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some observations

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  • #4295
    AvatarMikeB
    Participant
    • Topics: 23
    • Replies: 55

    When version 2.0 was installed,  I was travelling and not sure what happened. I also got the blank screen, but there was first a message (something like updates needed to be installed) that I ignored. I deleted the app (I also had a backup archive on my iPhone) and then installed the maps I needed and the backup. There were a few crashes, but since then the app has been completely stable.

    There are some very nice improvements (especially the public transport information) and my travel was improved by using Pocket Earth. However, there are some major problems. (My iPhone runs in Dutch, so when I translate the terms to English they may not be the same as in the English version.) In the Nearby menu, if I choose Areas (or Region?) it seems to always be empty on all of my maps. Streets usually works, but has sometimes been missing.

    The new public transport menu (in Nearby) rather bizarrely includes bus stations (almost always empty), yet leaves out train stations. The other items usually work. However, the bus or tram halts shown on the map are not always correct. For example, the Bärenwirt bus stop in Salzburg (Austria) shows the 20, 21, 27 and 7 lines. However, the number 8 line also stops there, but is not included. In the Czech map, in Prague near the train station, there is a stop called Hlavní nádraží that shows four coloured circles but no numbers. And strangely, neither Prague nor Vienna have airports, though I visited both of them!

    The ability to make pins on the map is a great feature, however, there seem to be far too many information points already in the map. For example, there are many labelled “viewing point”, yet I can see no way to turn them off and in some cases they almost cover the map!

    Since there are so many of these, I’d like to propose that it works the other way: shows no pins unless you have selected them in the menu. So, if I select, for example, “money” in the settings menu, then they would be the only pins that showed.

    When I first discovered the ability to draw a line from my position to another position on the map, I thought that was quite nice. However, since the line is always a straight line, even in a city, it has turned out to be less helpful than I first thought. Is it not possible to have it follow the streets the way the Google maps follow streets when planning a route?

    Although I have mentioned some problems, the new version is even better than the older one and the older one was very good.

    #5499
    GeoMagikGeoMagik
    Admin
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 797

    Thanks for the feedback!  Let me comment on a few points:

    Nearby > Areas was completely broken, thanks for pointing that out. It has been corrected, just goto Settings > Manage Data > Check for Updates to get the fix. After the small download, you may need to close and open Pocket Earth again for it to take effect.   I am not seeing any issues with Streets, if you continue to see it, let me know.

    We did separate Bus Stations and Stops due to popular demand 😉   Many cities have only 1 or 2 bus stations and many 100’s of stops, so if you just want to find the main stations its really helpful to have them listed separately. For Train/Subway/Rail they are all combined still mainly because they are not well distinguished in the map data from OpenStreetMap.  Not sure why Bus Stations would show empty for you, I did fix a similar issue as with “Nearby > Areas” recently, so maybe it was before that fix. Other potential reasons:  Search Radius is set to 2km and there are none in 2km from the current map center,  Data has not been downloaded fully (city doesn’t have green star), OSM data is poor for the given city and doesn’t have any tagged bus stations.  If you continue to see, let me know in what city you are looking and if it is empty every time or just sometimes (could be a bug, if you say streets category also is empty sometimes).
    The issues you mention with the public transit lines are likely data issues in the OpenStreetMap project. There are not a lot of apps or websites that visualize the public transit info in OSM yet, so the quality of that data is not great everywhere yet but its improving rapidly. Empty colored circles represent lines which have not been assigned references/line numbers.  I will double check Bärenwirt stop and the vienna airport in OpenStreetMap and see if the data is missing or if its a PE issue.
    You can use Settings > Map Layers to turn off layers which you don’t want to see.  The Hiking layer also causes Pocket Earth to show more View Points. We would like to add a more fine grained control over this, but not sure the best way as we doubt many users would want to look through the full list of 140 different POI types and enable/disable them individually :/
    You can use the Nearby Search screen to choose a category or sub-category such as Money or Money/ATMs and use the “Show All on map” option to view only those. 
    The Waypoint functionality is meant mainly for outdoors, hiking for example.  For in the city we do offer online point to point routing with driving/walking directions. Even though its currently an online only feature, its very useful for planning say a multi-stop walking tour of a foreign city.  The routes can be saved and used offline later in combination with the GPS telling you where to go. 
    #5503
    AvatarMikeB
    Participant
    • Topics: 23
    • Replies: 55

    Many thanks for your helpful reply. I did the update as you suggested and that has fixed most of the problems.

    While the Airports menu item in Nearby now works, it seems that the Prague airport is simply not labelled. If you look for the Czech town of Hostivice to the west of Prague (about 10km), you will see an airport. It seems Vienna airport has the same problem. Amsterdam does not have the problem.

    Regarding buses and trains: I think trains stations are much more important for travel, particularly in Europe, than buses unless you are travelling only locally. Although I pointed out errors in the local transport, even so, I found the information very useful in practice. I certainly hope that, as you say, it will improve rapidly.

    Your point about 140 different POI types is, of course, completely correct. However, nevertheless, I feel it could be better. For example, you could, in the Help file (will a downloadable pdf be coming soon?) show how all the POI are organised. I would never have guessed that the viewing points were in “hiking”. BTW, the Dutch word should probably be “trekken” or even “trektocht” not “wandelen” as it is now. But, perhaps that is a cultural issue.

    I still think that, although not perfect, a show only would be better than the system now. I think when you come to a new town or city, you may want to find something. You do not want to find everything. So, you arrive in this town and perhaps first you want an ATM, then a bus, then a hotel, etc. So, simply show nothing, then choose each layer as you need it. This makes much more sense to me. But your suggestion to use “Show All on map” also works.

    The “Waypoint” is often, in my experience, something rather sudden – you only use it when you are wandering about and decide to go somewhere nearby. Perhaps next year when roaming costs in Europe will be dropped is the best solution.

    Thanks again for your helpful reply.

    #5539
    GeoMagikGeoMagik
    Admin
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 797

    We are classifying View Points under Siteseeing actually. All POI are color coded to their main category.   However, the Hiking and Cycling layer are special activity related map layers and add any extra information related to them.  It means that the Hiking layer causes Pocket Earth to draw hiking trails, view points, etc from a lower zoom level than they normally would.  At the moment we don’t have a technical way to have the Siteseeing layer override this and hide them when its disabled (and Hiking layer on). I am not even sure what most users would prefer for this case, but it seems useful to us to allow user to turn off Siteseeing and all the tourist stuff in it, while still having view points showing along hiking trails..

    #5591
    GeoMagikGeoMagik
    Admin
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 797

    And strangely, neither Prague nor Vienna have airports

    We have identified the problem with this. The airports are there on the map, but because they are tagged on either Way or Relation objects, no POI icons or listing in Nearby are appearing.  I should be able to correct this at some point over the next weeks.  This applies to some some shops, tourist attractions, and amenities as well.
    #5597
    AvatarMikeB
    Participant
    • Topics: 23
    • Replies: 55

    That is good news! Many thanks!

    #7738
    GeoMagikGeoMagik
    Admin
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 797

    I know its a long time, but we finally have the missing airports and numerous other rendering/data issues solved. They will be available along with the latest map data in a few days in the next in-app data update. Additional rendering fixes will be available in the next app update, v2.5, which should be out in about 10 days.

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