Monday, June 6, 2011

Some shortcuts for the Samsung Galaxy Ace

While my new external USB hard drive came with a 50 pages manual, of which none were useful, my android smatphone came without manual. HHopefully it's just because I bought it in a small shop in Taiwan... but still it seems most android apps are poorly documented.

After a difficult (early) morning, I discover that there was a screen capture folder with a screenshot in it. It turns out that Samsung has added to the galaxy ace a shortcut to screen capture: back + home (you actually have to press in this order). Surprisingly, on other phones, it's a different combination... as if it was still too easy to find ;-)

I also recently realised that long pressing a key can bring a special action. For instance in the mail client and browser, pressing long menu brings the search widget. Long pressing back in the browser brings the history.

There is also this horrible design which makes the camera application to lock/unlock the interface if power is pressed. Not stupid but completely unstandard. I rebooted my phone twice because I thought the camera had gone blocked before realizing this.

So far I haven't any action activated by the accelerometer, like undo on the iPhone. Still, the picture gallery react a bit to it by tilting the images,  so there is hope to find such a hidden unpractical feature...

Any one knows some other shortcuts? Maybe I should start reading the source code to replace the user manual?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just finished my first town

I've just finished mapping my first town in OpenStreetMap, and coincidently it's also the first town where I lived: Crépy-en-Valois. Completed it using mainly the "cadastre" from the French authorities, and the Bing imagery, and the memories I have from spending 15 years there (turned out to be extremely useful).

Of course a place is never fully mapped, but here is can be found:
* all the streets
* all the streets names
* the shape of every building

I finished by naming the streets, and to ensure the quality, I compared the list of street names found on internet (from the phone directory) to the list in OpenStreetMap. I converted the directory data into a text file with one name per street alphabetically sorted.

To get the list of streets in OSM, the nominatim service seemed the most appropriate but I seemed not to answer this type of query. So eventually I settled with a very basic command:
curl -g ",49.2131958007812,2.93606853485107,49.2601203918457"
| grep =\"name | sort -u | sed -re "s/.*v=\"(.*)\".*/\1/;s/'/'/" > names-osm.txt

As long as there aren't many amenities, it works fine. Then using a diff tool (I used Meld), you can see which street is still missing, or where there are spelling mistakes. It turned out to be really useful. In addition to knowing there are 212 streets in such a small town, it even allowed me to notice small streets I had forgotten to map, and some streets whose name are not on the cadastre!