Category Archives: J2meMap

Maximum overload reached! (but still some action…)

You’ve noticed that the update frequency of the blog have slowdown by the past two weeks. I am literally overloaded with many things, and too few times to catch up with the blog for now.

But there are some interesting news:

The first one, is that I am leaving In-Fusio/Mobilescope. The In-Fusio times were great for me and we have created some extraordinary things, but after many years as CTO of In-Fusio, then MobileScope it’s time for me to move on and explore new areas….
if you follow this blog, you probably now my two hot topics: Mobile Widgets, and Geolocalisation.
I will move to Mobease with a CTO role. It’s quite certain that 2007 will be good for mobile widgets, so it will be a perfect year for the Mobease product launch: mobidgets . We did not communicate a lot, but there are great things hapenning behind the scene.

For the Geolocalisation topic, there are some on-going movements around J2memap that will be disclosed in the near future.

I will be also at the 3Gsm, in Barcelona, so let’s meet there if you think that we have some common topics! (and even if not!)
I also have a few post about some interesting project that we were working on at MobileScope that I’ll publish before the end of the week.

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Yahoo!Go 2.0 is out, but beta is already full

The new Yahoo! Go 2.0 is out, but it seems already impossible to download it, as the beta is closed due to too high number of downloads. The result seems quite impressive, and now it works also on J2me. So as predicted (yes, this is in my 2007 predictions, but they are not yet published!), Yahoo is following Google (and soon Microsoft) in providing high quality frontend in J2me to their services…

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MobileZoo: the definitive museum for mobile diversity

mobilezoo.biz logoMobileZoo is a part time project done by Stephane DeLuca, one of the members of the Advanced Technology Team here at In-Fusio.

One of the initial idea (I am just over simplifiying, as there are many ideas in the air here!) was the following: instead of creating specific benchmark to provide information about handsets, or to create your own code to gather this information and store it on your server, why not provide a service for this?
The ideas is to create a small library (less than 8kb) that can be easily embedded on most (if not all) J2me application. The library than gather the maximum of information about the handset and send them to a server.
This server then maintains a database about handset capacities, supported JSR, configuration, etc….
There are multiple benefits on this approach:

  • developer can easily find usage of his own application. Focus on the real added value of the app, and not on this plumbing
  • other developer haves access to consolidated statistics about handsets capacities
  • marketing people will also have a visibility of handset deployed per country…

So basically, it will use the combined power of several individual small applications (typically freeware like j2memap) to create the most complete handset database available…..

We’ve just trialled it since last week with J2memap, initially for SE phones (that’s why you will see much more SE than Nokia) and now for most of the handsets. The results are quite interesting:

  • First, the most used handset, is without any surprise, the SE K750. But just after is the K700, a quite old model know but still heavily enjoyed by many users.
  • Then, the W800i, W810, etc….


Of course, some Java Vending Machine haves some of this feature built in, but none of them offer such service for third party, and expose this detailed information about usage both for the application user, and for the community….

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Flickr got maps – good time to GeoTag!

Two interesting news for today:
First, Flickr introduced some mapping feature for geotaged picture. You can see where these picture has been taken. Of course, visualisation is done through Yahoo Maps, which is less accurate (outside U.S.) than GoogleMap, but that’s a good start, and probably a big incentive for Yahoo to correct this soon.
Of course, this feature is nothing really new, but it’s nice to see in integrated. Note that “Pikeo” is an Orange project that intent to do the same kind of things, but not as smooth as I would expect it…

Surfview

The bad side seems to be that you need to do an extra step, even if your photos are already geotagged. You need to “import” them (go to “organize”, then “map”). This step is probably not needed and useless.
The other issue seems that YahooMaps seems to contains a lot of errors, as you can see on this snapshot….

The other good news of the day is the announce that I am involved in the “mobup” project since some monthes now. Mobup is a free open source Flickr uploader. Now mobup haves some geotagging capacities: if you have a connected GPS to your mobile phone through bluetooth, Mobup will add Geotags to this. Of course, the geotagging picture capacities of J2memap are based on Mobup…

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Navigation on mobile for free (nearly)

I’ve just realized recently that GoogleMap has an interesting possibility. When looking for directions, you can specify a latitude/longitude location instead of an address. This opens up the possibilty of real time directions on your mobile, linked to your GPS( thanks to J2memap)…
So I’ve quickly implemented this in Version v0.906, thanks to the “here” location in the direction box. If you type or selecet here, your coordinates will be used as a starting point.

Here is an example:


Lost in Paris?

Lets find an hotel

Do I have an issue with “é”?

Let’s find how to go there

Hum…

and follow the sign…

This is GPS navigation for free (except the data costs, that might be huge depending of your operator!)

And my disclaimer: this is an experimental feature, and does not attempt to replace any “real” navigation system!

