Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Xmas!!

This year I do not have a lot of Xmas Greeting, but at least I have a very particular one (for some of you).

For all of you Geopaparazzi users particular thanks for this last amazing year and all the efforts in testing, contributing, discussing and translating.


And to everyone else, a very merry Xmas!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Geopaparazzi 3.8.0 is out

What's new in there?

Important things first: the localization. I am so glad to welcome Portuguese (Brazil) and Russian into the game.

Currently the following languages are present:
  • English
  • Czech
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Norwegian
  • German
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Serbian
  • Chinese (China)
  • Persian
Some of them are a work in progress, if you want to help, this is the place to run to: https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/geopaparazzi/

The note workflow has been reviewed. And it was about time. Before now the old way of adding simple notes was coexisting with the new, more sophisticated way to add form based notes. While we still believe that the simple notes are nice to have, the confusing thing for users was
  • what is the difference between accessing them from the dashboard or from the map view?
  • when am I placing a note in the center of the map view and when am I adding it in the current GPS location?
Now both from the dashboard and the mapview the same view opens up:

As you might have noted, in the upper part there is a toggle button that allows to choose where to place the note (gps or map center). If the gps doesn't have signal, the the button is disabled and notes are placed in the map center.

Enhancing sketching: integration with markers. To enhance the drawing experience in Geopaparazzi, we asked for help to the great Markers project. So right now, when you create a sketch note, the following opens up:

and drawing gets really really smooth with it.

Since we were at it, we decided to add to all image media the ability to draw over them. So this works with map notes:

and also with pictures:

We got a bit more social. It is now possible to share notes through the usual android channels, which supports a bunch of things, as for example twitter or email.

There are two places from which notes can be shared.

The note itself:

or the note list:

This important because of two reasons:

  1. crowd-sourcing just got simpler with Geopaparazzi. Notes with images can be for example be sent by a citizen or technicians to a twitter feed to signal problems.
  2. my mom really loves to hear from me from time to time and vice-versa. This helps :)

Better handling of gps log. Some small enhancements have appeared in the gps log part. It is now possible to zoom to the start or end of a gps track:

also, tracks now have the start and endpoints marked to better understand direction. The start point is marked with a square, the endpoint with a sphere:

Several small changes have been done and bugs where fixed. Release notes are as usual here: https://github.com/moovida/geopaparazzi/wiki/Release-notes

One last thing to note: the ACRA project has been included in geopaparazzi. ACRA is an application crash report library, which gives the user the ability to send the developers a lot of useful information once Geopaparazzi crashes. Please use it!

Enjoy this version!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Geopaparazzi translations

Small report from the foss4g.

After some talk with Frank from the uDig community, I was tempted to do a test with transifex to support geopaparazzi translations.

Well, the test went really well and it seems that lots of boring work is taken from me, so the switch will be immediate.

Nice thing is that during the transifex test, a czech guy asked me to do the translation, so it looks like a good move to make :)

I am sorry for the inconvenience for the translators. if you are one, please create an account at transifex and apply for the geopaparazzi project there:

Thanks to the crowdin team for hosting us up to that point.

Thanks for all of you for the translations.

The  translations have obviously been ported. The crowdin project will be closed in a couple of days.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Geopaparazzi 3.6.0 is out

I know, I know... my last announcement was about geopaparazzi 3.4.0. And there have been some versions in between. But time has been few lately, so you will hopefully excuse me if I jump directly to version 3.6.0.

So here it is: Geopaparazzi 3.6.0 has been released to google play!!!

Also because my new job was one one side the thing taking my time, but also the one that lead to some of the nicer enhancements here.

Let's first see the fixes done for this release:

  • gps looses fix sometimes when user standing still + odd gps behaviour
  • delete notes doesn't delete image notes  
  • sketch note from gps not inserted  
  • simbols are not places exactly on spatialite layers
  • notes removal should remove any type of note  
  • sketch view sometimes crashing
The first is no doubt the most important. Lately the gps was sometimes behaving odd. But that should be fixed now.

An the new features in quite scrambled order:

1) created a list view for notes and bookmarks to zoom to and edit them

This substitutes the remove notes from mapview. Now the notes have their own list and can be removed or zoomed to from there:

More here.

