Thursday, November 10, 2011

Announcing Scenic Map 1.3

I am pleased to announce that Scenic Map 1.3 has been released to Apple's App Store. This is the culmination of a project that began over 18 years ago with the goal of enable interactive 3D terrain mapping on mobile devices. By combining the power of both the main processor and graphics processor, Scenic Map can now display a very detailed terrain map in 3D with silky smooth animation. Also new in 1.3 is the ability to record, import, export and play back GPS tracks. Each version of Scenic Map includes several pre-recorded tracks which you can play back. For example, in Scenic Map Grand Canyon, you can take a virtual helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon.
The online documentation will be updated to reflect new new features and changes in 1.3. For now, here are some tips to get you started:
All the touch gestures you are used to in Scenic Map still work just as before in version 1.3. New gestures have been added to allow you to move the map in 3D. Most of these are two fingered gestures. A left-right two fingered swipe will rotate the map. An up-down two fingered swipe will tilt the map. You can adjust the tilt all the way from vertical (which is the top down view you are used to in earlier versions of Scenic Map) to horizontal (which is a first person ground level point of view). You can also use two fingers to pinch to zoom or twist to rotate. If you don't want the map to rotate, you can enable the North Up option in the Map Style Panel (tap the cog icon in the tool bar at the top of the screen and scroll down).
The above controls comprise the Standard Mode touch interface. Scenic Map 1.3 also has a new touch interface called Joystick Mode. You can switch modes by touching the screen with one finger and holding position for two seconds. You will see two concentric rings appear around the point you are touching. This indicates that you are now in Joystick Mode. You can return to Standard Mode by performing the same gesture again and see a single ring appear briefly around the point you are touching.
In Joystick Mode, the point you touch the screen becomes the center of a virtual joystick. If you swipe up and down, you will begin to fly over the map forwards or backwards. The more you swipe your finger away from the point you first touched, the faster you will fly over the map. Left and right swipes will cause you to orbit around the point in the center of the map. You can combine these gestures to fly around the terrain much like in a flight simulator. In Joystick Mode, a two fingered swipe will cause you to fly sideways. All the other two fingered gestures also work in Joystick Mode but are spring loaded just like the one fingered gestures.
The new Tracks Panel can be accessed via the triangle (play) icon in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. You can tap on a track to display options for the track. You can export the track to GPX, email the track as GPX and play the track. When you play a track, you will see a new tool bar at the bottom of the screen. Use these to rewind the track to the beginning, slow down the track, stop playing the track, pause or play the track, speed up the track playback and skip to the end of the track.
To record a new track, just tap the center icon in the tool bar at the top of the screen. From now on your GPS position will be continually tracked. You can also enable Background Tracking in the Map Style Panel (tap the cog icon in the tool bar at the top of the screen and then scroll down). You can stop recording the track by tapping on the track at the top of the Tracks Panel with the big red record dot icon.
If you have any feedback or questions about this version, please feel free to contact us at

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