Mom/suggestions box

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You are invited to add requests for new features etc. (and it helps if you sign them). This section was getting a bit big (not sure if that's a good or a bad thing :-) so I have created another section for prayers unlikely to be answered (sorry). Before adding a new suggestion please check it hasn't already been considered and put in the maybe someday box --Elvin 09:30, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

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  • direct serial link to GPS (for those poor souls with Windows Mobile ;-)
I support this comment. My PDA (Palm Tungsten E2) as well as my PC sees my GPS mouse ("AD-850") as a simple serial RS232 interface. Thomas P 22:58, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • ability to select your map server Sebastiaan 09:19, 2 April 2008 (BST))
  • ability to send GPX tracks directly to OSM server --Jkp 11:27, 3 April 2008 (BST)
  • how about routing and vector map drawing, is that out of scope for mom? I can't seem to find any free software routing java or even symbian app to work with OSM on mobile phones, and especially bicycle routing would be nice as I suspect the maps for cycleways are not that good with nav4all or such --Jkp 11:27, 3 April 2008 (BST) Addendum: I just noticed GpsMid with preliminary routing support and apparently vector map drawing, opensource under the GPL. If mom goes free software, maybe code can be merged. --Jkp 17:33, 3 April 2008 (BST)
Please see my remarks on the discussion page. Sebastiaan 16:21, 7 April 2008 (BST)
  • make it possible to use raster maps from other sources, it seems a combination of *.png and *.map files is commonly used; this way we could use the familiar mom application with raster maps downloaded or bought from other sources besides OSM. --Jkp 14:36, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
make it possible to use cycling mode, which would make mom use map from OSM Cycle Map [1] --Jkp 20:45, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I think audio note recording has great potential for mapping, but I find I'm not using it, because of the need to press several keys. When I am able to look at the phone, I find using the star and typing waypoint comments easier. When I am not able to look at the phone, I would like to use audio notes, but find there's a need to look at the phone because of the many keypresses. I'd like to have a one-keypress audio note command. All keys are taken, but maybe it would be possible to use a long keypress, like pressing * for a long time would record an audio note. Maybe something this would also be useful for photos. --Jkp 08:16, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
    • That's exactly what I was about to request. Audio mapping is an important point for me, so I have four other needs:
      1. Maybe we don't need the keys 1,3,7 and 9 for navigation as most phones have kind of a joystick and 4-2 does the same as 1. I would really like to press e.g. 1 to start recording, and 3 to stop it. Using the same key for both funtions would be bad, because you could end up recording when you don't want to, but not recording when you do want to. Another way would be to use two different beep-sound to indicate that the recording actually started or stopped.
      2. There are two styles of audio mapping: short voice notes for every POI, or a very long voice note coving the whole mapping tour. Especially for long notes, it would be great to see the map all the time while speaking. Looking at a "I'm currently recording"-screen is not very iteresting. Maybe it's possible to use the whole app with all features normally while recording if the recording is done in its own thread?
      3. JOSM now has integrated voice-note-features, but it needs some special markup in the gpx file (see [2]). Would be nice if Mom would create them automatically. Hint: If Mom records to an amr-file, JOSM will need a wav-file anyway, so the link-element in the gpx should always point to a wav-file.
      4. There are some synchronization issues when using audio notes: When I start recording while riding, the waypoint in the gpx is much earlyer than the time/place when the audio recording actually starts. If a single keypress would create the waypoint and start the audio-recording, maybe this gets fixed automatically.
    • --Brian Schimmel 14:48, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
  • showing the current road name and speed limit if known, alert if speed limit is exceeded --Jkp 13:02, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
  • I just installed the application and it works great, although there are some usability issues. Zooming in when there is no cached data, the application just blocks till the new zoomlevel tiles are downloaded and displayed. The same seems to happen when you try and pan past a non downloaded tile. This I found quite disconcerting because I didn't know at first if the application crashed or was still working. A small indicator that there is data being downloaded (and/or processing is taking place) would help to alert the user to what is happening.

Even better would be to scale up internally the already downloaded tile to the new zoom level, which would make the app usable , even while downloading is taking place. The user could jump over several zoom levels, if he knows what area of interest he wants to zoom too. Hope this helps, cheers, --Petz 09:05, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Every phone I have used gives a visual indication (a globe on Sony Ericsson phones) when data is being downloaded, so duplicating this in mom would be superfluous. The application does not really 'block' while it downloads map tiles as this process runs in its own thread, but slower phones may become unresponsive. Neither do you need to wait for tiles to download at one scale before clicking through to the next scale, but there will inevitably be a delay (usually only a few seconds) before the screen shows the new scale. Scaling tiles up to the next larger scale would give some pretty flaky results as mom only uses every third zoom level, so each scale is 8x bigger than the last. Scaling up would mean 63 out of every 64 pixels had to be interpolated! --Elvin 16:13, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  • a "data collection mode"
  • defer loading map tiles when in GPS screen at least when writing a GPX track; with higher zoom levels, some slower (Nokia) phones lag behind on the GPX track because of map loading. Not loading the map tiles when the map is not visible would be intuitive and make it easy to conserve phone/network resources when not needed --Jkp 12:13, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
  • make the GPS screen work as a "data collection screen" with programmable fastkeys/functionkeys for entering single-key data about the environment - like "1" for "speed limit 100", "b" for "bus stop", "u" for "unpaved" and so on. Make programmable keys like "a", "b", etc. work also in the map screen (for keys which have no other function in the map screen) so one can use the fastkeys even in the map screen when the phone has a qwerty keyboard or otherwise more keys than just the number keypad. --Jkp 12:13, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
  • I'd like to re-introduce the topic on offline map data. To me it is a simple waste of money to pay for using an internet connection via mobile phone if I KNOW which tiles I will use. Internet via mobil phone still is TO expensive (1,95€ for a block of 30 minutes) from my point of view. Also having the tiles "preloaded" via the PC eliminates the problems about having to wait wait wait until the next tile is downloaded. In my opinion making it possible to preload or update a memory card with new or updated tile will enlarge the amount of users significantly. Thomas P 22:58, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I will look at this again as I have code developed for another mapping application which I may be able to 'boiler plate' into mom. A desktop app would be needed too, to identify and download the required map tiles ready for transfer to the phone, but again I have code I could adapt. I am not completely convinced this is a problem for many users, though. Mom stores lots of maps in memory and many of us enjoy fast, cheap(ish) data downloads, so the extra program weight may not be good value. --Elvin 16:13, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

