As the Crow Flies update

Last week I updated my Windows Phone app As the Crow Flies. The most significant change was the update to Windows Phone 8.0 which included changing from Bing Maps to Nokia maps. I also added the following new features:

  • “Zoom to include both points”
  • The last search string is saved

Background: As the Crow Flies allows you to position two “push pins” on a map. These are “Point A” and “Point B”. The app then gives you the great circle distance between the two points. It’s surprisingly accurate even at the multi-foot level. I’ve measure the lengths of buildings that I knew to be 90’ and 40’ on a side and came up with answers within the visual resolution (31 yards and 14 yards which is probably over the actual lengths due to the overhang of the eves on the building) of the map on my phone.

The “Zoom to include both points” feature will change the zoom level and position on the map to just include “Point A” and “Point B”.

I’m annoyed that using the search facilities for Nokia maps. Searches for things like “Space Needle” and “Boomershoot” fail when those same searches succeeded with Bing Maps.

5 thoughts on “As the Crow Flies update

  1. It’s surprisingly accurate even at the multi-foot level.

    Meanwhile, my GPS told me I was 17 feet underwater while sailing near The Narrows this past Sunday. Well, it was raining…

    • This app doesn’t rely on the GPS to measure distances.

      And if you were sailing during a low tide it is possible you were below mean sea level.

      • True. But I’ve been driving around downtown Redmond and had negative altitude readings (max absolute value to date was -23 feet), which I’m pretty sure isn’t right, even in a really hard rainstorm.

        • The vertical accuracy of GPS is far less than the horizontal accuracy. It requires four satellites to even get an answer on elevation versus three for horizontal. If your GPS receiver has error information then check to see what it is telling you the estimate error is. Compare this to the actual altitude of your location.

          Another thing is that, at least when I was working on location services for Windows Phone 7, people didn’t put much effort into getting defensible error information to the user. This was one of my big frustrations working on the project. Ask me in private about this sometime…

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