Which Features for AndNav! ?!??!

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Postby MrSnowflake » Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:15 pm

You definately need the MODE7 ('3D') view of the map. I like it a lot more than the top-down view. Dunno if it already was suggested, but there are far too many posts for me to read now :p (I'm @ work).
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Postby plusminus » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:34 pm

Yeah, 3D would be nice, but its currently not too high on my todo list :)

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Postby f4phantomii » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:39 pm

plusminus wrote:Thanks for the ideas :)

Actually you might be disappointed of the current version of AndNav, because I had to cripple it down to meet the GoogleMaps ToS :cry:

But I'm working hard on replacing the specific parts with free mapdata :)



You've done very well already. I was almost ready to buy an iPhone. My one hangup was that I couldn't get a turn-by-turn nav app and I didn't like the control that Apple had over the phone. I decided to wait for the G1.

I knew some clever person would eventually write a nav app for Android, and after a brief search, I stumbled across AndNav. I had not expected much at that point...I figured I've have to wait at least 1 year to get anything even very basic. I was shocked at the maturity of AndNav and how far it was already developed.

I'm sure the work required to get a formal public release version ready is overwhelming. I wouldn't expect a lot of features to be added just yet. But it looks like you are headed in the right direction.

I really wish there was a way I could continue to use my Garmin mapsets with AndNav (afterall, I've already paid for them.....right?), but I'm sure Garmin isn't about to cooperate with a developer to allow their mapsets to be used on a non-Garmin device. In any case, I was pretty impressed with the speed at which you were able to begin working with the Open Street Maps data. I was thinking about contributing some GPS traces to that cause myself! The coastlines need a little cleaning up....right now they show my house in the Atlantic Ocean!

In any case, good luck! I look forward to your first release of what I'm sure will eventually become a world-class navigation app. The open source will lead to heavy development which will, I"m certain, quickly outpace the development of any of the big OEM's that maybe release an update once every two years....if we're lucky.
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Postby plusminus » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:42 pm

This is what it could look like :'(
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With the OSM-Version, the "WherAmI-Map" is already working. :)
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Postby f4phantomii » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:18 pm

plusminus wrote:
With the OSM-Version, the "WherAmI-Map" is already working. :)


Yeah, I'd seen a couple of other screenshots you'd posted using OSM. I was glad to see you were able to pursue that.

Honestly I find the OSM solution an ideal one. Maybe it isn't as pretty as GoogleMaps, but it's not bad most of the time. If it were me, I'm not sure I'd even bother with NAVTEQ.

Oh yeah...your screenshot reminded me....you have the "+" and "-" buttons on the touchscreen for zooming. On my Garmin I had a nice scroll wheel for zooming that made for excellent one-handed operation. Would it be possible to map either the zooming or scrolling to the trackball? Maybe pan with the trackball and map zooming to a couple of the buttons below it?
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Postby plusminus » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:56 pm

f4phantomii wrote:Would it be possible to map either the zooming or scrolling to the trackball?


You're right, the Trackball is not being used yet :?
You always have to consider sitting in your car and there I think OnScreen-Buttons for zooming fit better.

But we'll see how it feels on an actual device.

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Postby f4phantomii » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:22 am

plusminus wrote:
f4phantomii wrote:Would it be possible to map either the zooming or scrolling to the trackball?


You're right, the Trackball is not being used yet :?
You always have to consider sitting in your car and there I think OnScreen-Buttons for zooming fit better.

But we'll see how it feels on an actual device.


Well....yes, the on-screen buttons are easier for zooming provided that the device is actually mounted. Then it usually is easier to tap the screen for zooming.

However, when you are in the rental car and you just have the device sitting up on the dash (without a mount), you occasionally have to reach up and grab it to look at the screen to see where you are and how far to the next turn. Then you are operating it with one hand and it is much easier to use the hardware for zooming and/or panning. Ask me how I know. :wink:

I travel a lot on business and this is a fairly common scenario for me.

