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UX deficits for editing paths, measurement points etc.

sebalis
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Hi,

this is my first post in this forum (or anywhere in a KDE forum). I have been using Marble for a few years now, I like it very much and am always seeking ways to expand my use of it and replace Google Earth with Marble as much as possible. One thing I like to do is record walks I make – not using GPS on the walk, but on my laptop after I return home. Sadly I find Marble severely lacking for this kind of use:

• If I load a path previously made in Google Earth and saved as a KML file, there is no way to edit it, and more disturbingly, there seems to be no way to remove the path from the map display other than by restarting Marble.

• Adding a path manually is possible, but once the path properties dialog is closed, options for making further changes are very limited. “Add Nodes” only lets me place nodes on existing segments, not extend the path. It’s also not easy to actually find a place with the mouse where clicking to add a node will actually work.

• Adding measurement points is a cumbersome operation, they can not be moved afterwards, only deleted. No intermediate points can be added on the path of measuremend points. It does not seem possible to add separate sets of measurement points, they are always regarded as one special path and polygon.

• There should be a consistent mechanism to add paths and measurement paths/polygons, and this should work much like a vector drawing program.

• A path could easily be used for measuring as well if a tab showing the length and possibly area were added in the path properties dialog (as in Google Earth), but this is missing.

• The “Add” functions are counter-intuitively placed in the View menu, not Edit, and “Add Measurement Point” is somewhere else again, i.e. only in the right-click context menu.

• A helpful feature that’s also missing is a panel showing everything the user has added on top of the map, i.e. annotations, placemarks, paths, polygons, ground overlays, measurement points. This would also be an intiutive place to add the missing removal feature as well as a starting point for selecting and further editing.

I’m hoping that by posting this here I might receive some guidance how to proceed to get this improved. I am willing to submit bug reports, but I thought I’d first put this to the forum as of course it’s well possible that I missed something.

Thanks for any responses.
User avatar tackat
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• If I load a path previously made in Google Earth and saved as a KML file, there is no way to edit it, and more disturbingly, there seems to be no way to remove the path from the map display other than by restarting Marble.

With the most recent Marble version you should be able to load from the Edit Maps panel

Settings->Panels->Edit Maps

Make sure that you load the KML file via the Load Annotation File icon in the panel itself (and NOT in the File->Open dialog).

• Adding a path manually is possible, but once the path properties dialog is closed, options for making further changes are very limited. “Add Nodes” only lets me place nodes on existing segments, not extend the path. It’s also not easy to actually find a place with the mouse where clicking to add a node will actually work.

True, we will need to improve this. Thanks for the feedback.

• Adding measurement points is a cumbersome operation, they can not be moved afterwards, only deleted. No intermediate points can be added on the path of measuremend points. It does not seem possible to add separate sets of measurement points, they are always regarded as one special path and polygon.
• There should be a consistent mechanism to add paths and measurement paths/polygons, and this should work much like a vector drawing program.

You are totally right - we'd like to add the measurement tool to the Edit Maps panel. The features you mentioned are on our TODO but still need somebody to refactor the existing code (any help and patches appreciated).

• The “Add” functions are counter-intuitively placed in the View menu, not Edit, and “Add Measurement Point” is somewhere else again, i.e. only in the right-click context menu.

The "Add" functions shouldn't be in the View menu - this sounds like a bug. They should only appear in the Edit Maps panel. Please submit a bug including the distribution and marble version you are using.

• A helpful feature that’s also missing is a panel showing everything the user has added on top of the map, i.e. annotations, placemarks, paths, polygons, ground overlays, measurement points. This would also be an intiutive place to add the missing removal feature as well as a starting point for selecting and further editing.

This is provided by

Settings->Panels->Files

Check the "Annotations" group there. This will be improved in the future. Any patches welcome :)
sebalis
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Sorry for not indicating my exact version earlier. I’m on Arch Linux, the version number of my marble package in pacman is 15.12.3-1 (which is current), the version shown in the About dialog is “Version 1.12.20 (1.13 development version) / Using: • KDE Frameworks 5.19.0 • Qt 5.5.1 (built against 5.5.1) • The xcb windowing system”.

tackat wrote:With the most recent Marble version you should be able to load from the Edit Maps panel

Settings->Panels->Edit Maps

Make sure that you load the KML file via the Load Annotation File icon in the panel itself (and NOT in the File->Open dialog).


Yes, that worked, thanks. I can then also select the path and press the Delete key. Actually, the Files panel you mentioned later also provided a means to remove the path if opened via File → Open: when the file is selected in the panel, the Close button gets enabled. This has a slight advantage over loading as an annotation: the colour and thickness of the path I set when I created the path in Google Earth are lost when I open the file as an annotation. Also, opening as an annotation actually crashed Marble 3 out of 4 times I tried. I guess you will ask me to submit this as a bug as well? :-)

tackat wrote:The "Add" functions shouldn't be in the View menu - this sounds like a bug. They should only appear in the Edit Maps panel. Please submit a bug including the distribution and marble version you are using.


They are definitely there. :-) Submitted as https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=361124

tackat wrote:Settings->Panels->Files

Check the "Annotations" group there. This will be improved in the future. Any patches welcome :)


While I am in fact a software developer, I have no C++ experience unfortunately :-)
User avatar tackat
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> They are definitely there. :-) Submitted as https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=361124

Thanks. Fixed and backported to KDE 15.12

> I guess you will ask me to submit this as a bug as well? :-)

Yes, please - please report those two bugs (style-loss and crash) separately.
For the crash ideally you'd include a backtrace if possible.

> While I am in fact a software developer, I have no C++ experience unfortunately :-)

That could be fixed as well ;-)
User avatar Earthwings
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Please also attach the file that triggers the crash. It will help tremendously to reproduce the problem.

 
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