage..)
Dev B: I'll get right on it!
/jk
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#7
Just played a bit with the weather section - it flickers the station info in portrait mode, in landscape all is fine, and wow, it's really cool!
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Posts: 87 | Thanked: 529 times | Joined on Oct 2010 @ Karlsruhe, Germany
#8
Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
From the screenshots it looks like the openstreetmap hiking and cycling maps have to be installed, but in the downloadable routing maps for some regions, I noticed there are car maps only, whereas other regions have car/cycle/pedestrian maps.
Am I correct to assume that:
- for routing, one needs the downloadable map data with the right symbol (i.e. with a car only, the Swiss map data will not allow routing for pedestrians/cyclists)
- the map type (osm, cycle, hike and bike, etc) has influence only on the visible maps / downloaded tiles
The map theme is indeed just a visual representation independent of the routing functionality. You can switch between different map themes without affecting routing at all.
The offline data to download for certain regions is needed only for offline routing. Marble queries several routing backends in parallel; as long as there is an internet connection, routing will work in any region (assuming the servers reply). If you want to calculate routes offline, you need to install an offline map for that region. You also need to install Monav Routing Daemon from the Ovi Store in that case.

Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
If so, how/where does one get pedestrian maps of Switzerland (perhaps just main cities, OSM is not all that good outside major places) and Cycle maps of the Netherlands?
Currently pedestrian and bike offline route data is only available for Germany for direct install in Marble. If you have an Internet connection, calculating pedestrian routes in Switzerland and cycle routes in Netherland work directly (OpenRouteService delivers them in 1.3.1 and in 1.3.2 additionally MapQuest). If you're interested in offline routing for those regions, you have to convert the data yourself at the moment. This is not too complicated, but so far we don't have a tutorial on it. In short, you need to install the monav-preprocessor (easiest on a Linux desktop system), download a osm.pbf file for the regions you're interested in (e.g. From download.geofabrik.de), preprocess it with monav-preprocessor and create a marble.kml file (use an existing one as a base). Then copy that to the N9 (place it in /home/user/MyDocs/.local/share/marble/maps/monav/).

Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
Next question: is the elevation data downloaded once for the area one is looking at? If I want elevation data for all of Switzerland, how can I do that? Or is that a bad idea?
Marble downloads the elevation data automatically in the background and caches it locally. When you create a couple of routes across Switzerland, you'll have all the needed data and from there on it will work offline as well.
The data is downloaded from http://files.kde.org/marble/maps/earth/srtm2/ You can download all that to have the elevation data for the whole world, but I'd not recommend it since it is large (more than 15 GB IIRC).

Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
On the Virtual Globe, I can change the setting to OSM, to be able to zoom more (default view Atlas won't allow to zoom much), but each time I go out and come back in, it's back to Atlas - any way to make OSM map view permanent?
The intention of the Virtual Globe activity is more to use it at a distant view. For higher zoom level I'd suggest using e.g. the tracking activity, since it uses the street map theme you configured and also the mercartor projection, which is better suited for OpenStreetMap derived maps (faster and sharp zoom levels).

Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
The offline data list is very long (which is great) and slow to scroll, it would be good if there would be a way to scroll through it faster, or have a nested way to get to the right point (continents/subcontinents, then countries (then regions/cities).
I want to fix the slowness and allow collapsing the sections in one of the next releases. There's also a bug report for it at bugs.kde.org.

Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
If I search for something, and get multiple hits, the red markers that appear don't go away anymore.
They sometimes shift to the wrong place when for instancet going to routing view then back to virtual globe...
When touched, a popup with the found name shows up, and the word route. I can't seem to make that go away just by tapping next to it.
Clearing the search result (cross icon in the search field) should remove the markers. You can get rid of the popup by clicking on the popup (except the route button of course). Maybe I find a way to close them when clicking anywhere else as well.
There's a bug report about the search markers appearing at the wrong place when the virtual keyboard is open. Is that what you see maybe as well?

Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
Even when setting offline mode, I get the request for internet connection a lot...
That should only happen in the preferences dialog, but nowhere else. Can you elaborate when it happens (which activity?)

Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
Even with the bugs that I encountered, I would say that this the most impressive, coolest app for the N9.

What is missing is vector map drawing; I hope that gap can soon be filled.
Yes, on top of our todo list... We had a GSOC project on that topic in 2011 and will likely start another one this year to get it ready for end-users. You can see the current state at http://edu.kde.org/marble/current.php

Originally Posted by aRTee View Post
Also, the openbusmap data would be cool.
Can you file a bug at http://bugs.kde.org please so I don't forget about it? Thanks :-)
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#9
Excellent app and thank you for making it possible, can I just ask about some things I noticed.

1. Can I use it completely offline for navigating or simply browsing the map for street names and house numbers?

What I did: Downloaded the daemon from the store, installed the map for my country, set up "offline" in preferences, but I still see a pixelated image/map of my city/country and it gets worse with zooming. Once I go online, it starts downloading everything on all zoom levels, i.e. I scrolled through my city on all zoom levels to get the map more or less visible/scrollable while in offline mode, is there another way to do that which I missed?

2. Would it be possible to have a search by house numbers?
3. Would it be possible to have say garmin or navitel maps converted to be used with Marble? I have bought them while I was rocking my 5800 and they're very detailed (not that openstreetmap isn't, but paid maps are constantly updated etc.)
Thank you!
 

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#10
Originally Posted by Vaterix View Post
Excellent app and thank you for making it possible, can I just ask about some things I noticed.

1. Can I use it completely offline for navigating or simply browsing the map for street names and house numbers?
I ran into the same thing, and in fact the offline data contains enough information to do routing/navigation, but there is no engine to actually use that data to make the drawing of the map...
In an initial step, there will be the feature to download tiles along the route:
Originally Posted by earthwings
Marble 1.3.2: 2012-02-08 (submitted to Ovi Store). Pinch zoom, MapQuest routing backend, download tiles along the route, more voice navigation commands
and after that - understandably, since it's a lot more work, map drawing based on the vector data used for routing:
Originally Posted by earthwings
Originally Posted by aRTee
What is missing is vector map drawing; I hope that gap can soon be filled.
Yes, on top of our todo list... We had a GSOC project on that topic in 2011 and will likely start another one this year to get it ready for end-users. You can see the current state at http://edu.kde.org/marble/current.php
Once vector based maps are a reality, it will be easier to support features like:
- rotate map according to compass
- rotate map according to heading
additionally to the current
- north at the top of the display
and also 3D view...


Originally Posted by Vaterix View Post
2. Would it be possible to have a search by house numbers?
3. Would it be possible to have say garmin or navitel maps converted to be used with Marble? I have bought them while I was rocking my 5800 and they're very detailed (not that openstreetmap isn't, but paid maps are constantly updated etc.)
Thank you!
Searching by house numbers is possible, as long as the house numbers are properly entered into www.openstreetmap.org - which is a noble task to perform for housenumbers you know of that you may want to search for...
In general, the house number situation in openstreetmap is not very good where I live, the quality of the data depends on the region and naturally what people put into the system.
This is however not something that Marble as an app can do something about...

On point 3, it probably depends on what the data format is if it's at all doable, but if doable, it will also depend on developer willingness to work on such a feature.
BTW Paid maps are perhaps constantly updated, but openstreetmap is constantly updated as well; a few weeks ago, I figured that on the N9 I'd be stuck with Nokia Ovi (Navteq) maps, so I fixed a couple of things there - that have been right on OSM for ages...
And here in Zurich there's a new tram line that's not on Navteq at all, but it's there on OSM and OBM (bus).
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