- no documentation existing at all
- assumptions about the user’s knowledge are set too high
- poor navigation
- unexplained jargon
- there is no visual component
- the documentation is proprietary or ‘closed’
- the format is unreadable
- no translation workflow
- operational steps are missing, unexplained, written ‘from memory’ or state how the software ‘should’ operate
- the documentation is out of date, not easily re-usable or not easily modifiable.
Androzic is a Brilliant Navigation client for Android devices that uses OziExplorer maps (ozf2, ozfx3).
Great for hiking, geocaching, off-roading, sailing, boating and other outdoor activities. You are expected to be aware of OziExplorer or at least of where to get its maps. Maps also can be created by yourself, but with some afford. Can work without maps as a simple navigator.
- map index, switch between maps
- zoom and drag maps
- downloadable world map for dummies
- show current position and movement direction
- show basic information: speed, course, elevation
- look ahead
- show current track
- store current track into file
- track in background
- load/save tracks from/to file
- track management (name, color, visibility)
- edit track (cut endings), view track details
- convert track to route
- add/project new waypoint
- waypoint management (name, description, coordinates)
- load/save waypoints from/to file
- route management (name, color, visibility)
- create new/edit existing route
- load/save route
- load waypoints, tracks and routes in kml and gpx format
- navigation to waypoint
- navigation via route
- HSI and compass displays
- single speed leaps are filtered
- units configurable
- load best scale map periodically
- search coordinates in various formats
- search waypoints, tracks, routes
- search locations via Google geocoder
- trackball, d-pad support
- load arbitrary map
- portrait and landscape modes
- configurable paths
- localization to Czech, French, Russian
A few months ago an experimental service to automatically find roads and other features in aerial imagery was launched. Today we’re adding to that a service to help improve local search results.
The frontdoor app allows anyone on the web to help improve our address location results. The site allows you to drag a pin from where we think an address currently is to the front door of the property.
It works on a similar concept to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Only here the output is freely available OpenStreetMap address data. I’ve been working through Magicshop Frontdoor quite a bit this week so I know this is easy enough. Can’t be that many addresses in the USA, can there? The great thing about helping Microsoft here over lets say Google is that your efforts are helping the community at large. I wish other mapping companies would embrace this concept as Microsoft has.
Just drag that pushpin to the front door and your done.
The main idea behind SkiMap is to allow users to upload maps from various ski resorts and share them with other users. Recently, however, they added a feature that uses the OpenStreetMap API to convert OSM data into KML vector ski maps. In just the past month, 940 ski maps were generated for use on the site!
The quality of the maps varies by location — European resorts are more fully mapped than US ones, and in the US they’re in better shape on the eastern half of the country. However, with the rate at which new ones are being added, your favorite ski area will probably look good on there very soon.
To see a good example of a ski area, check out Whistler Blackcomb. They have 67 different printed maps for Whistler, along with a handful of “OpenSkiMaps”. Here’s a KML file from one of them if you want to see it in Google Earth.
Earlier I came across a post on the mappa mercia site that really demonstrates the power of the collaborative nature of Open Street Map compared to other web mapping providers. One determined user has chosen to explore and map all the features in a particular UK postcode area, B72, in Birmingham. And when I say “map”, I don’t just mean the road network… the Open Street Map of this area now shows 3500 individual labelled residential properties, including gardens, almost 300 named retail units, 100 commercial buildings, together with all the normal OSM details of bus stops, litter bins etc. The level of detail in the resulting map is remarkable.
For reference, here’s a screenshot from Bing Maps’ roadmap view of a small area in the B72 postcode area:
Here’s Google Map’s, marginally more detailed, view of the same area:
And, largely based on the efforts of one person, here’s the Open Street Map version (click to enlarge):
Note the house numbers, additional detail of the shape of roads, boundaries of properties, every individual retail outlet listed separately… just brilliant.
This is only a small area of one country but, with the coordinated effort of talented users on the ground, it’s easy to see how OSM’s collaborative model can create more accurate, more up-to-date mapping information than the commercial data providers used by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like could possibly match. The future looks bright for mapping….