Exploration Guides

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Niagara River Fish Trail App

OK, not really.  Very few fish, it turns out, actually use android phones.  It’s just a fun data set to distribute along with the free EGMaps creator, which is coming soon.

I just beat the last technical hurdle in the programming, so after some user documentation, and some testing by willing volunteers (contact me if you’re interested) it’ll be possible for anyone, anywhere, to download this tool, format their own data, and create their own map-based app using the EGMaps engine, along with all the features of all our map-based apps.

Oh, and should you happen to know of any fish looking for a really good Android app to get them from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, avoiding all the hazards along the way, tell them about the new app, too, ok?

March 3, 2014 Posted by | apps | , | Leave a Comment

EGMaps Free Map App Maker

Overview

EGMaps is a free Android app which allows anyone to feed their own data into it quickly and easily.  As part of the EGMaps project, we provide a basic Android app and sample data so you can see how easy it is to create and distribute your own apps using the EGMaps system.

With EGMaps, your app can:

  • Display unlimited points of interest on the user’s Android device.  Each point includes:
    • Location, defined by latitude and longitude
    • A custom icon of your own (you can use different ones for each point)
    • A brief text for each point
    • A URL link for each icon
  • Allow the user to park his/her car and have the car show up on the map.  Makes it hard to get lost.
  • Display distance to car, and to the last point of interest the user tapped.
  • Use Google Maps routing to get from the current location to a point of interest on foot, by bike, with mass-transit, or driving.
  • See custom hints for your app
  • Anything else your app wants to do.  You can easily add call it from any app.

What Does It Look Like?

Sample for EGMaps

Sample for EGMaps

Sample for EGMaps

Sample for EGMaps

Just download one of our map-based apps and take a look.  If you’re thinking of building your own, we recommend you download the Niagara River Fish Trail app, since we give you all the code and data to reproduce this one on your own.  You can get it at Google Play.  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.explorationguides.android.niagarariverfish

Who Can Use EGMaps?

Anyone!  If you have location data, in any form, to distribute to the world, and you want to do it free, or even paid, you can use EGMaps.  You can use EGMaps to share:

  • Park trail maps
  • Area features
  • Places to visit
  • Campus maps
  • Restaurant locations
  • Event maps
  • Franchise locations
  • Just about anything else that you can put on a map

Who Can’t Use EGMaps?

Just about anyone can use EGMaps.  We do, however, reserve the right to block access to EGMaps for any apps where required by law, in the event of data piracy, or for any other reason.  Hopefully, these situations will never come up.

OK, So How Do I Make My Own App?

It doesn’t take any real programming skills, but it does require some work on the computer.

  1. Download the EGMaps API and sample files
  2. Data
    1. Collect your data
    2. Clean up your data
    3. Format your data (more coming on this soon)
    4. Upload your data
  3. Your computer setup
    1. Set up Eclipse with the Android plug-ins
    2. Create a secure key to publish your app
    3. Set up your Google Play publishing account (if you want to distribute through Google Play)
  4. Build your app
    1. Importing and Editing Your Program Files
    2. Insert your custom graphics and icons
    3. Connect your test Android to your computer
    4. Compile and test your app
    5. Test your data
    6. Distribute your new app to the world

History

Exploration Guides just kinda drifted into writing EGMaps. What we really wanted was a way to share our GPS data for parks and trails with the world, but there wasn’t any way for us to do this easily without paying some company thousands of dollars per app. Instead, we wrote the app ourselves. With our release of access to this app, it’s now possible for everyone to share their GPS data, locations, maps, etc, with the world quickly and easily and for free!

API v1 released 6/2/2014.

 

March 2, 2014 Posted by | | , , | 2 Comments

EGMaps update

EGMaps, the mapping engine for all our free map-based apps, has now been updated to version 1.1.  This fixes the annoying suggested trail bug that some people were running into when switching between different maps.

Stop by https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.explorationguides.EGMaps to pick it up today, or to update your current version to 1.1

March 1, 2014 Posted by | apps | , , | Leave a Comment