More examples of CloudMade-powered apps, more great ways to use location

Our app gallery is growing fast, and with every new addition it’s clear that combining  CloudMade’s tools and services with great ideas and skills from developers results in some extremely powerful, compelling products. Take a look at some of  the latest updates to our gallery below:

Galileo Offline Maps is a mobile app that can be used on a daily basis or while traveling. This app allows users to import maps from a computer to an iPhone or iPad and then view them in offline mode. Being able to choose from five attractive CloudMade map styles makes the use of the app a real pleasure. CloudMade tools used to create this app include GeocodingRouting and Style Editor.

galileo_ipad

“CloudMade provides plenty of stylish and good-looking map styles which please even the most fastidious users.” – Evgen Bodunov, galileo-app.com

Travelers who own Macs should be really excited about Knapsack 2 app. This new version of Outer Level’s personal travel planner, built with our Geocoding and Web Maps Studio, adds interactive maps with street level detail and world-wide search. Knapsack allows you to lay out your travel plans, destinations, activities, and can be even used as a trip journal.

knapsackMainMapScreen

“Our customers wanted a searchable world map with street level detail and CloudMade was the perfect solution.” – Jon Trainer, Knapsack

iGMap proves that products created with CloudMade tools are not only really cool, but can also meet the most diverse needs. iGMap iPhone app is a virtual GPS designed for use with the desktop flight simulators. It provides a wireless hand-held moving map display to aid navigation, especially useful on VFR flights, while saving valuable screen real-estate on the desktop, and uses iOS devices to display the current position of the aircraft. The app was built with CloudMade’s StyleEditor and Web Maps API.

igmap2

“CloudMade services allow a small company to deliver cutting edge mapping solutions while targeting a niche market – without the prohibitive cost.” – Fermin Fernandez, FSWidgets

Thanks to developers of Map My Tracks, outdoor sports and fitness enthusiasts have their own social network now. With this website they can easily track, review & share outdoor activities with friends & family. Map My Tracks provides a comprehensive range of tools to help better understand how your training session went and keep a central log of all your outdoor activities.

mapmytracks

“The flexibility of CloudMade’s API mean that we can always deliver the maps we want.” – Nick Tatt, Map My Tracks

If you like Map My Tracks and plan to use it, you should really consider complementing it with this OutFront app. Not only will this app allow you to measure speed, pace, calories burned, duration, elevation gain/loss and much more for each activity you do, but it will also give you an an easy way to share information about your outdoor activities live on Map My  Tracks, Facebook or Twitter. CloudMade Map TilesStatic Maps and iPhone SDK were used to create this app.

outfront

“Using CloudMade’s iPhone SDK made it super easy to add maps to our iPhone app. That, and reliability make CloudMade our first choice map provider.” - Nick TattMap My Tracks

Cycling fans will enjoy using Bike Hub, also  called a ‘satnav for cyclists’. It displays clever short-cuts and bicycle-friendly routes on OpenCycleMap, cutting journey times for many users. The feature I really like is ‘bike shop finder – a simple button that can call up UK bike shops within a six mile radius of an iPhone. Map Tiles and iPhone SDK are CloudMade tools used in this app.

BikeHubScreen

Cloudmade API provides the slippy maps within the app and helps to fast-track the development of all the map interactions that users have.”Carlton Reid, BikeHub.co.uk

Want to see more CloudMade-powered apps?  Check out our Application Gallery.

Inspired by these cool examples and feel that you could create something great yourself? Sign up to our developer zone and try out our free tools and services.

November 2nd, 2010 - Posted by in api, featured apps, for developers, iPhone, style editor

iPhone Static Framework

Problem with iPhone code sharing

As we all know Apple has not left developers opportunity to create frameworks for iPhone. However, there are a lot of situations when code has to be shared between different projects or even distributed to others developers.

Alternatives
There are a few approaches for the code sharing or distributing. Firstly, code can be shared/distributed as a source code. Although this approach is quite straightforward and XCode provides a good mechanism for including XCode project to another project, developers have to do some extra steps such as setup dependencies and path for headers. On the one hand it seems quite simple for the experienced developers, on the other it might be a problem for the new developers .

Second approach is to distribute code as a static library. This approach is well known and is used widely in Linux/Unix development thus a lot of developers are familiar with it. However, there are some disadvantages of using it in iPhone development which relate to dynamic nature of Objective-C. The problem is that static libraries are normally used for C/C++ code which has neither properties nor categories and so when, for example, Objective-C category is wrapped in static library a developer has explicitly to set additional linker options:

-ObjC
-all_load

If developer forgets to set the options mentioned above he will get runtime error “unrecognized selector sent to instance”

Static Framework
The most suitable alternative, in my opinion, is a ’static framework’. The idea behind is to force compiler to believe that it uses normal iPhone framework whereas shared libraries are substituted by static libraries. Thus if you have the code you want to share as a static library it is quite easy to transform it into a framework. Afterwords such framework can be added to a project without any extra efforts from the developer’s side.