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Nokia E61 and GPS

I’ve just discovered something today, thanks to a user of J2memap: The nokia E61 support the JSR179, but does not have a built in GPS. So it can be only server side localisation. But you also have the ability to pair it with a GPS bluetooth device directly, so JSR179 implementation will use this informations…Smart approach! Unfortunatly the JSR179 provide more limited information than a full access to the GPS device, but that’s probably the price to pay for interoperability.

Ok, the E61 design could have been better, but the screen is really great, especially for this kind of application!

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Geotagging and Pictures (and a world record!)

I’ve added a few nice features in the latest J2memap release (v0.9, not yet you): the ability to take some pictures, and to upload them directly to Flickr with some geotagged flags thanks to the mobup classe
The other day, I was in the french fast train, and make probably the record of the fastest geotaged and uploaded picture in real time, at 300 kmh! I forgot to switch on full size, so quality is quite bad, but it got the position on the map, as well as the snapshot of J2memap who include some nice icons once the picture has been geottaged: it’s quite easy, just take a picture, and it will be send to Flickr using your current GPS position.
Here are a few screenshots:

The picture in Flickr (ok, the resolution is really to small)

The screen of the mobile (yes, TGV was not at 300 km/h at that time, only 295…)

the result on the great tool yuan.cc:

I like this one, as it a real good example of mashing up different tools, googlemap, flickr, yuan.cc, j2memap, and a little bit of mobup… No real usage yet (who knows? ;-) ), but fun!

Geotagging with mobile is in the air, Martin is doing some experiment too, look at it…Technorati Tags:

J2MeMap update

It’s not because you do not see anything you about J2MEMap that the product is not progressing. I will release shortly a beta of next version of J2meMap. In the meantime, I suggest that you download latest version (0.809) who correct some bugs:

  • MSN Virtueal Earth now back!
  • A few caching memory management issues

So what will contains the new version? A lot of focus on “track” management, I will describe this later on on a more detailled post.

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mPowerplay and J2memap

First, I’ve finally went upgraded J2memap with some important functions. search is now fixed (but not yet direction), but more important, a some memory allocation issue on Nokia has been fixed.
I take the occasion of this note to “introduce” mPowerplay. This fantastic tool enable you to display any midlet on the web, without any change, just by adding ” http://webstart.mpowerplayer.com/ before the URL of the midlet you want to display, and ending with “.jnlp”. Of course, you can protect your midlet if you want, for demo games for instance. I am just surprised to see that no so many developers are using it. See the result on J2memap: J2meMap_Beta

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Improvement on Google Map tiles

Just got an information that some GoogleMap tiles jave been greatly enhanced. And that true. Check these two snapshots, left the old version, right the new one. I will modify J2memap to take in accound these changes. Even better, maximum resolution has also been improved! A little bit more complex to do for me, but update on the way too…

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Fun with GoogleMap

I’ve found this nace racing application just recently: it’s a small javascript that simulate a racing game on top of GoogleMap. As it’s in Japaneese, I’ve just grab the script to and make it run on top of SF, one of my favorite spot! ;-). Of course, there is no collision detection with “walls”, but this could be probably implemented using a specific client…If i have time, I would like once do it using my J2meMap framework (or if anybody interested by this?)….
But it’s an interesting example of one of the numerous game that game be done using google map API. I did not see a lot yet, there is this one, a Golf game (nice idea, but bad interface)….

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J2meMap update: issues with search

An update for J2meMap: it seems that Google changed recently the result of the “search” and “direction” requests, moving from XML to HTML.
Not sure if it’s an attempt for third party app (like J2meMap) to stop using their result. But in all case, the “search”, and “direction” feature of J2meMap does not work anymore.
I will try to fix it ASAP, hoping that they won’t do any change in the near future.

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J2MEMap Update

Just to announce a new release of J2MEMap, with some great new features:

  • Support of GPS through bluetooth
  • Nice rescaling feature (similar to the GoogleLocal one)
  • WayPoint feature (nice to be use with GPS, in order to know how far you are from your destination, and what is the direction). Not yet really “driving GPS”, but quite cool.
  • Support of touch screen. On the P900, it’s quite fun to play with it…
  • Improved display of routes….
  • Support of GPX for the download of waypoint, track, etc…

Just like this one:


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Support for Bluetooth GPS in J2ME Map

This picture show J2ME Map communicating with a Bluetooth enabled head (this is the BETA vrsion, 07.03). This works quite well, and you are able to get your positionning while driving and display it on a Google Map/Virtual Earth Map… That’s quite fun, this probably needs to be linked to other features like direction. One things that is missing in Google Map is reversegeocoding, in other words the ability to get a street adress from your current position, feature which exists anyway in GoogleLocal for mobile!

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