route-me – Google Code (via /.) is a mapping library for the iPhone that uses OpenStreetMap instead of Microsoft or Google’s mapping engines. It’s available under a BSD license and has some reasonable “how to embed” information on the wiki pages of the Google Code site to get you rolling.
I knew about OpenStreetMap from OSCON last year (or maybe even the year before) – but I had no idea that someone had put together this library. The terms of service for Google Maps are actually somewhat restrictive, Microsoft is quite a bit better, but this really tops them all. The mapping is also incredibly good. The united states have been pretty lucky that the information is technically “free”, even if finding it in published forms that is useful can be tricky. Other countries are FAR less open. The UK, for example has incredible ordinance survey maps, but they aren’t considered “public information” there.
Anyway, if you’re considering a mapping component to your iphone application consider checking this out.
It’s started snowing again here in Seattle. Flurries right now, clearly building up a bit. Karen pushed me out of the house at 2pm we headed down to the Christmas Tree lot that the Queen Anne Help Line runs… they run a Christmas Tree sales thing in the parking lot of the Safeway on Queen Anne, and we get our trees from them. It’s a good cause and it’s close – benefits all around.
We borrowed a sled from our neighbor – the car is still encased in snow and ice, and I didn’t really want to pull it out just for this. It’s not often you get to bring home a Christmas Tree on a sled, let alone in Seattle – so we didn’t pass up the chance. Karen’s still fighting the end of a nasty head cold, so I did the “work” – the only real work was avoiding drivers without tipping off the tree.
Hauling the tree home was pretty straightforward – actually a lot less work than I’d anticipated. A slow weekend of decorating and setting it all up remains…
It’s two snow days in a row in Seattle for me. Yesterday was a no brainer – it was coming down like crazy. Today I thought I might be going in, but the truth of Seattle is that we’re just not prepared to deal with snow. Our 50 plows are out doing the main roads, but we just never have quite enough to deal with snow that actually sticks around (normally the temp goes back above freezing and we loose almost all the ice and snow within 24-48 hours). Not sure that’ll happen this time – with more expected snow coming in tomorrow.
So I’m online at home, IM activated, checking email, catching up on reading some documents that I probably should have read weeks ago, etc. It’s definitely odd coming back from a 10 day vacation at DisneyWorld in Florida to being snowed in for a few days.
It’s a pretty good opportunity to update some documentation for systems at work, so I’m making the most of these days. I walked to the grocery yesterday and stocked up on a few items, so we’re doing fine for food. Have a huge muge of tea sitting here with me too… fairly prepared for the day.
We missed the first snowfall in Seattle this year. Usually that’sÂ equivalentÂ with we missed the snowfall in Seattle. Not this year though – today we’ve got 4″ and it’s still coming down. Granted that’s on Queen Anne (we’re at “elevation” for Seattle – all of 420 feet high), but the roads all across the area are completely swamped. This is a snow day for everyone – especially given that the city has a total of 50 snow plows.
I’m very pleased to see Disney’s Fairies Fly (iPhone/iPod Touch game) available on iTunes. While you won’t find my name in any credits on the application, I was responsible for the underpinning of some of it – one of the few things that I’ve done within Disney that isn’t “just plumbing”.
The game is $4.99 on the iTunes store – a “side scroller” where you fly one of several fairies around collecting some bits and avoiding others. I didn’t work on the game engine (done in OpenGL) – I put together the menus and animation all around the game system, up until I had to hand it off because I ran out of time to spend on a “summer project” outside of my normal areas of responsibility at work.
I’m really pleased with the polish and effect that went into the game – the crew developing the application went to great lengths to make sure the artwork was first class, including the renders of the fairies flying about. I think it’s really going to set a new bar on the quality of artwork and production values for some of the games.
I’m sorry that some of my hardest work didn’t make the cut – there was more animation with the fairies floating about – but the memory constraints on the device made adding that animation set (and the associated memory needed to do it in Core Animation) just too much and led to instability in the game.
A huge congrats to my friends and coworkers at mDisney (the group that incited this project and ran it through to completion) for a great launch and a great app that’s climbing the ranks of iPhone games (as I write this, it’s up to 81 of 100, from 93 of 100 last night).