Here's a session I proposed for the upcoming State of The Map conference in Portland.
WhirlyGlobe - 3D Data Presentation on the iPad
Though Apple's app store is gated, there's a robust open source community surrounding it. Many of those efforts are focused on map related problems. We'll discuss one of them.
WhirlyGlobe is a native open source toolkit for iPad and iPhone that provides developers with a 3D rotating earth. With it, you can overlay vector features on image tile sets, such as those from OpenStreetMap. Data sets can range from the small to very large and WhirlyGlobe has support for swapping features in and out on the fly.
The toolkit itself is in its second major revision and has been out for more than a year. It has a number of shipping apps to its credit with more in the pipeline. Most developers build very simple apps, often a base tile set with a few point features. A select few develop apps of iPad melting complexity with multiple overlays, large tile sets, and paged vector data.
In this talk we'll cover some of the basic functionality in WhirlyGlobe (without resorting to source code). We'll also discuss some of the challenges users have in obtaining and processing data. Then we'll conclude with future work, including a planned extension to flat maps.
Is This the Right Venue?
I haven't quite found my niche for WhirlyGlobe. It's worked out quite well, but it's an odd bird. There are a number of interesting conferences that might overlap and I'm slowly checking them out. It's up to the organizers on this one, of course, but I'll be attending in any case.