That also reminds me.....when I'm using the GPS in this fashion (unmounted and just sitting on the dash for good GPS reception) I'm navigating almost entirely by the audio annunciation of the turn-by-turn directions. Sometimes when I haven't heard it speak for a while I wonder if I missed a direction or something happened. My iQue has a feature where I can hold down a button for a few seconds and it forces it to speak the distance to the next turn. That way I never even have to look at the screen (and can keep my eyes on the road) to know how far I am and when I should expect the next turn.
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Postby plusminus » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:32 am

:D I should make this topic my Todo-Thread :D

Thx for your real-life suggestions. I really didn't think about that so far :)

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Postby obironbo » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:58 pm

Hello plusminus,
Thanks for your efforts on the andnav so far.
Don't know if it's possible for you but I'd suggest if you can get your hands on a
Garmin Nuvi or equivalent, you can get first hand experience at a lot of use cases.

Like f4phantomii suggested, a button to force the device to speak on command would
be great. I can vouch for what he said, you get to rely on that voice to tell you where/when
the next turn is; if you don't hear it for a while, you begin to wonder if you're off route or whatever;

The Nuvi has a toolbar at the top of the screen that shows the name of the current road/street/whatever
that you are driving on. This toolbar is an active button and if you press it, it lists all the turns from that
point on. Sometimes that's useful.
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Postby plusminus » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:14 am

obironbo wrote:The Nuvi has a toolbar at the top of the screen that shows the name of the current road/street/whatever
that you are driving on. This toolbar is an active button and if you press it, it lists all the turns from that
point on. Sometimes that's useful.


Good point, that also won't take much time to implement. :)

But for now, I have to focus on getting a routing engine (not the Google one :( ) up and running. :P There is just 10 days left and I'm off at the weekend :/ so I do not expect to get the real-time-nav-part well tested to Oct 22nd.

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Postby f4phantomii » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:11 am

obironbo wrote:
The Nuvi has a toolbar at the top of the screen that shows the name of the current road/street/whatever
that you are driving on. This toolbar is an active button and if you press it, it lists all the turns from that
point on. Sometimes that's useful.


Like I said before, I have a ton of suggestions like the one above....I was just trying to hold off until you got a first release out the door. But now I'm going to open my big mouth anyway with some additional suggestions....in fact you are probably going to get very tired of my input.

I would not say that one-touch access to the list of turn directions is "sometimes useful"....I'd say it's absolutely required! I use that feature all the time.

As for the "status" bar or whatever you want to call it, there are four fields that I like to see listed:

Distance to next turn
Time to next turn
Estimated Time Enroute
Estimated Time of Arrival

Some other people like to see "Current Heading" and "Speed". It might be nice if the four fields were user configurable to display whatever parameters are easily available. For some, current altitude might be more useful. I note that it looks like you have some of this semi-implemented already.

I also like to be able to see the current zoom/scale of the map. It is nice to have this as a pull down menu or other selectable entity so that you can jump directly from a scale of say 500 ft to 120miles without having to zoom out a whole bunch of times and wait on the maps to redraw everytime.

Also, keep in mind that turn-by-turn street navigation is not the only use for a GPS. Some of us also use it for hiking, biking, boating, and flying! Thus being able to input specific waypoints (either via lat/long or selecting directly from the map) and being able to navigate from one to the next is very useful. When navigating in such a manner, it is useful to display this as a "highway" mode, which shows deviation from intended course in a kind of "out the windshield" view rather than the more traditional top-view. This is especially useful while boating or flying. If I haven't described it clearly, I can whip up a quick graphic.

Now if you really wanted to make me a happy camper (and I realize this is way out-of-scope, but would be absolutely awesome) it would be great to use the data collected from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) to generate an artificial view of the terrain from your current viewpoint. The database is freely available from NASA (http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/). It's nothing that you haven't seen in a video game for the last 15 years. Gulfstream and Garmin have certified versions for use in aircraft, while others have announced it but have not put it into production. I suspect that since Garmin has done it, it won't be too many more years before it filters down into their handheld units.

More to come........
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