April 30, 2008

6 hours travel = 6 hours GSoC brainstorming

Posted in GSoC tagged at 10:00 pm by fadinlight

(This post has been published after the original date, due to connection issues)

Today I’m going to Sardinia to my beloved girlfriend Claudia. Crossing Tirrenian Sea from Civitavecchia to Olbia took 6 hours travel. I was planning to map a GPS trace for this travel, but I couldn’t manage to capture any satellite from my seat (even if I was in the front), so I went for “Plan B”.

When I was still home, in fact, I’ve printed all Osmarender’s wiki pages, two rule files and the Mapnik’s rule file. I’ve printed something about SVG styling (from W3C web site) too. Then I loaded some advanced guide/tutorial for CSS, XSL, JavaScript, etc. in my EeePC. So I spent my travelling time reading this huge amount of stuff and writing some notes about what I’ve found. Just some schemas about rule file internals and some GUI ideas. I’m starting to think strongly that the GUI should be divided in three parts: one for novice users, one for intermediate users and one for advanced users: the last one should be obviously the first to develop, but I’ve to design the core and the controller now for the other two sections. Even if I’ve not already the whole design in my mind, the pieces are starting to get together, in an exciting way!


April 28, 2008

Ideas! Ideas!

Posted in GSoC, OSM Contributions tagged , at 11:53 pm by fadinlight

Going deeper into Osmarender’s rule file today. I had also some (beautiful to me) ideas for the GUI and for the architecture of the future frontend, which I updated in the wiki. I think previews for CSS styles (taken from very little default OSM files) will be a very interesting feature to improve usability. And more ideas are coming.

However, this morning I had a nice surprise: villa Doria Pamphili has rendered quite well (although I’ve to do some changes)

More interesting details zooming in…

Even the steps in the upper right corner have a name, although it’s not rendered even in the higher zoom. Think I’m going too strict with details 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll look for more architecture and GUI guidelines ideas… hope to draw a beautiful architecture diagram in the next days!

April 27, 2008

Sunday out mapping

Posted in OSM Contributions tagged , at 11:59 pm by fadinlight

A sunny Sunday… summer is coming… there’s no better way to spend my time than go out in one of Rome parks, “Villa Doria Pamphili”. Furthermore, it was not mapped (till today!) at all. I went there with 3 friends of mine, and I have to thank Fabio, Pitrinu e Luciano for having so much patience waiting for my mapping activity while we were walking in the park. Here’s my fastly hand-made map 🙂

After we finished walking all around the park, we got a rest near the lake… so it was the best time to make some order from that impossible to read map 🙂

A little better, huh? 🙂

So, when I came back home, after some things I had to do, I’ve started JOSM and start editing with Yahoo images in background 🙂 I’m uploading all the nodes and ways when I’m writing, hope you can find something interesting here tomorrow, because now there is nothing 🙂 Don’t know very well how it’s going to render, it’s my first experiment on park mapping 🙂

Apart from that, my yesterday’s mapping activity now it’s rendered… and now the zone around me is a little better…hope to get a full map soon 🙂

Doing those maps, now I’ve undoubtly more awareness of mapping characteristics, and this is giving me new ideas and some little “use-case” for my project. Hope for more ideas in the next days!

April 26, 2008

OSM addiction on the way

Posted in OSM Contributions tagged , , at 6:55 pm by fadinlight

A sunny Saturday here in Rome. But I’ve started it in my home, idling on the #osm irc channel and trying to get Tiles@home working in my Windows box (a mid-tower computer which I’m not using so much). So I’ve started getting a T@h account (thank you crschmidt!) and trying using the all-in-one installer found in the Windows@home wiki page, just trying to keep the easy way. Unfortunately, I’ve got it to work (at least it seems it renders) but couldn’t upload any tile image till now. Probably there’s something broken but I think the manual way would be easier than the easy way 🙂

After a little bit of T@h playing, I went out from home and, during my little travel, I’ve got some new GPS traces, which I’ve edited in JOSM and uploaded, with some corrections of my previous editing sessions.

Probably in the next two days I’ll be less productive, however I’ll continue my Osmarender studies in spare time.

April 25, 2008


Posted in GSoC tagged , , at 9:26 pm by fadinlight

I think that there is no activity in life that I love more than studying (perhaps coding :)). I love to get in touch with new things, especially new technologies, new way of coding, etc. Another thing I love is software design. So, I really enjoyed spending all day to start up studying for my project design. 🙂

After I set up another thing or two in the project’s wiki page, I announced it in the dev list and in the talk-it list. Then I went into the #osm channel to get in touch with other developers there, telling my wiki page URL and trying to get some feedback.

