Tuesday, 21 July 2009

And i give you .....

OSM rendering in Marble!

Oh yes, that's right! We now have full OSM rendering. It has been quite a struggle to get to this point but the hard work has really paid off. The results are just beautiful! I'm not just braging about my own code, because as it happens there is a lot of work to do to get the OSM rendering in a pretty way, but instead I'm talking about the experience of loading an OSM file. It looks marvellous! See the video below and notice how precise the positioning of the lines and nodes are with respect to the underlying OSM tiles ( I know this is obvious but it just looks so synchronised! ).

I don't know about you guys but seeing that map rendering, where the data has been collected and modified with a lot of hard work from a lot of people, really gives me a sense of grandeur. Fair play to all the people in Open Street Map, my hat is really off to you guys ;)

Link for those reading this on the planet.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Life Hacks Really Do Work!

Hey all!

As my friend John Layt suggest I'll give you a little recap on what I'm doing. My GSoC project is to implement a nice Open Street Map annotation framework to make the lives of all you mappers a little bit easier! More info can be found on my proposal blog post. The thing that has really been a challenge with this project was the fact that I'm adding support for a QGraphicsItem like API to marble. Little bit hairy at times but its good fun too! This has really come quite far in the last week and you can see quite an exciting example of this in the video below ( planet viewers have to come to my blog because the planet doesn't embed embedded youtube for some reason ).

Starting Monday I brought out a little "life hack" that I used quite a lot in my last year of college. Quit simple, very loosely based on the "Getting Things Done" idea and it can be really effective when you have something that doesn't have a strict system of "This must be done by this time" or "This must be done first". Maybe I might blog about it sometime ;)

With this new life hack in hand I have fixed two bugs, closed one bug, identified the cause of another bug, cleaned up most of my code, made the Marble plugin system more flexible, started implementing default base GeoGraphicsItem classes ( quite similar to the idea of QGrahpicsLineItem being a default implementation of QGraphicsItem ), fixed the problem with the GeoXmlParser that was preventing me from loading OSM files and made my little text editor a damn sight more pretty! Wow that was a mouthful!

Now with that all under my belt I announce this little clip of the results. As you all know a lot of the stuff I was doing is hidden from view, and also a lot of it is very much visible but just being done a different way but I think it looks pretty cool too ;)

(Link for people reading on the planet)

There are some very exciting things planned for the coming week ( and even just today ) so watch this space. I hope you all like my little updates, if any of you would like me to go into any more detail about anything just drop me a line ( comment or email ) and I'm sure I can accommodate you in some way!

Happy Coding!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Morning Blog on GeoGraphicsView

Hello again everyone!

I too am one of the lucky people that got the chance to go to Akademy ( or whatever we are calling it these days ) and it was a truly great experience. Apart from being fantastic craic ( its an Irish thing ;) ) I got a lot of work done, or at least a lot of work discussed, and I'm ready for the next phase of my project. The phase of awesomeness!! ... maybe I need to work on the name...

The main problem that I have been faced with is a pretty big one. We are currently implementing a Marble API that is as close to the QGraphicsView as possible ( see my last post for info ). I mentioned that a lot of the stuff has been done before but there were two problems with the current direction of things : 1) there was no real interaction framework or hit tests and 2) we were working with implicit sharing... which is a big NO for a QGraphicsView re-implementation.

Before a week ago I didn't even see this as a problem, but now that I've taken the role of a Guinea Pig implementer of this framework it has been shown in a new light. The problem was that somewhere during the implicit sharing and copying values from references there was an explicit downcast of all classes. This may not be a bad thing all of the time because we adopted a QVariant style system but for plugin developers this made things get very hairy. To make a long story short, if a plugin designer wanted to make a new weird and wacky GeoGraphicsItem they would have to directly edit the sources of the Marble Library to make this happen. Not Good.

So that's what I'm working on right now. If anyone feels like watching marble crash for the fun of it just check out the svn and enable my stuff ( the osmannotation plugin ) and let the fun begin! The joys of CMake and plugins have given me a great sandbox or more importantly kept my crazy code from all you nice people. Hopefully after all this all you third party developers will be able to make a really cool marble plugin with absolutely no effort, so watch this space!