[OSM-dev] Merkaator port to Android

Matthias Meißer digi_c at arcor.de
Fri Dec 2 17:24:18 GMT 2011

Well I've got Merkaator running on my OpenPandora handhelt (Angstrome 
Linux) and noticed that this kind of editors (let's call them GIS 
centred) isn't what will work on mobile devices in the field.
I used osm2go as well and it's realy clother to my needs but is 
unfortunatly abandoned and currently not that good for tapping devices. 
On the other sides regular Smartphones are just to small (virtual 
keypad) so you might need a real hardware keyboard as the Pandora 
offers, to add streetnames etc.

What in my opinion will work esp. on Tablets is:
-easy to use download data (select area on map, not entering them 
-ultimate reduced UI (focused on adding more attributes and just POIs, 
not for complex geometry, as this is best done with a mouse)
-mission schemas that customize the layout/workflow:
Let's say you want to add housenumbers, so you tap on the house. The 
editor suggests the next road and already predicts the housenumber by 
what you entered to house before).
Another usecase might be to add 3D featuers, where a wizzard presents 
you different shapes of roofs, color table, ...
-ability to take georeferenced audio-notes, photos and embedd them 

Yes a HTML5 might do the job and as Josh noticed, this will simplify the 
deployment for mobile platforms. On the other hand I would really 
suggest offline editing.

But this are just ideas...would be great if anybody would give it a try 
to see if this might work :)


Am 02.12.2011 14:26, schrieb Josh Doe:
> On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 8:13 AM, Ian Dees<ian.dees at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 6:56 AM, Jaak Laineste<jaak.laineste at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>   as you may now, during GSoC QGIS was ported to Android tablets
>>> (http://hub.qgis.org/projects/quantum-gis/wiki/QGIS_Mobile_GSoC_2011).
>>> Merkaator has technically same base elements: Qt, GEOS, PROJ.4 etc, so
>>> based on this experience porting of Merkaator could be also possible
>>> with much smaller fuss. It should be even smaller work than getting
>>> JOSM working under Android.
>>>   Question: do you know anyone who really would need and use it?
>> Jaak,
>> Porting JOSM to Android would be an interesting academic task, but several
>> problems lead me to believe it would not be useful for general use:
>> - java.awt is nowhere to be found on Android. JOSM's rendering engine would
>> have to be completely re-written.
>> - javax.swing is nowhere to be found on Android. JOSM's UI system would have
>> to be completely re-written.
>> - JOSM's UI is based on menus and keyboard shortcuts. These don't have good
>> analogs in Android and would have to be re-thought.
>> I'd much rather see the time spent solving these problems put towards a
>> general purpose editor that is specifically designed for a tablet. Maybe
>> something general enough that an iOS and Android developer could use the
>> same design with platform-specific tweaks.
> All valid points, however it may be useful to reuse much of the
> non-GUI code for handling file loading, validation, search, etc. Or
> perhaps it may be more worthwhile to write a nice HTML5 app that can
> work on iOS, Android, and the web.
> I think the hardest thing is coming up with a design that works well
> on tablets. I think first and foremost it should offer a simple and
> robust way to edit POIs. A good preset system is a must (share with
> Potlatch2 or JOSM, don't create a new one!). Allow ways to be created
> both by tapping nodes and drawing (with simplification algorithm). And
> definitely have online and offline modes.
> I'd encourage you to create a wiki article to try and define what
> should go in to a tablet app.
> -Josh
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