How to create a Static framework
Since there is no option to build frameworks for iPhone in XCode I recommend using a static framework. To build it into XCode MacOS framework template should be used. Static framework has the same structure as a normal framework. Only a few extra steps have to be done:
link together static library for iPhone Simulator and iPhone Device
add file from the previous step to framework bundle

To make it easy we will write a shell script which does all the work. We will use a lipo utility which is distributed with XCode installation. This utility allows to link a few libraries into one file. Afterwords this file will be copied to the framework bundle and appropriate links will be created.

FRAMEWORK=”${BUILT_PRODUCTS_DIR}/${PRODUCT_NAME}.framework”
lipo \”${BUILD_DIR}/${CONFIGURATION}-iphoneos/libDev.a” “${BUILD_DIR}/${CONFIGURATION}-iphonesimulator/lib Sim.a” -create -output “${FRAMEWORK}/Versions/Current/${PRODUCT_NAME}”cd “${FRAMEWORK}” && ln -sf “Versions/Current/${PRODUCT_NAME}” ./

This script should be added into a project as a build phase script through the project menu. As a result we get a static framework containing code which now can be easily shared.

LINKS

Mac OS Frameworks

lipo man page

Static Framework

May 10th, 2010 - Posted by Nick Black in api, for developers, iPhone

PERL library updated

Short post for those of us using Perl. Perl library, found at http://developers.cloudmade.com/projects/show/perl-api and http://search.cpan.org/~gdm/Geo-Cloudmade-0.2/ has been updated by its author and maintainer Dmytro Gorbunov. Great job, Dmytro!

The latest version mirrors the geocoding API V2 by exposing two simple methods for forward and reverse geocoding, along with one method to access tiles, and yet another to access routing API. Clear and concise – just the way Perl is. Check out examples at http://search.cpan.org/~gdm/Geo-Cloudmade-0.2/lib/Geo/Cloudmade.pm.

November 24th, 2009 - Posted by in api, for developers

Tesco’s troubles and reverse geocoding

Talk about coincidence. Just as I was about to share a couple of numbers from our geocoding traffic report, someone sent me a link to an interesting read by Nick Lansley of Tesco. In a nutshell, he, as well as dozens (hundreds?) of other iPhone developers have suddenly found themselves cut off from Google geocoding.

Back to our latest traffic report. I thought it was interesting enough to share some of it with everyone. While it is expected that all of our products show usage growth over time, the usage of geocoding has simply skyrocketed lately. According to our traffic report, the number of geocoding requests has increased more than ten-fold over the last four weeks, without any sign that the trend is changing. I am also quite impressed by adoption of version 2 of our geocoding API. Given that most requests come from mobile applications that have necessarily longer update cycles, the new API’s 30% share of traffic in only three weeks is really a large number. The most popular request type?

In the meantime, we’ve been working on better support for EU-style addressing, which will be available real soon. Also in the works, fast and accurate US addressing which will be brought online by the end of next month. More to come…

October 30th, 2009 - Posted by in api, iPhone, products

New geocoding engine delivers results up to 24 times faster

While no one was watching, we deployed the latest version of our geocoding engine. The key objective for this release has been performance and stability, and I am sure it is immediately noticeable. Benchmarking based on actual user queries have shown that it is up to 24 times faster than the previous implementation for certain classes of requests. Even for simple, one-word queries, it is up to three times faster.

Along with the new engine, we are introducing new Geocoding API V2. In an effort to simplify usage, we have reduced the number of methods from eleven to only one, without sacrificing a single bit of its flexibility. The old API? It, too, uses the new engine to deliver faster results, but we do encourage everyone to switch to the new API as soon as you have a chance to.

In the meantime, we are already working on the next release. The main focus will be relevancy and better parsing of freeform queries. Stay tuned!

October 8th, 2009 - Posted by in api, iPhone, products

Your Future is Customized – State of the Map Presentation from CloudMade

In July this year, 250 of the leading lights in community mapping and geo application development gathered in Amsterdam for the annual OpenStreetMap Foundation conference The State of the Map. Video and audio recordings form the three day conference are being processed one by one by a dedicated team of volunteers who recently published the video of Nick Black’s talk: “Your Future is Customized”.

The talk asks why most current users of geodata experience maps through one of two ways: in car sat navs, or online mapping portals and looks towards a future of app stores, specialized map data and geo applications that match the exact needs of consumers.

