Since some days Looking4Cache has a new interesting feature: Vector Maps!
Within the app you can download maps for nearly the whole world out of the Download Center. Large Countries divided in their states to keep the file sizes small. If you downloaded a map once, you can use them within the app for offline geocaching.
In the new version there are to display modes of the maps:
- In the ‘Live’ mode each map section will be rendered in the requested zoom level. This is very detailed and always sharp. Depending on the device and the requested zoom (the amount of details to show) this takes some time to render.
- In the second (and new) mode small images will be rendered in 22 zoom levels as soon as they should displayed. This images will be saved to a cache database in the same way you maybe know from the online maps. If you want to view a already rendered area for a second time, L4C uses the cached images. By this technic the viewing is approximately as fast and smooth as a online OSM map with a fast internet connection.
There is one remaining bug in the vector maps: If you use the vector maps a long time without restarting the app it can crash. This mostly occurs when switching between maps or changing the render mode. After starting the app again you can use the app again. I am already working on a fix for this issue, but I think also with this the vector maps are a benefit for the app.
A short time ago a interface was released to embed Google Maps in iOS Apps. The current version of Looking4Cache Pro has a overlay on the OSM maps to display the corresponding Google Maps satellite image above the normal map. You can also set the opacity of the image. So the hot demanded satellite images comes back to geocaching on iOS.
On iPhone 5 the image has a offset to the normal map. I already fixed that bug and version 1.2.2 is in review by Apple.
Additionally I will give you a update about the coming vector maps. The main implementation is done. I converted and uploaded maps of all countries to my server. After some fine-tuning (like adding the possibility to delete downloaded maps) I will start the beta tests.
Today I get notice of the new Google Maps App for iPhone. In Looking4Cache Pro you can create a link to submit the coordiantes of a cache to this new app.
Here is the link: comgooglemaps://?q=[LATITUDE],[LONGITUDE]([NAME])&zoom=17&views=satellite
Also the new Google Maps API was released. With this it is possible to embed Google Maps native in iOS Apps. Today I applyed for a developer key.
It takes some time until version 1.2 hits the AppStore. This morning the liberating Release-Link appears. I wish you a lot of fun with the new map functions (like heading rotate, Bing Maps and faster scrolling) and the new bookmark function. With this it is possible to open Google Maps and other pages in this App.
If you created own links and want to share them, just mail them to me. I opened a FAQ Page with link examples.
What should I do in the next versions of Looking4Cache..? Add so many functions until you need a course to use this app? As the usage is already to complicated for some new users, I jam on the breaks. My focus in this winter will be three main topics:
- Vector Maps: In my current development build there is already a function to render maps out of local vector files. It is a special OSM based format with a style similar to Mapnik, but with some Geocaching related changes (like displaying trails in the woods with thick dashes). Because this special format is not easy to create I will add a download section where you get already created map files.
- Ease of operation: I will grinding some edges and corners that makes it complicated for new users. There will be a start dialog explaining the basics and help to enter the first user. There will be also text informations for some functions.
- Opencaching Network: The new OKAPI interface goes live in more and more countries. So in the next geocaching season you will be able to search and log these open-caches in this App.
If I notice that a lot of useres needs some other small functions, I will add them in the comming versions. For example I will create the possibility to search for caches on a specific address.
Some minutes ago I send the new version of Looking4Cache to Apple.
This version brings some new features requested from the community. The map gets the most changes. It can rotate to your heading, it is a little bit faster and I added Bing Maps as a new source. The compass is smother and shows the distance to your target.
In an internal browser you can open configureable links. As an example I added a link to Google Maps showing your position and the cache or waypoint. (This function is only available in the pro version)
The gpx import is now faster, especially when you already imported thousands of caches. Also it´s now possible to import gpx files generated by munzeeclub.de und dfx.at. For a real Munzee integration I need some extra time..
A new search bar on the cache overview helps you to find a cache again.
Here is a details log of caches
Finally version 1.1 appears in the AppStore. From now you can log trackables, upload images while create logs and save a log local to complete it later.
Attention: For one of the new features all downloaded logs of caches will be deleted by the update process. A new function to update all caches of a category is included. Proceed this update not while you are out for a cache, wait until at home.
If you import a gpx file you have to be a little patient as before. I have to change the import so it takes more time.
The full list of changes you can read in the forum. Under V 1.1.1 I will post the known bugs and this I have already fixed in the development builds.
One bug is already known: On iPhones with iOS6 the orientation will change to landscape if you rotate the device. This moves the user interface. I fixed the bug in a version I will send tomorrow to Apple for the review.
The manual is also up to date: English / German
I will also entrust you the new created FAQ page. The content is not final, but some good tips may be included. Also it is good to read the post ‘geocaching.com / Wrong log date’ in the FAQ.
Special thanks to the beta testers and the translators!
Have a lot of fun with the new Version!
I am pleased to inform you that L4C will be available in more languages in the next days. In the last weeks four users out of the community translated the app and corrected my own english translation.
See new page about translations