The release of Marble 1.1 in beetween two KDE releases shortened the development cycle for Marble 1.2. Still we have some nice new features to debut in 1.2. Among them is support for offline search that extends the existing city search by addresses (streets and house numbers) and points of interest (supermarkets, tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels, train stations and much more). This feature is a natural extension of our offline routing, enabling you to use addresses and points of interest as routing targets. Currently you either need an Internet connection for that or you have to select routing targets directly in the map in offline mode.
The data needed to search for addresses worldwide is huge, no doubt. Given that we like to ship small Marble packages the data for offline search will not ship with the Marble packages, but can be downloaded from within Marble after installation. For your convenience it is packaged with the Monav offline routing maps, so installing a country-level offline routing map (or upgrading it) will include the data for offline address search in that country. I’m currently updating the OpenStreetMap data on my system to generate new Monav maps as well as offline address databases for all countries worldwide. Offline map updates will be available in the next weeks.
I made a small screencast that shows the feature in action on Marble’s desktop version. Of course it also works on the mobile version on the N900, where the feature is primarily needed. Some minor glitches are left (e.g. some results appearing twice, missing repaints), but there’s plenty of time to fix that until the release in July. When watching the screencast you can see another new feature added by Bernhard Beschow recently: Zoom steps now coincide with OpenStreetMap tile levels, resulting in a sharper appearance of texture maps. Most of that is hidden by compression and scaling of the video though, it’s best to see it live. Or maybe Bernhard blogs about it himself, I remember him saying something like that… 🙂