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ExtMap Touch, New Mobile Geo Framework

October 26th, 2010

It has been a long time since I wrote a blog entry. I’m quite busy during this period working on different stuff, but the most important one is my new mobile geo framework : “ExtMap Touch”.

I’m quite interested in mobile development for a while and I have 4 iPhone app on App Store. One of them is iExtMap, which is a mobile GIS viewer. iExtMap shows ArcGIS Server Services, WMS, KML/GeoRSS and Tile Services, but the platform is available only for iOS devices which is not good.

Writing a multi-platform viewer is also quite hard due to different code bases on different platforms. Mobile Web is developing very fast due to usage of WebKit on different platforms. Today;  iOS, Android, WebOS, Bada, BlackBerry, Symbian and other platforms are using WebKit implementations on their browsers and this lead to a dream of web developer : “One browser to rule them all” 😀

Anyway, I have the idea to write a mobile version of ExtMap, but there is a need for a motivation to start the project. The motivation was “Sencha Touch Developer Contest” and “Sencha Touch Framework” and I started working “ExtMap Touch” on Sencha Touch Framework and Google Maps JavaScript API v3.

I started the project on October 8th, 2010 and finished on October 26th, 2010. The time reminded me the period working on Extmap Summit, which is quite busy and fun 🙂 This project is also a good practice to learn Sencha Touch with HTML5 new features. I want to use almost all features of Sencha Touch and HTML5.

As I told before, project is now working on iOS devices, Chrome and Safari, but it will be working on other mobile browsers when Sencha Touch will be released in stable. It consumes ArcGIS Server Services, WMS, KML/GeoRSS and Tile Services.

There are 4 different base maps, which are

  • Google Maps
  • Bing Maps
  • Open Street Maps
  • Blank (for your own imagery)

There are different tools integrated into project, which are

  • Add Data on the fly
  • GeoLocation (gets your current location via GPS or etc.)
  • Zoom In/Out
  • Identify of ArcGIS Server Services
  • Add/View Bookmarks
  • Show Lat-Lng and Elevation
  • Go to Lat-Lng
  • Geocoding-Reverse Geocoding

All layers and bookmarks are saved on users browser via Web SQL (HTML5 feature) that users can save their data like using native applications.

Another great feature of the application is storing users’ last position (lat-lng-zoom) with map types and opened layers. When user come back to application, he/she can continue working from wherever he/she left from. This information is also stored in Local Storage feature of HTML5.

The base map changes are done via CSS transitions which is quite different than previous ones.

There is only one feature of HTML5 left in my mind, which is Web Cache. I implemented it, but there is a problem with both Google Maps API and ESRI JS API so I decided to add later.

You can view the app or watch the video from the addresses below.

Thats all about the app, hope you like it and wish me a luck in the contest 😀

Live Demo : www.extmap.com/touch

Web Url : www.extmap.com

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