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The goal of the 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 device. This means that the use of Serval Maps is not dependent on access to the Internet for download map tiles.
Work is underway to provide data in the required mapsforge format to members of the community. In the meantime users can create their own datasets if they wish using the conversion tool provided by the mapsforge team.
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 technology. In this way users of the map can see their own location on the map, as well as the location of other users.
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 “a 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:
When adding a new Point of Interest a user adds the following information:
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.
The user has a number of different options to configure how the Serval Maps application behaves. For example the user can control:
Other capabilities are being added to the Serval Maps application as development continues. The development roadmap shows which features are currently being worked on.
If you have any questions, queries or comments about the Serval Maps application please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.