Announcing Marble Maps for Android Open Beta

Categories: KDE, Marble, OSM
Tags: No Tags
Comments: 12 Comments
Published on: September 1, 2015

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.

Marble Maps on Android - Search  Marble Maps on Android - Routing  a3

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.

12 Comments
  1. Oli says:

    Could you post it also on FDroid which is a free software where the PlayStore is not ? I’m using android but not Google’s versions nor the google market.

    Also I read somewhere that all kde apps will be released from the same entity on the PlayStore which is Kde e.V (like kdeconnect, kalgebra), is that still the case ?

    Thanks for your work !

  2. Jay says:

    Lovely, thank you for this. Would it be possible to provide the apk or sent it to f-droid? No playstore here either.

  3. Komzpa says:

    Become a Tester button leads to:

    We’re sorry, the requested URL was not found on this server.

  4. Mark says:

    As an OpenStreetMap contributor I’m happy for this 🙂

  5. Enrico says:

    Would it be possible to add something like a donate option or a paid version in the play store? It would make donating to the project much easier: for what is worth I looked at marble webpage I couldn’t even figure out how to donate.

  6. Dennis Nienhüser says:

    @Oli, Jay: I have already cloned the fdroiddata repo some days ago to get it up there. But it’ll take me some time to finish it.

  7. Dennis Nienhüser says:

    @Komzpa: Does that still happen? Are you logged into your Google account?

  8. Dennis Nienhüser says:

    @Mark: Great to hear, thanks. I hope we’ll get a nice edit mode done so people can contribute to OSM easily from the app (I’m thinking of Marble Maps automatically generating a list of edit-worthy things in the neighborhood, e.g missing opening hours of the shop you’re just in).

  9. Dennis Nienhüser says:

    @Enrico: That’s a good idea. We should at least have a link to https://www.kde.org/community/donations/ in http://marble.kde.org. For a donation version in the store I see the point of convenience, but then again 30% of the money would end up at Google as transaction fees.

  10. Enrico says:

    Right, I reckon it’s a pretty bad deal. In any case, thanks for all the hard work.

  11. […] Dennis Nienhüser released the free beta of Marble Maps, the Android port of the KDE Application Marble Virtual […]

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