Over the last couple of weeks, Karolina has been very busy improving and expanding Time Manager. This post is to announce the 1.6 release of Time Manager which brings you many fixes and exciting new features.
What’s this feature interpolation you’re talking about?
Interpolation is really helpful if you have multiple observations of the same (moving) real-world object at different points in time and you want to visualize the movement between the observations. This can be used to visualize animal paths, vehicle tracks, or any other movement in space.
The following example shows a simple layer which contains 12 point features (3 for each id value).
Using Time Manager interpolation, it is easy to create animations with interpolated positions between observations:
How is it done?
When you open the Time Manager 1.6 Settings | Add layer dialog, you will find a new option for interpolation settings. This first version supports linear interpolation of point features but more options might be added in the future. Note how the id attribute is specified to let Time Manager know which features belong to the same real-world object.
For the interpolation, Time Manager creates a new layer which contains the interpolated features. You can see this layer in the layer list.
I’m really looking forward to seeing all the great animations this feature will enable. Thanks Karolina for making this possible!
Today, I’ve released TimeManager 1.2 which adds support for additional time formats: DD.MM.YYYY, DD/MM/YYYY, and DD-MM-YYYY (thanks to a pull request by vmora) as well as French translation (thanks to bbouteilles).
TimeManager now automatically detects formats such as DD.MM.YYYY
But there is more: the QGIS team has released a bugfix version 2.6.1 which you can already find in Ubuntu repos and the OSGeo4W installer. Go get it! And please support the bugfix release effort whenever you can.
As I’m sure you have already heard, QGIS 2.0 will come with a new Python API including many improvements and a generally more pythonic way of doing things. But of course that comes with a price: Old plugins (pre 2.0) won’t work anymore unless they are updated to the new version. Therefore all plugin developers are encouraged to take the time and update their plugins. An overview of changes and howto for updates is available on the QGIS wiki.
TimeManager for QGIS 2.0 will be available from day 1 of the new release. I’ve tested the usual work flows but don’t hesitate to let me know if you find any problems. The whole update process took two to three hours … sooo many signals to update … but all in all, it was far less painful than expected, thanks to everyone who contributed to the wiki update instructions!
Today, I updated my QGIS Time Manager plugin to version 0.8. It now works with QGIS master and that means that we can take advantage of all the cool new features in our animations. The following quick example uses the “multiply” blend mode with the tweet sample data which is provided by default when you install the plugin:
(The video here is a little small. Watch it on Youtube to see the details.)
Data from various vehicles is collected for many purposes in cities worldwide. To get a feeling for just how much data is available, I created the following video using QGIS Time Manager which has been shown at the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts “MADE 4 YOU – Design for Change”. It shows one hour of taxi tracks in the city of Vienna:
If you like the video, please go to http://www.ertico.com/2012-its-video-competition-open-vote and vote for it in the category “Videos directed at the general public”.
So far, Time Manager has been limited to vector layers. Support for raster layers has been on the wish list for quite a while. I’ve been considering different approaches and for now I have settled with one that keeps the way how raster layers work as close to the workings of vector layers as possible:
All layers have to be loaded before they can be added to Time Manager. The layers are added one-by-one and start and end time values are defined. (This differs from vector layers where start/end attribute are defined instead.) All raster layers that are not within the current time frame are set to 100 % transparency.
I’m not certain yet whether this is a good approach though. I’ll probably keep trying different approaches for a while.
This is a screen cast of the current status:
The plugin source is available on Github, as usual. It’s still going to take a while until there will be a plugin package including this feature.
I’m looking forward to reading your comments here or on Youtube. Do you think this approach is usable?
TimeManager is now available on Github (right beside pgRoutingLayer).
If you want to try it, you can install version 0.4 from the new QGIS Plugin Repository. I’ve also uploaded some test data such as the twitter file used for the animation I presented recently.