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Features to make it perfect

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  • #4075
    nounoursnounours
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 248

    Hello.

    Pocket Earth is already the best offline-map application. Following features would make it perfect for me:

    1. Add Public transport Layer (reading OSM-routes). (One day, I dream even having all timetables :-), see http://map.xiala.net/index.php?lat=46.53701926510926&lon=6.64149284362793&zoom=13&map=t&overlays=pt,)

    2. Possibility to add/edit OSM data. Maybe not complete editor capabilities, but editing POIs (like Pushpin App, providing OSM account data) would be great.

    3. User-interface: Some times, navigating through the app is cumbersome, e.g.:
    * doing a search, leading to a list of results. If I click on one hit, showing it on the map, there is now way to directly going back to the searchresults-list. If I go back to search, the results are lost.
    * If I am in a proximity search, and navigated in a Sub-Category, and I decide to switch to the map, I have to click three times to be on the map. A direct access would be great.

    4. Choose the language of Wikivoyage Infos.

    5. Allow for more than one language at time for Wikipedia and Wikivoyage: e.g. I’m in Paris, the entries in French and in English are different. If a want to watch both, I have to switch forth and back.

    6. Directly edit Wikivoyage / Wikipedia Articels from PocketEarth. (Like the App Wikitravel/iTravel does, providing the Wikipedia/Wikivoyage User account data).

    7. Provide direct access to Wikivoyage Infos from Map (I do not really now if Wikivoyage is georeferenced, but it seems that at least the top entry is, and using this and the name of the object should be an relatively easy match … i don’t know …)

    Well … I know I ask much, but I’m currently using PocketEarth for the first time on a trip abroad, and it feels like christmas. But you know … there will be my birthday soon 🙂

    Thanks for your great app and considering my suggestions!!

    nounours

    #4624
    BuckyEBuckyE
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 286

    Dear nounours,
    In Re #1
    Please also see my recent post “Public Transport mapping” in this section. The example you provide is so much less than we need! I’m looking for some online example and can’t find a one that really does what should be done.
    Yours,
    Bucky

    #4644
    nounoursnounours
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 248

    Dear BuckyE,

    the link in #1 illustrates the timetable-feature, which is solved in a very advanced way in the example website. The Xialia-API allows to get time-table info for every train, every bus, every tram in whole Switzerland (I don’t know if this exists for other countries), directly from the map. This would be a big leap forward!
    I did not cite this website for the layout of the public transport layer – it’s just the standard OpenTransportLayer, which is, in my opinion, not a very beautiful one.
    nounours
    P.S.: At the time writing, the timetable query does not work. It worked always when I tested before, so I think this is a temporarly problem.
    #4645
    BuckyEBuckyE
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 286

    Dear nounours,

    Ah, I understand. The OpenTransportLayer is ugly and not very informative. Thanks for clearing up your intent in referring us to that particular map!

    I suppose the over-all approach in OSM is to be globally consistent, whereas I’d much prefer to see color-coding that matched the colors used by the various agencies.

    Bucky Edgett

    #4647
    nounoursnounours
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 248

    Dear Bucky,
    No, OSM is a bit more sophisticated than that.
    If correctly coded by they mapper, the color scheme used by the transport agency is given in the OSM public transport route. It’s then up to the renderer how to display it.
    OpenTransportLayer is ugly, but it’s a more a proof of concept. It has chosen to render according to route type – eg all buses are red – and not to the custom colors, so that’s why.
    Of course, I expext PocketEarth to make a nice PublicTransportLayer, retaining the right colors 🙂
    On the other hand, if the colors are not coded, than PE cannot do a miracle. Then mappers have add the color to the OSM data. If you are a frequent travaller and happen to get this fancy colored printed maps, why not add them? Modifing existing data is a good way to get in touch with OSM!
    I will post some links later on to show you how to get started!
    nounours

    #4652
    BuckyEBuckyE
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 286

    I see, I see. I still have a bit of trouble switching from my Adobe Illustrator based “drawing” paradigms to a database-based one. It’s good to hear that OSM is way ahead of me by making color-coding available.

    My wife and I are frequent travelers, but the printed maps wouldn’t be the way to go. Pretty much any major transport agency now makes PDF maps of their system available online. Downloading those and grabbing the official colors is easy, either by opening the PDF in Illustrator if allowed –for the most accurate color definitions– or by using something like DigitalColor Meter for a reading of the color as it shows onscreen. That’s less accurate, as my monitor is not a calibrated reference type and the PDFs probably won’t have color profiles embedded, but it’d be close enough.

    I have an OSM membership and have done some very minor editing there. Let’s let the PE authors chime in: if they think they need help with color coding transport routes, I’d be glad to help for at least the major destinations. Maybe we’ll get lucky and find most of the work has already been done.

    Of course PE will have the best Transport Layer ever created!

    #4653
    nounoursnounours
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 248
    Good to see you’re so enthousiastic!
    If the metro/bus-line is correctly entered using the new Public-Transport-Scheme, than adding the color tag is an easy fix, which you can probably do for several cities in an hour.
    Just add the “colour” – tag and the corresponding color value to the relation, and that’s it!

    It just checked for some major cities:
    It seems that generally, Métro/Trains are color coded, whereas buslines are not. But there are maybe also not colored on the bus operators map.
    So, we will not have to much work if we want to improve the colors of the lines. But we promise to do it before we visit a major city, agree???
    Greetings, nounours.
    P.S.: We will obviously start  AFTER that PE has created the best PublicTransportLayer ever!
    #4654
    BuckyEBuckyE
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 286

    “It seems that generally, Métro/Trains are color coded…” OK, that may be, but are they colored with the official colors used on maps & signage? That’s the important point. PE should match what one sees “on the ground,” on signs and posters and maps in the city. So how would one check the tagging which exists in OSM?

