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  • 4 Post By codepoet80
  • 1 Post By MA HP Touchpad
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  1.    #1  
    Just in time for Christmas, here's a little gift for the webOS Nation (what's left of us!) - two ways to do maps again on your webOS device, brought to you by webOS Archive...

    icon-256.png

    Map Lite
    Borrowing some code from Grabber's GPS Tracker, but largely a new creation, Map Lite restores lightweight mapping functionality through an open source web service that proxies two critical pieces of infrastructure, to make up for what we've lost:
    • Geo-location: most of us have been unable to get a GPS or WiFi-triangulation fix for many years. The web service fixes this using IP-based geolocation, thanks to IPInfo. I've matched the API response signature from the built-in service call to make it easy to patch apps. Map Lite uses this to get an approximate location for mapping. You won't want to use this for driving around, but otherwise, its accurate enough to be mostly useful -- and approximate enough to protect your location over HTTP. The service doesn't send any data to Google (or Bing, or any of the other big guys)
    • Maps: although I was able to get Grabber's app working with Google Maps, they're not free any more. Map Lite uses Bing maps -- which HP used in the old days anyway. Maps come in three flavors (road, aerial, aerial-with-roads) and work most places. You tap sides of the screen to pan in each direction, but be aware the maps try to follow roads and will not cross bodies of water, so sometimes you need to zoom out to pan through certain geographies. Also, with apologies to anyone in Australia, panning doesn't work on that continent, since the math is different there -- this is a known issue that I'll fix eventually!

    I've tested the app on Pre, Pre2, Pixi Plus, Veer, Pre3 and TouchPad and it works on all devices, any orientation. Give a try and let me know how it works for you!

    NDrive
    Thanks to some sleuthing from the crew over on SimpleChat, we managed to dig up a beta of NDrive, and closely related meta-data from its release. Combined, this is a real working turn-by-turn GPS solution -- for those lucky few whose devices can still get a GPS fix. Unlike the App Catalog releases, which were per-country, this beta build works anywhere in the world... as long as you buy the maps first.
    I spent a lot of time tinkering with defeating their license-management, to see if I could distribute the maps from the 'archive, but ultimately I decided that even if I could, that wasn't the right thing to do. The company will still sell you the maps for your webOS device; you have to do the transaction on a modern computer, but once purchased, you can download them onto your device to use them. If you have a use-case and working device, I'd encourage you to pay this company still willing to support us! They have maps for most of the world, so send them some love!
    Update: I made an error when uploading the IPK. If you've already installed, you will need to uninstall and install again to get the correct working version of NDrive.

    Map Lite is available in the Revisionist History section of the museum. NDrive is in the Curator's Choice section. Both are available for download now!
    Last edited by jonwise80; 01/19/2022 at 10:09 PM.
    Check out the webOS Archive for preservation and development projects: webosarchive.com | Follow the Archive on Twitter | Like my apps? Why not buy me a coffee?
  2. #2  
    I tried Map Lite on my TouchPad today and it works! However, my location seemed to bounce around the city and it never came close to where I was. If this is not normal, I would probably blame it on the settings of my router. I also noticed that you need to press these tiny buttons in order to move around the map, unlike how you would usually just drag the map. It is funny that we need a separate app for this because my old Palm TX PDA can still use it's original Google Maps app just fine if it is connected to the internet!
    MudShark22 likes this.
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by MA HP Touchpad View Post
    my location seemed to bounce around the city and it never came close to where I was
    IP-based Geolocation is far from precise! Just think of it as a privacy feature :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by MA HP Touchpad View Post
    you need to press these tiny buttons in order to move around the map
    Those are just hints -- you can tap anywhere in the segment to pan the map.

    Quote Originally Posted by MA HP Touchpad View Post
    unlike how you would usually just drag the map
    To support drag and zoom operations, the app would need to load tiles as you navigate. This is computationally and network expensive, not to mention, significantly more complex to code for! I could probably get there if I hacked at it for long enough, but the increase in API calls would likely result in very rapid rate limiting and break the maps for everyone. Best to keep it simple, and stay within the free rate limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by MA HP Touchpad View Post
    It is funny that we need a separate app for this because my old Palm TX PDA can still use it's original Google Maps app
    The APIs webOS used, both for their Google Maps, and the later Bing Maps based map apps were significantly more capable than the very simple one used on PalmOS, and for Google, require non-free API calls. The Bing maps app may actually be fixable (for free-as-in-beer) but it uses an obsolete API that Microsoft no longer provides. They do provide migration instructions, but the overhaul is non-trivial, and ultimately probably not worth the effort.

    Thanks for trying it out!
    Check out the webOS Archive for preservation and development projects: webosarchive.com | Follow the Archive on Twitter | Like my apps? Why not buy me a coffee?
    MudShark22 and incidentist like this.

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