I’ve received a few hints, which I reported in the wiki page as well, crediting everyone. As I’ve got in touch with Mapnik users/developers, I’ve also received a link to a Mapnik’s rule file and to a little help about it. I think that a little bit of study about Mapnik internals will give me more ideas to improve the abstractness of my architecture and JS API.

Then I’ve started to study and take notes about Osmarender rule file internals, writing down some new ideas also. But I don’t want to anticipate anything now, because I’ve to study more to be sure. I’ve studied Osmarender a few when I was writing my application, but now that I’ve more awareness of it.. I have to confess that I’m really loving it 🙂

However, as far as I can tell, I’ve found similarities in Osmarender’s and Mapnik’s rule file… perhaps, if I can get a good design, there is room for some Mapnik compatibility for this frontend. But… now I’ve to stop dreaming, and don’t forget GSoC deadline 🙂

I’ve found also something odd: dragging and dropping, by error, an XML Osmarender’s rule file in Firefox 2, I’ve found that he got rendered automatically! This is not something really new, I know what’s behind this functionality.. but now.. why using a JS call to the XSLTProcessor Firefox 2 crashes (with the same rule,osm data, osmarender.xsl version)? Beside this: I knew that Firefox 2 doesn’t handle node-set() XSL instructions… why is it working? Perhaps I was wrong when I’ve found this, perhaps version handles node-set() instructions… perhaps there is something magical in my Kubuntu laptop. I’ve to dig inside this in the next days (along with some Osmarender rules’ playing), because more cross-browser compatibility means more users, and more users means more OSM spreading, and more OSM spreading means GOOD! 🙂

April 24, 2008

Setting things up

Posted in GSoC tagged , at 10:39 pm by fadinlight

First of all, the GSoC-related news: I’ve just set up a wiki page in OpenStreetMap’s wiki to let everyone who wants participate in my brainstorming for Osmarender Frontend. In the next days, I’ll update that page with any idea, feature, or solution that will come in my mind before drawing any diagram/UML class for my application. Obviously everyone is invited to modify that page with any new idea. Please remember to sign yourself, so I can credit you 🙂

However, there’s no way out. Now I can’t leave my home without a GPS anymore 🙂 I’ve uploaded new GPS traces today and do some mapping with JOSM again.

Then I finished setting up this blog, and now this is my very first “live” post. During the next days, I’ll add some older posts: some of them are in my old temporary blog, some others were never written/published on the Net, but I wrote them down during the terrible days waiting for GSoC acceptance announcement 🙂 Those posts will have the same date in which I’ve written them.

Another little thing that made me quite happy. I’ve seen by luck (searching italian pages in Google with key “osmarender”) this post from Trevino’s Tumblelog, which, beyond other GSoC projects, is also listing mine for being one of the most interesting/innovative. Cool!!! 🙂

April 23, 2008

My first mapping day!

Posted in OSM Contributions tagged , , at 10:00 pm by fadinlight

My First WaysToday is a special day! I’ve got my first taste of being an active OSM contributor!

At the first mapping party in Rome on April 20th Dieterdreist, Danilo and I had got a little GPS trace of the zone called “Monti Tiburtini”. I asked them to let me try to do some JOSM playing (because actually I’m a newbie in real mapping situations) and wait for my editing.

So the first thing I’ve done today has been to open an OpenStreetMap account and upload my first GPX file to the OSM server 🙂 Then I’ve started to get in touch with JOSM, and after one or two hours of try-and-error (with some great help from Dieterdreist… I can’t thank you enough for your patience!) I’ve got my first map! 🙂 If you want to participate to my joy, you can see the result (all the white streets).

But in the evening I had to do some “shopping” around: my zone is not mapped at all… so it was the best occasion to do some GPS tracing play! 🙂 I took my bluetooth GPS and my OSMTracker-powered handheld… and when I came back to home I’ve uploaded new GPS traces, and played around with JOSM to learn more and more about it. Here my personally exciting results!

Case Rosse

At the end, I wanted to learn something about other features OSM gives us, and after I’ve got to work the Yahoo plugin, I’ve extended Aniene river a little, which was limited to GRA motorway before.

I can’t find the right words to say how I enjoyed this mapping experience! I’ve a fear that I’m becoming OSM-addicted 🙂

So… more coming soon…!