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feature requests not being pursued

These are feature requests which are currently unlikely to be considered for the reasons given. If you wish to make a case for any of these features please do so on the discussion page. --Elvin 08:53, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Smarter map management in general, including following items: (Sebastiaan 09:19, 2 April 2008 (BST))
    • ability to refresh all maps in memory
Current version can keep up to 186 map tiles in memory. Refreshing all these from OSM would be a very long and expensive download. Just refreshing map tiles used in current view gives user control over which are refreshed and keeps downloads within reasonable limits. --Elvin 09:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
    • ability to download all detail maps of the part in view. Say i go on the 1km scale to a certain area, i might want to download all maps of this area on the 100m scale (level 15).
Big downloads again! A 240x320 pixel screen will use 6 tiles in the view and the scale jumps 3 OSM scales at each zoom, so getting all the 100m scale (OSM scale 15) tiles within a 1km scale (OSM scale 12) view will require 64x6=384 tiles! Mom cannot even store half of these :-( --Elvin 09:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
    • ability to download all maps on a certain level along a recorded GPX track
Why? If you have recorded the track, mom should still have most of the tiles in memory. --Elvin 09:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
    • option whether to store maps on phone memory or memory card (what do we have those big cards for if they're not used? ;-))
Map tiles are stored in Java RecordStores as saving them as files would involve constant user permission requests. Applications have no control over where or how RecordStores are located. This is left to the Java implementation, working within the Java specification. It could be that installing the application on the memory card caused map tiles to be stored on the card too, but this is not something that can be controlled or (as far as I know) even checked:-( --Elvin 09:12, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • ability to edit OSM directly from the phone - some java code has been written for this, see Java_Applet_Development, might also be of use for sending GPX tracks --Jkp 21:07, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
A step too far? Being able to view maps and save tracks while in the field, is clearly useful, but editing is best done back at base on a laptop. The limited input facilities of the phone would make the user interface clumsy and the extra code would probably make the app bloated. --Elvin 09:26, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • some navigation functionality - searching for streets or places by name to find them on the map, maybe some kind of signaling of direction in which the target is and whether we're moving towards it or away from it --Jkp 11:27, 3 April 2008 (BST)
This is already (partially) implemented. You can do a search on a name if you go to 'Places' and then select 'Find'. Sebastiaan 07:06, 3 April 2008 (BST)
More sophisticated place searches would, I suspect, be slow and/or code-heavy; and there is already direction signalling (in the compass band) when you are following a route. Suggestion: Find your place then make a simple route there. --Elvin 09:26, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • would some sort of standardization / consistency among different gps map apps in keyboard commands be possible somehow? Each (like Mom, GpsMid, MGMaps, commercial software) seems to have their own key commands for zooming etc. which is understandable since they're separately developed, but it's confusing to the user. --Jkp 09:59, 4 April 2008 (BST)
This requested should be passed to all those other map apps who are welcome to bring their keyboard commends into line with mom's :-)
  • a vector arrow / line to on the screen to indicate recent/current movement, would make it easier to grok at a glance where we are and which way we're going Jkp 20:20, 6 April 2008 (BST)
The blue dot trail shows recent movements and is the best available guide to future movement (but rotation of the map to match your direction of movement is not being ruled out if and when vector maps are implemented) --Elvin 09:48, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • load maps from a file (file pre-downloaded and transfered from pc to phone manually), for those who don't have a big mobile contract that includes data. LastGrape 17:03, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
This has been seriously considered but has drawbacks (frequent user permission requests, complicated download/package/transfer process,...). Imminent improvements in map storage and possible vector maps are considered better ways of reducing the number and size of downloads. --Elvin 09:48, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • positioning without GPS, based on cell tower info gathered in the phone's memory and/or in a server. --Jkp 21:26, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
It seems someone has written code [3] to use google's API to look up location based on google's cell id database. I don't know whether it's possible to distribute an app using google's service, I remember that google didn't like mgmaps showing google maps on the phone and now mgmaps doesn't use google maps. Things might be different for cell tower coordinates, however, I gather maps are protected by copyrights internationally, but this might not be the case for a database of cell id / location coordinates. I think EU has some kind of database/compilation copyright, but I think the U.S. might not, at least I think it didn't have a decade or so a ago. --Jkp 12:53, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Java's Location API allows for a variety of positioning methods including those based on cells. I don't think anything in mom prevents this method being used if the phone allows it and it is selected as the positioning source in the phone settings (I would like to hear from anyone who has tried it on their phone). But I have no plans to attempt any special cell processing code as I don't believe it will be accurate enough, most phones (AFAIK) do not make the cell data accessible and I do not want to try using any Google calls as they are generally very restrictive on re-using their data. --Elvin 10:01, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • key repeat for phone where it's available (gpsmid cvs had this recently added if pointers are needed on how to do this) --Jkp 08:16, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
It's nice when a feature has been implemented before it's requested :-) --Elvin 10:01, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

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