After many, many, complains about the maps that Courseplanner offers as a default, I finally decided to add support for Google maps.
Actually adding Google maps itself is fairly straight forward, I spent a bit of time adding all the overlapping drawings that are required for the moving map.
There is also the small issue of not been connected to the internet, (’cause you can’t use Google maps properly without the internet).
I am also working on a small application that offers only Google Maps and Courseplanner moving map.
Currently the Google Maps version is only available in Beta, (but you can get it here), but I am planning on releasing it soonish.
Google Maps has a very, very easy API to work with, they have almost no restrictions to using it in an application.
I did send them an email to make sure that I am on the right side of their terms and conditions.
While I wait, I still need to add a couple of things, (to the Google Maps tab).
Current flight plan and,
Please visit the forum and let me know if you can think of any new features that would be nice to add.
My long term plan has always been to include X-Plane with Courseplanner, (mainly because Flight simulator is not actively been developed any more*). To that end I finally ordered X-Plane 9 and it should be arriving in the next few weeks.
I’ll then be able to create an X-Plane module for Courseplanner.
* Yes I know about Microsoft Flight, but this seems a long way away from been complete and no one really seems to know if it will be a game of a simulator.
I finally managed to get back to flying a little over the week-end, I am working on some new features for Courseplanner, namely the ability to turn into a waypoint, (or past a waypoint depending on the one you want to visit).
All the coding is done, I am just testing with various aircraft if everything works as expected. With all the small aircraft, (Cessna, Mooney and so on), it works well, but it is another story for the heavies. It is just very hard to remain on course without having some wild turns in order to remain on course.
I also added some small features to see where the automatic flight management of Courseplanner is aiming.
But all in all it is fun to get back to flying again.
I finally got around to implement a new bug tracking system. The main reason for that is because I was starting to loose track between requests and bugs, my roadmap was also starting to look a bit like a bug tracking tool as well. I was also starting to loose track of what I had done when it came time to do releases.
Everybody is more than welcome to create an account and log new bugs, I chose Mantis as it seems to be a fairly ‘up-to-date’ online application.
I am new it, so I might make some mistakes as I go along, so please, bear with me.
I am very keen to do another stable release, but I first have to finish the database import application as it is still a bit ‘clunky’, I want the users to be able to click on one button only to load the database, (a bit like the aircrafts are been imported curently).
I have finally started working on the map issue we have been having. The problem is that the map is perfect when it comes to looking far away but it is blurry, (at best when looking at it up close)
In courseplanner version 3 the map was actually a set of points of the world that was drawn. The result was a far from picture perfect image but it worked rather well when zooming in really close, (about as close as an airport for example).
So I am going to re-add the outlining and try to ‘marry’ the NASA photo realistic image with the outline drawing.
Another option is to offer the 600Mb map of the world to the users. Maybe ship it to them via CD or something, (maybe allow a download?) This will partly solve the problem and make the image even more realistic, (the definition is 50M or something like that. So the map should be close to ‘perfect’ I hope.
But, before I do that, let me finish the outline. I see that a few flight planners offer the outline to simplify the view, so let me also try it.
As I am on leave for the next few days I will try and get it all done in 3 or 4 days.
Yesterday I released a new version of Courseplanner, so far the response seems to be positive, but it is still early days.
I still need to make a few changes, especially the map, it is obviously a bigger eyesore than I expected, so I will need to look into it as soon as possible.
As I want to keep Courseplanner as ‘stand-alone’ as possible, (because of future support for X-Plane), I need to think of a simple way to display the map as ‘clearly’ as possible without depending on X-Plane or Flight Simulator.
I think that importing sectional maps might be a good idea, so if people want a ‘high definition’ map of a certain area then they will need to download it from various sites. I might make it flexible enough to upload to this site as well, (so others can download it).
I also want to add support for X-Plane, I am sure it won’t hurt to have more input from such a large comunity.
As alway I am looking for any suggestions/bug reports, anything to improve Courseplanner. So feel free to visit the forum and throw in your suggestions.
This morning I was about to upload the next version of Courseplanner when I accidentally deleted the entire site, (not the database, only the files themselves).
Effectively this means that I have spent most of the morning uploading/fixing missing files from the backup.
To my suprise, I also noticed that my backup does not include most of the pictures in the document, so I will need to re-upload them all one by one.
Needless to say, I will make sure they are included in the next backup.
The courseplanner forum is up and running. I have removed all the old posts as they related to Courseplanner 3.x.
Of course I will still support the old version where I can, but in the meantime I think it is best to start with a brand new forum.
Edit: I have also completed the documentation site, but of course there is nothing to see yet. I will try and add a few basic pages as I go along.
I have restricted the wiki to registered users only, in the past this has proven to work well. I would prefer to give full permission to everybody, but unfortunately the wiki is abused by bots faster than I can control it.