Enable your applications with CloudMade – Nick Black (CloudMade) from State of the Map 2009 on Vimeo.

Follow along with the slides from the presentation:

August 28th, 2009 - Posted by in api, for developers, geodata, openstreetmap, products

Fly Through Berlin

CloudMade partners, Cartotype have produced this nice animation that shows a fly-through of Berlin. Cartotype produce a range of libraries that render maps across different mobile platforms:

Cartotype have been experimenting with CloudMade’s Vector Server which can stream map data to any connected device where it can be rendered on the fly. There’s a lot of new features planned for the vector server, including multiple outputs formats (XML, JSON, OSM) and a fully featured API that will let you select which parts of the map data are returned to the client.

If you like what you see from Cartotype, you can hear them talk at the State of the Map conference which is being held from the 10th – 12th July 2009 in Amsterdam. Click here for more details.

June 15th, 2009 - Posted by Nick Black in api, cartography, for developers, geodata, news, products

How To Get Forward Geocoding in iPhone MapKit

The CoreLocation and MapKit sessions at WWDC yesterday gave an insight to some of the powerful technology that the iPhone OS 3.0 and iPhone 3G S will bring to application developers. The new compass and enhanced accelerometer support that the combination of new hardware and software bring were a big hit with the WWDC crowd. The incomplete feature sets around MapKit were less of a hit.

MapKit seeks to be a very well implemented iPhone mapping library, that lets developers add Google maps to their iPhone applications as well as perform reverse geocoding. Sadly for iPhone developers, the fun stops with reverse geocoding. Forward geocoding (the process of turning an address into a latitude and longitude) is not available in MapKit. The reasons for this lie in complex licensing agreements between Apple, Google and TomTom (who own all of the map data that Google and Apple use). CloudMade will help you avoid the complexity.

iPhone Developers at WWDC were urged to use external geocoding services by the iPhone engineering team. CloudMade’s geocoding service fits the bill perfectly. iPhone developers can integrate CloudMade’s geocoding web-services directly into their MapKit applications, without worrying about breaking and terms of service.

June 12th, 2009 - Posted by Nick Black in api, for developers, iPhone, products

Three New Style Editor Basemaps

Nick blogged previously regarding three of our signature map styles – “Pale Dawn”, “Midnight Commander” and “Fresh” – that we launched along with our Developer Programme last month. Today we’re pleased to announce that all three styles are now available for customization in our Style Editor.

Our Style Editor lets you tweak, change and configure the cartography of our maps to suit your needs. Perhaps you, as I do, love the Pale Dawn style as originally created by Stamen Design, but want to see if it looks better with a bit more emphasis on parks and public transport? So I fired up the Style Editor, and a few clicks later had this attempt – “Fair Sunrise”:

Fair Sunrise Map Style
 

We’re always interested in what creative things you can make with our tools, so if you’ve made a style that you’re proud of please share a link in our comments. I’ll let you decide for yourself whether you think “Fair Sunrise” is an improvement!

March 26th, 2009 - Posted by Nick Black in api, cartography, for developers, products, style editor

Bring CloudMade Maps to Your iPhone Application

If you’re looking for maps to add to your iPhone application you’re in the right place.

CloudMade’s iPhone Maps Library is an open source library that gives application developers everything you need to create great navigation applications on the iPhone.  You don’t need to wait any longer to add turn-by-turn navigation for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

The iPhone Maps Library is part of a suite of CloudMade APIs and tools that give developers access to regularly updated crowd-sourced maps.  Give your users a unique experience – take control of the look and feel of your application and create richer, more interactive experiences.

The iPhone Maps Library integrates with other CloudMade tools including Style Editor, a web based tool that gives access to a variety of professionally designed map styles, which you can customize to fit your application’s specific purpose.

The are several applications in the App Store that already use CloudMade’s maps, with many more in the pipline

Trails - iPhone App Store

Trails – Relive your greatest biking, hiking and walking
moments and share them with your friends; Trails lets
you view your activities on a choice of different
CloudMade maps.

The main features of CloudMade’s Map Library are:

  • Quick development time with easy to follow examples
  • Mapping framework & controls
  • Custom tile serving
  • Geocoding
  • Routing service via vehicle, pedestrian and cycle
  • Integration with iPhone Location API

WorldView Live - iPhone App Store

WorldView Live – If the view out of your window isn’t
exotic enough WorldView Live is the app for you; This
great application lets you view live webcams from all
around the world.

CloudMade’s iPhone Maps Library provides developers with a real alternative to standard mapping on the iPhone.  This, combined with the ability to let consumers bring their custom maps across with them – across desktop, mobile and web – make for a compelling end user experience.

March 19th, 2009 - Posted by Cragg Nilson in api, customers, events, for developers, technologies

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