Friday, July 30, 2010

2010 FalconView Symposium

This is just a reminder to sign up for the 2010 FalconView Symposium.  Yours truly will be presenting a session on ArcGIS integration with FalconView and the FalconView Common Data Interfaces.  (Chris Bailey has stolen my topic of choice, which includes how to use FalconView with KML and Web Services.)  The conference will be held here at Georgia Tech, and it's a great chance to get a chance to ask questions to the FalconView developers without paying the big bucks for a full FalconView course.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Open Street Maps in FalconView

I thought this was too neat not to share.  Here is a sample of the new Open Street Map base map type drawn in FalconView  (Note that the red line is a route being drawn from a KML file.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FalconView for Linux

Developed over 15 years ago, the first version of FalconView was designed to run on PC DOS.  FalconView 2.0 for Windows 3.1 appeared shortly thereafter and, since then, FalconView has been an exclusively Windows-based application.  Now, thanks to internal funding by Georgia Tech, a Linux-based version of FalconView is running in the development labs at Georgia Tech.  The goal is to create a cross-platform code base for FalconView.  This will allow FalconView to run in multiple operating systems, like Linux or VxWorks and to support desktop, portable, embedded and mobile devices.  This experimental version currently includes support for the various base map types, the Points Overlay and GPS trails (with more features to come).  Map management is currently performed by the desktop version of FalconView feeding a cross-platform SQLite database for map coverage support.  Georgia Tech hopes to obtain sponsor funding to bring other features to the cross-platform version of FalconView.  Stay tuned for further developments in this area.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

FalconView 4.3 Renamed to FalconView 4.2.1

At the request of it's major sponsors, Georgia Tech is renaming FalconView 4.3 to FalconView 4.2.1.  Sorry for the confusion.

Friday, May 14, 2010

KML in FalconView 4.3

I'm a fan of Google Earth: having used a handful of 3D map viewers, I've found that GE is hard to beat.  Sometimes, though, it's nice to be able to view maps, charts and imagery in a 2D setting, where it's often easier to visualize a route or a mission plan.  FalconView 4.3 includes the capability to open KML and KMZ so that you can view your data in the 3D environment of Google Earth, or in the 2D environment of FalconView, whichever is better suited to your particular need.  We support KML ground overlays, time-dependent KML (use the FalconView time control), regionated KML, screen overlays and all types of placemarks (other than 3D models, which we draw as points so that you can see where they would draw in a 3D view and get the metadata associated with them).  Here are a few screen captures of the same KML data being drawn in FalconView, Google Earth, and WEdge.  Click on the image to see the full-size screen capture.

(Notice that the second image from FalconView is being shown on top of Open Street Map data, which is available as a base map in FalconView build, available from the FalconView web site.)

[[ Update: I forgot to mention that we're using Google's libkml to parse KML input. ]]

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Building Mapnik on Windows

This is just a short note to folks who may be interested in building Mapnik on Windows.  I've posted some detailed notes on the build steps here.  Copies of the source code that I fetched to build with are in that same Sandbox folder (forgive me for making entire copies of source trees, but I wanted to have the exact versions that I built against in case we ever need them for debugging).   I built under Visual Studio 2005, but it would probably be easy to adapt these notes to later versions of Visual Studio.  (Thanks to Ben Moore whose notes from a few years ago were very valuable in the process.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

FalconView 5.0 to Include PC Sensor Based Environmental Mapping

One of the most exciting features of FalconView 5.0 will be the inclusion of environmental mapping using components found on most laptop computers.  Just like bats "see" their surroundings with SONAR, FalconView 5.0 will allow users to map their surroundings using high-frequency pulses emitted from the speakers.  The echoes received by the PC microphone will be processed to create a map of PC surroundings.  To complement this SONAR technology, 5.0 will include visual processing of surroundings through the laptop's built-in camera (multiple laptops and/or input devices can be linked to create a true 3D picture).  The last important feature of the "Sensor Based Map Overlay" is the use of wireless networking cards to create RADAR images of the user's environment.  Using advanced sensor-fusion technologies, all of these inputs will be combined to create a nearly perfect replica of the situational environment of the user, which can be visualized and saved via the FalconView overlay.  We invite you to examine the technical white paper found here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

FalconView Symposium

[ Syndicated from the FalconView web site ]

The FalconView team will be hosting the first FalconView Symposium this Summer. This annual event will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, August 23-25. International attendees are welcome to attend.

GTRI will be presenting several sessions on FalconView integration best practices. There are trade offs for various possible integration scenarios. Our aim is to get the word out on what can be done, what should be done, and what is being done now. Are you planning a proposal for a FalconView tool? Let us help translate the requirements for you and see what others are doing.

The differences among the various FalconView versions out there will also be covered as well as how to move your tools forward into newer FalconView releases.

The floor is also open for speakers from the entire FalconView community. We want to hear what you would like FalconView to do for you!

Attendance is space-limited to the first 200 registrants so reserve your spot soon! Please sign up for information below. A small conference fee will be charged during registration (there is a discount for presenters!). We need to get a headcount so please indicate the likelihood of your attendance in your email.

[ See the FalconView web site for information on registration, presenting, and sponsorships. ]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

OGR Drivers for FalconView Data

Another engineer here at GTRI recently implemented OGR drivers for FalconView points files and drawing files. This will enable FalconView Common Data Architecture consumers (such as the Geodata overlay) to consume .lpt and .drw files and present them using the Common Data Architecture interfaces. This also means that third-parties now have an easy way of consuming .lpt and .drw data: you can build these drivers yourself (available under the terms of the LPGL), register them with OGR, and use OGR to read your FalconView data. The source code, currently in beta, is here. To register the drivers with OGR, you can use the OGR driver registrar. Georgia Tech may make other FalconView drivers for OGR, so stay tuned.

[[ Update: We've finished OGR drivers for drop zones and landing zones.  They are in our source tree, but we don't have a build of these posted yet. ]]