Monday, April 25, 2011

API 1.5 and GermaniumWeb 1.33 released

API 1.5 has arrived with a bunch of new features, including the often requested model placemarks! Read on for the highlights of this release.

Model placemarks. These allow you to use any 3D model as the geometry of your placemark. For example, you can programmatically change the furniture in your buildings:

Furniture as model placemarks

Textured polygon placemarks. You can now apply an image to the polygon's surface. This can be used to simulate a TV screen for example.

To further improve this illusion, you can also make the polygon use the image's pure colors. This makes the TV screen look self-illuminated.

HTMLBoxes. These are boxes you can position over GermaniumWeb and fill with HTML content. They are useful for associating 2D content with the 3D view, for example showing a 2D map or a YouTube video of the building. Placemark callouts automatically avoid HTMLBoxes too, so you don't have to worry about them overlapping.

Note that this feature is still experimental, so we do not recommend it for production systems. Do play with it and let us know what you think!

All the above features are powered by the newly released plugin 1.33.

Plugin 1.33 also brings these improvements to existing web applications:

Support for all your favorite browsers. As announced earlier, changes in Google Chrome 10 caused GermaniumWeb to stop working. This has now been fixed (Yay!). We've also added support for Internet Explorer 9 and Mozilla Firefox 4.

Configurable mouse sensitivity and walk speed. You can now adjust these to your liking through the Settings panel (Right click > Settings > User Interface). Note that the walk speed will only be used in applications which use the first-person navigation mode.

Old: Label clutter, hidden icons

New: Readable labels, visible icons
Clearer labels and icons. The new plugin makes overlapping labels and icons clearer. Compare the old view above with the new view below - the foreground labels are now readable, and the unoccluded icons fully visible.

You can read the full list of changes here:
Have fun with the new API and plugin!

Ian Loh

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