[OSM-talk] OpenTrailView update: now with walkthroughs and links with OSM data

Nick Whitelegg Nick.Whitelegg at solent.ac.uk
Mon Jan 24 20:32:24 GMT 2011


Would like to announce an update to OpenTrailView (OTV; now at http://www.opentrailview.org/), which I introduced at Girona last year and which aims to collect linked 360 degree panoramas of walking / hiking routes a la Google StreetView.

A longer post will appear in due course on the blog at http://www.free-map.org.uk/wordpress, but for the moment here is a summary of the changes made.
* You can now "walk through" a series of panoramas in a simple, proto-Google-StreetView  interface. If you select a panorama and there is an adjacent one nearby, a yellow arrow will appear at the base of the panorama showing you the direction of the next one. Pressing the forward arrow key will move you forward to the next panorama.
* OTV now focuses solely on panoramas, it is no longer collecting regular photos of trails. However Freemap (will post an update on talk-gb soon) now allows you to upload regular photos and associate them with a walking route.

One key thing about the latest OTV is that *underlying OpenStreetMap data* is used to link together panoramas. When you select a panorama, nearby OSM ways will be located by querying a standard OSM PostGIS database. Each nearby way will then be searched for adjacent panoramas. If there is an adjacent panorama along a given OSM way, its bearing relative to the current panorama will be calculated and shown on the current panorama. For this reason, the "panorama linking" feature of OTV is only as good as the underlying OSM data, and due to server constraints, *will only work with UK rights of way and permissive paths*. So while you can upload and view panoramas in other parts of the world, they will not be linked together as there is no OSM data.

I did this because:
* I figured it would ease maintenance and coding effort, not to mention contributor effort, if underlying OSM data was used to link panoramas;
* the OTV code is open-source (LGPL; see svn.openstreetmap.org/sites/free-map.org.uk) so is readily installable on any server with an OSM PostGIS database, PHP and the relevant PHP modules;
* it's something fun to do with OSM data :-)

But, if you disagree with this approach and would prefer to see a separate OTV-specific linking mechanism, please let me know.

Due to reliance on the <canvas> tag it will not work in IE BTW. There are a few glitches with the interface but it largely works. Some of the panoramas are a bit iffy but they were my first efforts :-)


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