    I logged in, and could not find any way to access the information for public transport. Sorry. I’d be willing to cross-check it against a couple/few of the official PDFs and JPEGs I have collected for our travel planning. Or, is there a forum I should join to ask about this? That might be easier!

    I’m assuming OSM data for buses is not color coded because signage/maps for buses is not usually (at least in my limited experience) color coded by route. I assume because there are just too many routes in any given city to make it possible or technically useful. So buses I’m not worried about!

    #4661
    GeoMagikGeoMagik
    Admin
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 796

    The colour property on the route relations in OSM are intended to hold the official colors as used on maps & signage yes. If that info is lacking (for bus lines or otherwise), an app like PocketEarth should pick unique colors for each line from some palette so its easier to distinguish visually the lines.  At least for the metro systems in all major cities, this data is probably pretty good already.

    The schedule/time table info in the first link is coming directly from the sbb.ch website, and is thus Swiss only.  There was an open community project for this information started by Steve Coast, but I cannot seem to locate it now, and last time I checked it was still in the planning stages. I wouldn’t expect reliable public transport scheduling info anytime soon unfortunately :/
    Our first iteration of public transit in PocketEarth will probably be two basic enhancements:
    1. Tap to select any metro or bus stop on the map, and highlight all the lines passing through it, in the correct colors if available.
    2. Map Layer settings to enable highlight of all metro or bus lines on the map in the correct colors.
    #4662
    GeoMagikGeoMagik
    Admin
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 796

    @nounours, we are aware of the issues you mention in points 3, 4, and 5, and are filed in our internal issue tracker to be corrected. However, we can’t give a specific timeline for them at this point.  Editing capabilities, I would say at this point, are beyond the scope of our app. However, we may reconsider in the future, or produce a separate editing app.  The ability to add and correct POI through PocketEarth is something that is on our radar though.

    #4670
    BuckyEBuckyE
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 286

    Dear GeoMagik,

    Wonderful to hear the metros are probably correctly color coded. Please keep in mind I’d be happy to help OSM with double-checking that, if anyone there feels it might be useful. (I don’t know to whom to speak or how!)

    However, Enhancement 2 is much more important than #1. It’s good to know where the line nearest me goes, but it’s critical to know where else I can go, using the overall system. In other words, what transfers may be necessary. Only a total map shows me the latter!

    Is the connection/transfers info in OSM good enough that PE could use the standard white-circles-with-black-outlines-and-lines-between to show the connection nodes?

    Thank you for considering all these enhancements. PE rules!

    #4696
    nounoursnounours
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 248

    Your plans just sound perfect! The way to implement Public transport as well as editing POIs. I think with this two add-ons you catch a whole lot of user wishes!!! Really looking forward to all this!

    Concerning time tables: I know that my example is for Switzerland only. But it’s so cool, that I wanted to show it: having direct access from the map to timetables, this is really a very key features, if you travel every day by public transport back and forth the country! (Well, maybe we’re a bit spoiled by our public transport system ..).


    @BuckE
    Place to discuss this:
    Do you know the OSM – wiki? A good overview on public transport is given:
    and the refs in there, e.g. the mailing list on public transport.
    #4750
    Avatarmfloreen
    Participant
    • Topics: 7
    • Replies: 12

    Regarding #2: That would be huge! 

    As far as I can tell, there is currently no decent iPhone app for adding info to OSM. The Pushpin app is nice, but has huge limitations (requires data connection, only allows adding POIs.)

     

    The idea of the Geomagik folks developing their own OSM editor is amazing! I know you’d do an excellent job. I can only imagine how much the OSM project would benefit from an app that makes it easy for users to contribute on the go!
    #5005
    nounoursnounours
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 248

    @BuckE / Displaying lines in offical colors:

    Somehow, this point is still open. I entered somemore data, and am frustrated that I cannot check it (at least, better would be: use it!), so I looked for a OSM-map rendering Custom Line Colors:
    All I found is:
    (They claim that the update every two days, but I found data for my town (Bern) be outdated for several months at least … so no big help for checking, but at least it shows that’s feasible – NewYork maybe looks good?)
    I found some other things, like a line diagram generator:
    But not really what we are looking for …
    Is a nice PublicTransportMap such a strange request? Well, we’re happily waiting for PE to implement it, and I’m already sure that it will be the best!!!
    Keep me posted if you progress somewhere on this subject!
    nounours
    #5007
    GeoMagikGeoMagik
    Admin
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 796

    Its looking like first iteration of public transit in PocketEarth will be highlights only and not a map layer as we have run into some technical difficulties doing it as a layer (but we will continue to work on that).

    Here are some preview screenshots.
    #5011
    nounoursnounours
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 248

    Wow! This already looks great! I’m looking forward to it!

    Nounours
    P.S.: Is there a way to beta-test such kind of stuff? In case you’re interested in this, I would be happy to support you!
    #5014
    GeoMagikGeoMagik
    Admin
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 796

    We are thinking to try limited public beta testing for the next release. If you’re interested, I will let you know when we are ready for this.

    #5015
    BuckyEBuckyE
    Moderator
    • Topics: 61
    • Replies: 286

    I can’t enlarge the screen shots (for some stupid Firefox reason) but I’d also be happy to test. Loie and I will be in Florence and Rome in October.

    #5053
    nounoursnounours
    Moderator
    • Topics: 63
    • Replies: 248

    Oh, thats cool. We’re also in Rome and Florence in October.

    We could map some bus-lines together … 🙂
    #4944
    AvatarMikeB
    Participant
    • Topics: 23
    • Replies: 55

    This looks very useful. Will an internet connect be necessary, can it be saved when there is a connection or are neither necessary?

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