During the week of Apple’s WWDC, we gave a preview of a few of the additions and improvements in the upcoming 2.0 release of our Aeris iOS Weather framework. This time in part 2, we’re going to preview some of the exciting new features and changes to the mapping component of our SDK that we’re sure will take your own weather applications to the next level.
As you may recall, version 1 our the Aeris iOS framework only supported animating a series of images corresponding to an active tile overlay on the map, and you could only display one tile/image overlay on the map at once. This was extremely limited in functionality, and as iOS devices become more powerful, we no longer have to worry about the severe memory and processor restraints when displaying multiple tile and image overlays at once. With the new version 2.0 of our AerisMap framework, we’ve completely rewritten animations to be built around a date-based timeline. So instead of specifying how many images you want in your tile overlay animation, you simply define the date range for the animation and only the map data relevant for that range will be animated. This provides a flexible way to alter your animations and map data at runtime just by changing the timeline’s starting and ending dates. You can now animate weather data for the past two hours, past twelve hours, or even the past 48 hours. This new timeline also corresponds to other new features: animated point data and future tile overlays.
It’s often useful to visualize point data across a period of time, such as when storm reports and earthquakes are reported. Since animation in version 1 wasn’t tied to dates and times across that animation range, it would have been extremely difficult to animate point data for the same duration. But with the new date-based timeline previewed above, essentially all map data that corresponds to a date and time can now be animated and synced with the primary timeline controlling the animation. Our new version 2.0 supports animating all point data currently offered, such as earthquakes, storm reports, lightning, and records. You just add the data layers you want to your map, set the timeline’s start and end dates and start the animation. Point data will only appear on the map once the timeline has reached each point’s respective report date and time, all while any active tile and image overlays are animating.
With many third-party mapping platforms available, it’s common that some developers are not using the default Apple maps and MapKit within their own applications. Instead, they could be using one of the alternatives, such as Google Maps or even their own custom map tileset through Mapbox. To make our own Aeris iOS framework more flexible and to better work with mapping decisions you’ve made for your own projects, we will now be supporting both Google Maps SDK and Mapbox as an alternative to Apple Maps in version 2.0.
We’ve had several developers asking us about support for Swift, the exciting new programming language released by Apple at this year’s WWDC, with our Aeris iOS SDK. Fortunately, it is pretty simple to access our Objective-C-based SDK from your project’s Swift code by using a bridging header introduced in Xcode 6:
Now you can use the entire SDK from your Swift project. For instance, to set up the Aeris SDK with your application keys:
AerisEngine.engineWithKey(“CLIENT_ID”, secret: “CLIENT_SECRET”);
Check back with our blog in the coming months for some future Labs entries diving deeper into using Swift with our Aeris iOS Weather SDK. You also can keep up with the latest news and happenings by following us on Twitter.