Thursday, December 18, 2014

GTViewer for iOS Version 2.0

It has been over 2 years since GTI began developing GTViewer for iOS, and more than a year has passed since its release.  Version 2.0 will soon be available, and it brings many new features to make GTViewer for iOS even more powerful.

Version 1.0 brought GTViewer datasets to the iOS device (iPhone/iPad) and gave users the ability to operate without the need of a network connection.   Since GTViewer for iOS looks and feels very similar to GTWeb for iOS, the significance of being disconnected from the network sometimes gets lost.  The almost 15 year old code base that drives GTWeb Server and also shared with GTViewer for Windows could not be leveraged on the iOS platform; so, everything had to be created again from scratch.

GTViewer for iOS Version 2.0 provides a multitude of fixes, tweaks, and minor enhancements; it keeps pace with the progression of iOS itself (iOS 5 to iOS 8); and it addresses several user requests.  The most prominent new features are:

  • Redlines – Basic redlining support has been added.  Users can now draw and edit rectangles, circles, text, and freehand.   A new server application called GTShare has also been created to manage these redlines.  Users can post selected redlines to the server and can retrieve redlines that other users have posted.   GTShare also supports GTViewer for Window and GTViewer for Android, so redlines can be shared between any of these users.

Draw Redlines on your iPad

See Redlines in GTViewer for Windows

  • Raster Backdrop Support – While GTViewer for iOS does not yet support native raster backdrop images (MrSID or ECW) on the device, version 2.0 does provide ability to retrieve the backdrop imagery from a GTWeb Server (which does support MrSID and ECW) for the current view.  Retrieving the backdrop image for your current view requires a network connection to download, but the user can keep a number of these images when disconnected.   Many devices do not have enough storage capacity to hold a full raster backdrop imagery dataset, so this alternative to native support may actually turn out to be more useful in the long run.

Find an area you want to see backdrop Imagery.

Download Imagery for Current View.

Downloaded Imagery is still available offline.

  • Where Am I – Any tap on the in the map view will display an Attribute Info pop up showing the current location's X/Y and Latitude/Longitude values.  If you are reviewing a feature, this info will be at the bottom of the feature’s attributes.   It is also possible to create custom Where Am I functionality so that a set of polygon features in the data will be searched to see which ones contain the point (similar to the Where Am I functionality in GTViewer and GTWeb).

Standard Where Am I shows Coordinate Info at any point.

Customized Where Am I shows data specific info.

  • Driving Directions – Leveraging the power of other applications on the device, Version 2.0 can now kick off the Google Maps app from any point or feature in its map.  Google Maps will then route you from your current location to the specified destination.

Review a Feature, Press Directions button.

Google Maps is launched with feature's location as the destination.

  • Developer’s Framework - just as GTViewer for Windows has a set of tools for the developer to create applications with GTViewer functionality, the GTViewer Framework for iOS packages up the code-base used by GTViewer for iOS and makes this functionality available to iOS developers to use in their applications.  This Framework is roughly equivalent to the GTViewer Objects (used with .NET) and provides a set of objects capable of reading a GTViewer dataset.   Full map rendering with panning, zooming, and feature selection 
    are also provided.

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