It’s my pleasure to announce the Open Beta version of Marble Maps for Android. Marble Maps is a port of the Desktop application Marble Virtual Globe and right now features an OpenStreetMap viewer, search and routing. The app is not yet feature complete; future updates will add turn-by-turn navigation, improve vector rendering and add basic OSM editing capabilities.
Our first Marble Maps release builds on the foundations of the Marble library, which runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The port to Android could be realized thanks to the recent great advances of Qt on Android. The porting itself was done by Gábor Péterffy during his GSoC project which just recently finished. Now we have a small team working on advancing the app further towards our goals of creating fast, visually appealing, easy-to-use free software. Give it a try, it works very nice already despite its early development state 🙂
Among the next updates will be support for turn-by-turn navigation. At the same time we are working on support for vector tile rendering. Have a look at the third screenshot above (a manually opened .osm file) for a sneak preview. Vector tile rendering will replace the current image based maps with vector based ones. This will not only reduce the amount of data to be downloaded, but also result in a much better looking/readable map display. Once we reach that point we’ll also look into context sensitive map rendering like night, hike, bike and similar modes.
Fortunately many of the needed pieces for vector tile rendering are already available. To bring them together we will meet in the Swiss Alps and have in intensive week of hacking in the upcoming KDE Sprint in Randa. If you want to support us, please donate some money to cover travel and accomodation expenses for the sprints.