Planet maemo: category "feed:be8197f0aafdc49da63f71c9119de1a7"

webhamster

How to upgrade the Advanced Geocaching Tool

2010-06-04 22:00 UTC  by  webhamster
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If you recently tried downloading the details for a geocache with the Advanced Geocaching Tool, you probably ran into a problem: An error message pops up, telling you that the cache cannot be downloaded.

This is due to a website update at geocaching.com. Users which have the extras-devel repository enabled, will get an upgrade for AGTL via the package manager. If you don't have extras-devel enabled, please click on this link (via your phone's browser) to download and install the update.

If the update works for you, please vote for the package.
webhamster

AGTL: Version 0.6.1.2 released

2010-05-18 14:35 UTC  by  webhamster
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Portrait mode: Map view Portrait mode: GPS view Just a quick update - version 0.6.1.2 of the Advanced Geocaching Tool is released. It contains two bugfixes:
  • Scrolling in the options window
  • Downloading of waypoints
As this version should now be near bug-free, I have promoted it to extras testing. If you have tested it out, please vote at the package page.

Coming for the next version:
  • Portrait mode support (see screenshots)!
  • Improved handling for coordinates
  • and many other improvements and new features.
webhamster

AGTL 0.6.0 is here!

2010-05-11 13:36 UTC  by  webhamster
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Version 0.6.0 of the Advanced Geocaching Tool has just been uploaded to Extras-Devel.

Update 1: There was a bug preventing some users from starting the application. A bug fix release, Version 0.6.1, is on its way.

Update 2: There was another bug, also preventing startup of the application. If you have version 0.6.1 and it doesn't start, open the Terminal application and type: mkdir ~/.agtl and press return - this should fix it until version 0.6.2 arrives

What's new in this release?
  • Sun Indicator. Because the N900 doesn't have a built in magnet compass, the display for the direction to the geocache is not always accurate, especially when one is not moving. Therefore, there's a small sun icon in the compass view. If you align the "real" sun with the icon, the direction to the geocache is correct, even when standing still.
  • Better Coordinate Input. I played around with various coordinate input alternatives and found that the best one is the one from the legacy AGTL. Geocaching on the N900: Coordinate input
  • Variable map size. As requested by a lot of users, you can now have the map displayed in double size to increase readability. It looks ugly, though.
  • Changing geocache coordinates. Ever solved a mystery geocache and now wishing to place the icon of the geocache to the spot of the solution? This is now possible by selecting a coordinate and clicking set as main coordinate.
  • Increase of the overall speed. SQLite transactions where a bit of a bottleneck, .
  • No more out of bounds coordinates. Never get lost again in "Here Be Dragons" land. Scroll from Russia to America without going through Europe and the Atlantic Ocean :-)
  • Browser links. You can now open the geocache page, the "post new log" page and the list of all logs via a link in the details tab.
  • Proper no-fix handling. Until now, AGTL doesn't show you when it lost its GPS fix. This is essentially a shortcoming of the liblocation in maemo, but I found way to work around it. You will now see immediately when the signal is lost.
  • Bug fixes. - as always :-)
As there were some people contacting me if they can donate some money in return for AGTL, I now accept donations.
webhamster

AGTL 0.6.0 is here!

2010-05-11 13:36 UTC  by  webhamster
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Version 0.6.0 of the Advanced Geocaching Tool has just been uploaded to Extras-Devel.

What's new in this release?
  • Sun Indicator. Because the N900 doesn't have a built in magnet compass, the display for the direction to the geocache is not always accurate, especially when one is not moving. Therefore, there's a small sun icon in the compass view. If you align the "real" sun with the icon, the direction to the geocache is correct, even when standing still.
  • Better Coordinate Input. I played around with various coordinate input alternatives and found that the best one is the one from the legacy AGTL. Geocaching on the N900: Coordinate input
  • Variable map size. As requested by a lot of users, you can now have the map displayed in double size to increase readability. It looks ugly, though.
  • Changing geocache coordinates. Ever solved a mystery geocache and now wishing to place the icon of the geocache to the spot of the solution? This is now possible by selecting a coordinate and clicking set as main coordinate.
  • Increase of the overall speed. SQLite transactions where a bit of a bottleneck, .
  • No more out of bounds coordinates. Never get lost again in "Here Be Dragons" land. Scroll from Russia to America without going through Europe and the Atlantic Ocean :-)
  • Browser links. You can now open the geocache page, the "post new log" page and the list of all logs via a link in the details tab.
  • Proper no-fix handling. Until now, AGTL doesn't show you when it lost its GPS fix. This is essentially a shortcoming of the liblocation in maemo, but I found way to work around it. You will now see immediately when the signal is lost.
  • Bug fixes. - as always :-)
As there were some people contacting me if they can donate some money in return for AGTL, I now accept donations.
webhamster

