Are there many differences between different navigation programs?
The market for navigation software is full of programs for various operating systems. It is believed that the versions of one program for different platforms are absolutely identical. But it is not so. We will talk about the little things and technical nuances of implementing popular navigation programs in this article.
Developers strive to make navigation programs, focusing simultaneously on several different platforms. For example, almost all navigation programs are available for Windows Mobile / CE. Versions of many programs are also available for iPhone and iPad, and more recently, Progorod has also been included in this list. At the same time, some operating systems (Bada and Symbian) are deprived of attention: only several navigation programs have versions for them. But it is a great mistake to believe that the same versions of navigation software for different operating systems work exactly the same. So, for example, in-depth settings of the GPS receiver are available only in Windows CE and Windows Mobile, until recently “Progorod” for Bada was not available to update maps from the program interface (patch with the correction was released only in early April), and the ability to scale, moving and rotating cards through multi-touch is available only for Android and iOS (that is, for iPhone and iPad). The same city on the iPhone and iPad draws three-dimensional objects using OpenGL, and Navitel Navigator on Windows uses 3D emulation. 2. The procedure for constructing the route. Actually, the differences in the route construction procedure prompted us to write this article. Going deep into technical details, not everyone knows that the calculations of any information system can be performed both locally and on a remote computer (client-server interaction). Most navigation programs calculate the route locally – using the device’s means, based on the available data (the relevance of the maps, the latest traffic information). As far as I know, client-server interaction is organized only in the Progorod city navigation program. The coordinates of the start and finish points are sent to the server, which stores constantly updated information about temporary changes on the road, traffic jams, etc. The server generates a route based on these data and sends it back to the client device (in fairness, I note – “Progorod” can calculate the route and locally). Thus, the user receives the route, taking into account all the most relevant data, without loading them explicitly. This indirectly also determines the difference … 3. In the service traffic jams. The principle of operation of the traffic jam service is approximately the same for all navigation systems. The difference lies in the amount of information received. For example, “Progorod” has a much smaller amount of downloaded information because this program only receives information on the state of traffic on the road section along which the main route has been laid, while others (Navitel Navigator, CityGID) – on the roads of the entire city . 4. Cards. Good maps are a prerequisite for the survival of navigation software in the market. The teams of Navitel and Progorod are independently developing maps of Russia. Maps differ not only in the detail and number of points of interest (POIs), but also in the standard in which they are executed. But there is an exception: Yandex.Navigator does not store maps in memory at all, but constantly loads them from the server, which requires an Internet connection. Differently organized and updated maps. If updating directly from the program, automatic updating and manual filling of maps are standard procedures for all navigation programs, then the dynamic update service is downloading daily updated data on temporarily blocked sections of the road, repairs, signs valid at certain times of the day or days of the week, reverse movement in bands – only available in the “Progorod” of the second version. 5. Additional features. Junction View, “Augmented Reality”, technologies for improving the accuracy of positioning, display of three-dimensional objects, security functions – they all distinguish a specific product from the rest. However, do not forget that their implementation also depends on the operating system. So, a very interesting service from Progorod, Augmented Reality (overlaying points of interest on top of the camera image) does not work under Windows CE and Windows Mobile, but it works fine on devices with Bada, Android, and iOS. Navigation programs also differ in price: there are completely free ones, but there are those for the use of which you will have to fork out for $ 50. The technical nuances described above are just a demonstration of the fact that there are a lot of differences that are invisible at first glance. The article is designed for people interested. The author is fully aware that the majority of users of navigation software do not pay attention to such aspects when choosing and do not worry at all about this.