Saturday, August 28, 2010

Find Nearby Quads using TopoSports

We listened to your feedback and have added some more features to the first version.
TopoSports has been enhanced with the ability to find nearby quads and download them.

This is especially useful for the following two use cases:

  1. "MyLocation" keeps showing you in an area for which you do not have a map. Simply press menu and select "Nearby quads". This will show you all the nearby quads in a grid. The quad for the map you are looking at would be the center of this grid.
  2. You already have quad of an area and you want to look at its neighboring quads. Simply select the quad you have download, press menu and select "Nearby quads".

I am including below screenshots of this in action. The screenshots were taken on a Storm1.

Fig. 1 My Location shows me in a quad I don't have the map for

Fig. 2 I am in Cupertino and I can see nearby quads

The new release has the following minor changes:

  • More convenient hotkeys: Pressing 'i' on devices with full 'qwerty' keyboard should now zoom-in. This will make it more consistent with RIM's built in apps which use 'i' for zoom in and 'o' for zoomout. If you have a blackberry pearl 'l' will continue to zoom-in.
  • Minor messaging changes during map download.

Keep that feedback coming!

Friday, August 13, 2010

TopoSports USA for blackberry launched

TopoSports, USA, the only blackberry app to offer offline topo maps, covering entire USA has been launched. Its the first wilderness navigation app for outdoor sports enthusiasts - biking, hiking, jogging, GeoCaching etc.

Thanks to all our early adopters for trying out the early software versions of TopoSports.
Embedded below is a video illustrating TopoSports in action.

The initial version only supports blackberry devices and USA.
We are working on adding support for more platforms and more regions. The current blackberry version supports the following feature set.

  • Download topo maps of any quad in US for offline usage.
The app lets you download topo maps of any quad in US.
The maps have been re-projected for WGS84 datum and are GPS accurate for all mobile devices.
There are two ways to download the maps:
  1. Search for a quad of your choice by specifying the feature or quad name. It is strongly recommended that you provide the state for which you are trying to download the map.
  2. We also have list of popular quads for you to choose from.

  • Seamless mosaicing of quads
- If you download adjacent quads, the app automatically switches from one quad to the other when you scroll.

  • Distance/Bearing tool
- Measure distance and bearing from the center of the map to any point.

  • Create custom way points
- You can create custom way points in two ways:
  1. From your current location.
  2. Manually selecting a point on the map.

  • POI layer for each quad
- All the quads come with a list of POIs for that quad.
- The POI layer can be overlaid on the quad map. The app automatically figur
es out which POI layer to load.
- Clicking on a POI would show its geographic name.

The POI list is the complete list of geographic names published by GNIS.

  • Search POIs/Way points
- You can search for created way points/POIs by name.

  • Pan/zoom/locate yourself
The software supports standard mapping featurs like pan/zoom to get an overall idea of the region. The maps have been reprojected for WGS84 datum so that they are GPS accurate .If your device has a GPS or you use a bluetooth GPS puck, you can locate yourself at any time.
  • Record GPS tracks
If your device has GPS or you use a bluetooth GPS puck paired with your device, you can record your GPS tracks.
  • View tracks overlay
If you turn on track recording, at any point you can view the map with your tracks overlaid on the map in dark brown color. This would help you figure out with a glance where you have been and what area you haven't touched at all.

  • Live track animation
If you turn on track recording, you can play your track at any time. The track play shows you a red dot traversing the map. The speed of the red dot is proportional to how fast you go. The red dot goes faster at places where you go faster. You can see your speed at the bottom left corner of the phone screen.

  • Track analytics/stats
The app shows the following stats for each track:

- Distance covered
- Average speed
- Maximum speed
- Time taken
- Pace (time taken to cover a mile or km)
- Calories burned
- Vertical ascent/descent
  • Export tracks in GPX format.
- You can export tracks in GPX format to SDCard/device memory.
- GPX tracks can be shared with others or viewed on Google earth.