Friday, November 30, 2007

WorldWind Java Annotations Preview

Annotations are ready to roll and will be in the next WWJ SDK update 0.3.x or 0.4 - which should be ready 'soon'... Here are a couple screenshots showing different variants from the included example application.

Annotations are essentially text labels with a lot of style attributes. They will come in two flavors: globe annotations which are associated with a position on the planet, and screen annotations which are at a fixed position in the viewport.

In the above view all you see are annotations - from the simple 'Egypt', 'Libya' or arabic for 'Sahara desert' labels to the full blown 'billboards' or 'bubbles' with textured backgrounds and moderately wealthy text.

As you can see annotations come with a multi line text renderer and 'wrapper' with minimal html support, text picking and hyperlinks. The text about the Tibesti mountains is a cut-and-paste of a paragraph straight from a Wikipedia page source.

The example application will offer you no less than 39 controls to experiment with all the annotation attributes combinations. Text font, size, style and alignment, insets 'margin', background color and texture repeat options, dimensions, scaling, opacity, offset from position... Overall it should cover quite a range of applications from simple labels to moderately sophisticated 'popup balloons'.

In any case, if the SDK basic implementation is not enough, it is very easy to subclass annotations and override the drawing process to add your own code in place or on top of it. The example does also contain several override code bits - you'll have to read the source to find them.

This is just an 'avant goût' to get you salivating a bit. I will come back on the subject for more detailed explorations of this new feature of the SDK - like shared attribute sets and cascading defaults...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mars and Moon layers for WWJ

Someone just asked about Mars in the WorldWind Java forum and this reminded me the imagery is out there for the .Net version of WW, begging to be streamed into WWJ.

Mars MOC Colorized 256 layer

Moon Clementine 40xx color layer

Here are Mars and Moon - they are supposed to go in worldwind.layers.Mars and Moon respectively. December 13 update: get the two full globes here.

This of course is just a preview of the two bodies - over the Earth surface. The elevation data is out there too, but needs to be compressed differently for WWJ, and that is not ready yet, i believe. Eventually the Moon and Mars will have their own globes, elevation models and layer sets.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

WWJ Bug Exhibition

Sometime things go wrong. In most occurrence it doesn't produce anything more than irritation, but on rare occasions it can also lead to quite unexpected or intriguing results. Here are a few screenshots captured in such moments:

The 'globe back flip' made a fugitive appearance recently. New Zealand was on top of the world at last.

What came to be known as the Butterfly World emerged spontaneously from a wrong modification of the sinusoidal projection in flat worlds... i was expecting more of an oval shape, and there it came out. I took the screenshot and corrected the code. We will never know what was the formula. Chaos and butterflies, what a cliché.

The bold garbled text bubble briefly showed up during annotations development, while challenging JOGL text renderer with lots of larger fonts. What powerful message is hidden in this unknown dialect?

I cant help but feel there is something far reaching in the symbol. At a private showing in New York, someone fainted and a guest got so agitated he had to be helped out. "The big void in the middle of the first line is very unsettling i admit" declared the embarrassed host.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

WMS Layers on iPod Touch

Almost two weeks since i got the IPT and so little time to hack into it... I still havent managed to install the iPhone applications but i got it 'jailbreaked' and have a Finder now with a couple additional icons. However it will probably not last long with the coming firmware updates...

It is quite exciting to see that the little tablet is a 400Mz OS X platform. There are already many sites dedicated to using the touch or the phone as an 'open', mobile, computing device and many applications are coming.

Blue Marble Next Generation on iPod Touch
Actually, the easiest way to make an application for these device is to use html and javascript with Mobile Safari. These are so called 'web applications'.

So back to Notepad and some good old school javascript, i put together a very simple mobile WMS browser (updated november 16).

This is not World Wind but at least you can browse a couple WMS layers i grabbed from the WMSLayerManager example in the WW Java SDK: Blue Marble Next Generation (june 2004), Blue Marble 'classic', Landsat7 I3, Global mosaic 15m visual, Terra/Aqua daily shots and a few others (including France BRGM geology and USGS layers).

Have a look at the source - its all contained in one page and it is very easy to add more layers. Feel free to copy, edit, reuse and abuse ;)

Tapping (or clicking) on the edges or corners of the tile will have you move sideways or in diagonal. Tapping inside the image will zoom on the corresponding latitude and longitude.

Some controls at the bottom let you zoom out, goto a specified latitude and longitude and select different layers. Still a bit crude, but usable... and you can put (and share) bookmarks anytime.

The page has to be hosted somewhere though. I wonder if it could simply be transfered in the IPT and opened locally with Mobile Safari. Probably easy to do if you know a bit OS X or Linux...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Stereo anaglyph WorldWind Java applet online

Andrea Caporin from GIS Solution, Italy, upgraded his WWJ applet demo to 0.3 and had the good idea to include the new anaglyph scene controller and controls. The italian Alps are gorgeous in stereo...

As far as i know this is the only stereo virtual globe you can find online...