A couple remarks on gvSIG Mobile at the Italian gvSIG conference

A lot of info about the recent 4th Italian gvSIG conference (Quarte Giornate italiane di gvSIG) held in Udine can be found here, here and here.

I'm going to add a couple notes about things that came up during this event regarding gvSIG Mobile.

Field-oriented features

I had the pleasure of meeting Giuliano Gallerini who works for Leica Geosystems in Italy. According to him, gvSIG Mobile looks too much like a simplified version of gvSIG desktop and does not include some very interesting features that make sense only when you are doing some field work with a hand-held device. These are the two examples he seemed to be especially interested in, which obviously need the help of some additional hardware, for example, this one.

Shifted acquisition of points

The acquired points are shifted by a certain value (entered by the user when the operation starts) in order to overcome some physical obstacle:

Simple triangulation

In this case, the user has to measure the three sides of a triangle, where one of the vertices is unreachable. There are two possible values for the third vertex. The good one is the one that lies behind the obstacle:

SQLite and Spatialite

Alessandro Furieri presented Spatialite and asked when gvSIG will support it. I mentioned a funny pure Java version of SQLite and he replied he knew it but it was very slow and did not recommend it at all. I have just found a second pure Java version of it.

I still believe these pure Java libraries can be useful in a mobile application for a number of resons:

  • We are currently seeing a boom in the mobile industry. Every few months we have new platforms (new hardware, new operating systems or both). Java applications need in the first place a JVM. If a third-party library has a native component which needs to be compiled for each platform, we're losing portability, which is Java's advantage.
  • This pure Java library is probably slower than the one with the native component, but I think the future in mobile mapping applications is not about handling huge amounts of geopraphical data, but smartly handling a relatively small amount of data, which should be feasible also with a relatively slow version of SQLite.
  • I still have not seen a pure Java version of Spatialite, but I think the spatial metadata needed in a Spatialite database file can be created by using SQLite after studying a bit the Spatualite documentation.

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