Monday, 6 September 2010

7Cache - New screenshots

Lots of work done this weekend. .GPX importing from Windows is working (in theory!). Also implemented direction and bearing to both the active cache and any cache you select from the map. Distances can be displayed in metric (km/m) or imperial (mi/ft).

Edit (Tues 7th): Added Cache Radar screenshot!


AceofSpades said...

Interesting... how are you importing .GPX files directly to your apps Isolated storage area?

I've got a number of app ideas that need to allow the user to be able to import files into the apps Isolated storage.

Gareth said...

I ended up using a simple WCF service to get the .GPX xml files to the phone.

Self-hosted the service in a windows WPF app, and gave it two methods - Ready() and SendGPX(). User drags and drops gpx files onto the app which are read as plain text into strings.

On the phone side, the user enters the PC hostname as displayed on the desktop app and the phone attempts to connect to the service and call the Ready() method (to confirm phone and client can connect). The Ready() method returns the number of GPX strings awaiting upload.

If the result of Ready() is >0, the phone calls SendGPX(). The result of SendGPX() is the xml as a string which is then deserialised (if valid). After one send is processed, the phone calls Ready() again to see if there are any more files waiting.

It's a simple/crude method, but it works for now. Whether it will work with a docked real phone remains to be seen.

See Joel Johnson's blog post here: which is where I got the idea from, albeit in reverse.

Joel Ivory Johnson said...

yeah, I have to admit that I thought my first implementation of the WCF based solution is a bit crude. I'm still working on another solution in the back of my head to address some concerns I have for security and user experience.

Pix said...

Looks awesome so far. I've been thinking of doing the same kind of app for wp7 since GS won't come up with something for a long time I guess. Seems that you found a way to load/read GPX files then via a webservice?

Now the only thing we need is a proper, public GC API...


Garrett said...

I absolutely love what it's coming out to look like Gareth! I hope you continue to develop it!

Gareth said...

Of course! Just waiting to get my hands on a device so I can begin testing and polishing for first release. Would be great to release this side of the holidays!

AceofSpades said...

Thanks Gareth

It's useful to know how to load external files into an apps sand-boxed environment.

Of course none of this would be necessary if Microsoft just allowed people the option of managing their own file systems.

Do have an API that you're using, or are you using some sort of spider to scrape the data off the html?

Pavel said...

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure that GCzII doesn't use any official APIs; it uses the very same HTML pages as a human does, scraping the information from there. Of course, that makes it more fragile, as changes to the format of that HTML can break the scraping algorithm, but until GS makes a real API available, it's the only way to go. (You can tell that this is what GCzII does, because it actually saves the fetched HTML pages in the filesystem where you can examine them with any Notepad-like application.) I don't know, of course, whether or not GS has explicitly "blessed" GCzII, but it certainly works.

Anyway, I'm really eager to get my WP7 phone (but waiting for Sprint's offering, supposedly early next year), and the availability of some reasonable geocaching app is a prerequisite for me. What you've done so far looks *fabulous* and I look forward to seeing more progress. Thanks!

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