2) added mbtiles support

It is now possible to load an mbtiles database into the geopap maps folder and it will appear as tile source.

3) notes can now be customized and labeled

More here.

3) the map cross can now be customized in size, stroke width and color

See the screen preferences.

4) added option to use a user inserted path as external storage

This can be used for those devices that have more than one external storage recognized by the device. Use it at your own risk. We use it regularly, but it needs to be done properly.

5) Added a secret view!!!!

If from the dashboard you push many times the back button, at some point the secret view will appear to you. There I intend to collect some small tools that are meant to more advanced users, that also would like to help the developers of the project.

From this view one can browse the internal database:

or activate an indoor demo mode.

More here.

I am quite happy with that release, I hope you will enjoy it!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Course: Geographic scripting in uDig - halfway between user and developer

I recently gave a course at the University of Potsdam about scripting in uDig. Since I didn't want me to take again more than a year to get this to you all (see here), I posted them already to slideshare.

This will soon be converted to a tutorial for the uDig community and available from its documentation section.

It will also be the big version of what I am going to present as a workshop to this years FOSS4G. Lets see if it gets picked.

Part 1: Introduction to uDig

Enjoy and share if you like them!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Talking about INSPIRE: of Humboldts and Hales

I just wrote a blog post about the Humboldt Alignment Editor here. It is written in Italian and I don't think I will have the energy to translate it in English right now (sorry!), but for the tutorial part, I think that google translate might do the trick. :)
Obviously if you have questions, just post them here, I will be happy to answer.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Course: Java Open Source GIS Development - From the building block to extending an existing GIS application

About one and a half years ago I gave a course about Java Open Source GIS Development at the University of Potsdam for the Geoinformation Research Group, Department of Geography.

I always wanted to publish this material and make it nicer so people could use it... well, busy times and whatever... I ended up never publishing it.
So I simply do it now, without any additions and changes.

The course leads you through the development with geotools, jgrasstools with many code snippets and adding modules to the Spatial Toolbox of uDig.

The course is made of 5 parts, the pdfs are linked here on my slideshare page:

Enjoy and share if you like.

Proposal: Geoscript console in uDig

Recently I proposed to add an Editor to uDig, which would support Geoscript scripting from within uDig. The full proposal (RFC) is here.

Since there were some comments/questions in the community and I think some small missunderstandings, I would like to give a small overview of what is there already and how it should work. I will not repeat here what already mentioned in the RFC.

Currently this is in proposal state and will get into uDig only if the PSC will vote in favour. That said, we are working already on it for a while now, so there is some to show.

1) Open the editor

Two new icons appear, the will allow to open the editor creating a new empty script or to open an existing script.

We will create a new one. The user will be prompted to save the new script to file and an empty editor is opened.

There are a few tool inside the editor, needed to start and stop scripts, or set the heap memory allowed to be used by a script or enable logging.

2) Script away, with command completion and syntax coloring

Inside the editor some basic command completion is available. For geoscript objects, as for example the widely use Geometry:

but also for methods, as for example the fromWKT, a handy way to create geometries on the fly:

You might have noted that first the completion proposals that start with the inserted text are suggested and after those also the once that simply contain the text.

You might also have noted that keywords have a nice syntax coloring, in order to make the script more readable... and often to help users to make sure they have no typos :)

3) run your script

Once you have something you want to run, simply push the start button. The script will be run through the Spatial Toolbox engine and print the output in the console view. Let's create two polygons and intersect them.

4) plot some result - missing imports

Geoscript needs you to define the modules you want to use in your script through the import directive, which is usually placed at the top of the script.

If we try to plot the result by simply adding the plotting directive, it will fail, because the plot module was not imported:

The editor supplies a quick way to import the most common modules, which can be useful for people starting with the scripting and that do not know where the modules are. Push the button at the right of the stop button and the imports are added to the top. After that the script will work:

5) Geoscript

Geoscript allows for some fun, the best way to get into it is to start from the tutorials page. Just to add one more complex example, lets see a script that can render a map, properly styled, to an image:

Guys it is 2013, a GIS needs a scripting engine!!
We started with the JGrass scripting years ago and failed. Now that geoscript is here, this sounds like the way to run.