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content:servalmaps:capabilities [26/05/2012 04:14]
Corey Wallis
content:servalmaps:capabilities [14/05/2013 23:18] (current)
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 ====== Capabilities of Serval Maps ====== ====== Capabilities of Serval Maps ======
  
-The goal of the [[content:servalmaps:main_page|Serval Maps]] application is to provide a software platform that supports users to collaboratively add information to a map. Users can see their own location on the map, and can see the location of other users of the application on the mapUsers can also add a point of interest (POI) to the map. +The goal of the [[content:servalmaps:main_page|Serval Maps]] application is to provide a platform that allows users to collaboratively add information to a map. The Serval Mesh network is used to transfer data between instances of the application, and the map is rendered using data stored on the deviceThis means that the use of Serval Maps is not dependent on access to the Internet for download map tiles.
  
-The initial use case that started development of the application was to support collaborative mapping activities during a disaster or other emergency event. With this in mind the types of POIs that users were expected to create include such things as "this bridge is out", "a building has collapsed here" or "emergency supplies are located here".+===== Rendering Maps without the Internet =====
  
-The first version of the application was developed to satisfy the requirements of [[http://bytechxplorer.com/studies/honours-thesis/|this honours project]] undertaken at [[http://www.flinders.edu.au|Flinders University]] by [[wiki:user:corey|Corey Wallis]] who has since joined the project as a senior software engineer+The Serval Maps application uses the [[http://code.google.com/p/mapsforge/|mapsforge]] library to render a map on the device using data derived from [[http://www.openstreetmap.org/|OpenStreetMap]] and stored on the external storage of the device
  
-When the application launches the user is presented with a disclaimer screen indicating that at present data is transferred across the network in an unencrypted format and that data is also stored on the device unencryptedUsers must indicate that they understand the disclaimer before they can use the application+Work is underway to provide data in the required mapsforge format to members of the communityIn the meantime users can create their own datasets if they wish using the [[http://code.google.com/p/mapsforge/wiki/GettingStartedMapWriter|conversion tool]] provided by the mapsforge team
  
-Via a menu available from this screen a user can export the POI and location information for later analysis, delete the data stored on the device (excluding exported data and data sent via Rhizome), and view information about the app including details of the licenses that govern use of the source code. The user is also able to upload anonymous usage statistics via the about screen if they so choose.  +===== User Location =====
  
-The map that is displayed by Serval Maps is rendered using the [[http://code.google.com/p/mapsforge/|mapsforge]] library  which in turn uses data sourced from [[http://www.openstreetmap.org/|OpenStreetMap]] and stored in binary map files. These map files are stored on the SD card of the device. At present these files need to be copied manually to the SD Card. A later version of the Serval Maps application will allow downloading of map data from a Serval Project server+A user can see their own location on the map, and the Serval Maps application retains a log of their movements. This data is shared over the Serval Mesh network using the Rhizome data sharing technologyIn this way users of the map can see their own location on the map, as well as the location of other users
  
-When the map loads, and a GPS fix is achieved, users of the map can see their own location displayed on the map. They can also see the location of other users on the map. If a user touches the marker that indicates their own location a small popup is displayed that shows their own GPS coordinates. Touching the marker of another user shows some brief contact information about the other userthe distance between the two users, and the ability to call or message the other user.+A user can touch their own marker and see a display of their current GPS coordinates. Touching another users marker shows information about that user including the option to call them via the Serval Mesh software
  
-Points of Interest (POI) can be added to the map either by long touching on the map, or by accessing a menu option. When adding a POI using the menu method the current location of the user is used for the location of POI. The user has the opportunity to add a title, description and optionally a photo to add to the POI. When the POI is saved a copy of the data is distributed via Rhizome so that other users of the application can see the information. +===== Points of Interest =====
  
-Points of Interest are displayed on the map and can also be viewed as listwhich can be sorted by title or by date / time of entry+Users collaboratively build information on a map by adding Points of Interest. A point of interest in the context of disaster or emergency response could be "this bridge is out", "a building here has collapsed" or "emergency supplies are located here". In the case of a research activity a point of interest could be "frog colony is here""a large infestation of cactus is here" or "something really cool happened here"
  
 +A user can add a point of interest in one of two ways:
 +
 +  - By using a menu item which starts adding a point of interest at their current location
 +  - By long-pressing on the map, starts adding a point of interest at the specified location
 +
 +When adding a new Point of Interest a user adds the following information:
 +
 +  - A title for the point of interest
 +  - A description for the point of interest
 +  - Optionally one or more tags to build a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folksonomy|folksonomy]]
 +
 +For advanced users it is possible to adjust the latitude and longitude coordinates of the point of interest. This can be useful for use cases where information may be collected manually using a separate GPS receiver and paper based information gathering.
 +
 +Points of Interest are displayed on the map and can also be viewed as a list, which can be sorted by title or by date / time of entry. The list of points of interest can also be optionally restricted by tag.
 +
 +===== Other Settings =====
 + 
 The user has a number of different options to configure how the Serval Maps application behaves. For example the user can control: The user has a number of different options to configure how the Serval Maps application behaves. For example the user can control:
  
content/servalmaps/capabilities.1338030857.txt.gz · Last modified: 26/05/2012 04:14 by Corey Wallis