Using different map types in AGTL on Maemo

2010-05-08 22:00 UTC  by  webhamster
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AGTL, the Advanced Geocaching Tool on Maemo, has the ability to provide the user with map views of different sources. Since Version 0.5.1 you can add new map types. And this is how:
  1. First, make sure you can edit the file /home/user/.agtl/config on your phone. You can do this either by using ssh/scp or directly on the phone, using xterm and vim or some other text editor.
  2. Next, get some tile URLs. As this is an inofficial way to access the google tile servers, it is not documented. However, you can find a lot of map tile URLs in the Maep source code. Looking at line 2510 of the code, just below case OSM_GPS_MAP_SOURCE_GOOGLE_SATELLITE: you can see the URL. Now take this (or any other) URL, replace #R with 1, and #X, #Y and #Z with %(x), %(y) and %(zoom). We also need a file prefix, which is used to identify the stored map tiles on the phone. These can be found in the same file, line 2435 and following.
  3. Open the AGTL config file and look at the list of map providers. Each map provider consists of a block formatted like this:
    [
        "OpenCycleMaps", 
        {
            "prefix": "OpenCycleMap", 
            "remote_url": "http://andy.sandbox.cloudmade.com/tiles/cycle/%(zoom)d/%(x)d/%(y)d.png"
        }
    ]
    and these blocks are comma separated.
  4. Add a new block to the list, for example by copying this template (or use any of the existing ones):
    [
        "NAME", 
        {
            "prefix": "PREFIX", 
            "remote_url": "URL"
        }
    ]
    Add the missing values (NAME, PREFIX and URL). You can use any NAME you like, but go for a short one if you're using more than three map sources.
  5. Double check your braces. Double check that each block is separted from the preceding and following block by a comma (spaces and tabs don't matter at all).
  6. Now start AGTL and check if the map tiles load.
  7. If AGTL doesn't start anymore, you probably messed up the file. Check it again. If you want to give up, just delete the file. AGTL will create a fresh one on the next start. Remember to fill in your geocaching.com user data again.
  8. If the map tiles don't load, check the URL again.
webhamster

Using the Sun as a Natural Compass

2010-05-05 22:00 UTC  by  webhamster
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With the help of my application, the Advanced Geocaching Tool, the Nokia N900 becomes a near perfect geocaching device. However, there are three things lacking:
  • The built-in gps is not as accurate as a standalone receiver.
  • You have to protect the device from water, dirt and drops.
  • It doesn't have an electronic magnetic compass.
The first thing is said to improve somewhat with the coming firmware update.

The second point can be compensated with a good protective case. I use this arm strap from rungps.net. This way I always have my hands free and the N900 is protected from dirt and rain.

There's little we can do about the third point, the lack of a magnetic compass. When you're standing still, the device can not know in which direction you are moving. Even when you're moving, it can only guess the current viewing direction. Hence, when you're standing somewhere and want to know where to go next, you first have to move in any direction. That doesn't sound too bad, but wait until you're standing somewhere in a steep hillside.

To compensate for the lack of the magnetic compass, AGTL now includes a "sun compass" feature. Whenever the sun should be visible (i.e. during daytime), AGTL shows a small round sun in the compass view - see image. The sun's position is calculated using the current time and the position (both from the last GPS fix).

Geocaching on the N900 using the sun as a natural compass

When you align the sun's direction with the icon's position, the other directions (north direction and geocache location) are guaranteed to be correct.

Unfortunately, it can't help you when clouds are blocking the sunlight... but who goes geocaching then anyways?