Revolutionary: The BA3 Vision to Cross iOS, Android, Windows 8, OSX, Linux and the Web with a Single C++ Code Base Is Nearly Complete!
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 at 9:37 pm by — Category: News

Since BA3 first set out to develop the Altus Mapping Engine, the goal of Cross-Platform Ubiquity has been paramount. The idea has been to design the Altus Mapping Engine as a single, unified, identical C++ code base that compiles identically on all of the different platforms. As show below, that vision is nearly complete:


Every major operating system can now run the BA3 Mapping Engine, including iOS, Android and Windows 8 on the mobile side and Windows 8, OSX and Linux on the Desktop.

Cross-Platform Ubiquity, with identical features, especially at the level of Altus’s performance and capabilities, has not been easy. But it represents a revolution in today’s Mapping World.

Why is it a revolution? First, the mapping APIs on the three mobile platforms today are all completely different and have different capabilities. Your developers have to learn all three APIs, and capabilities that may be available in one are not necessarily available in the others. This incompatibility can force work-arounds and compromises that can be extremely uncomfortable and push back schedules.

Second, you often have no control over the base maps on the three different platforms, meaning that your apps look different on different devices. Google maps, Apple maps and Bing maps can look very different and often contain artifacts that you do not want in your app.

What if you could have a single mapping engine that spans all three mobile platforms, along with Windows 8 desktop, OSX desktop and Linux? The BA3 Altus Mapping Engine™ is such an engine — it runs on every major OS platform and provides identical capabilities on all of them. Altus can do this because the same high-performance engine code is running identically on every platform.

The BA3 Altus Mapping Engine™ also gives you complete control over your base layers, meaning that your apps look identical on all the different platforms. For your base layer you can choose from any of the following:

  • Any tile provider, like MapBox, MapQuest or custom tiles streaming in from the Internet
  • Any WMS data source
  • MBTiles files on device or streaming in
  • Any raster assets, like FAA charts, geoTiffs, getPDFs, aerial photos, etc., either on device or streaming
  • Terrain layers on device or streaming
  • Vector base layers derived from OpenStreetMap, Natural Earth, Esri shape files or custom vector data sources

And the capabilities of BA3′s common mapping code base are amazing compared to native APIs. Create high performance, fluid marker layers with up to a million markers. Create custom vector and polygon layers. Overlay satellite and radar data. Change alpha channels to configure layer over layer with transparency. Use track up and track forward with ease. Overlay custom data sources easily. Etc.

The layering abilities of Altus are also amazing, especially on mobile devices. Bring in a tiled base layer. Overlay it with raster images. Overlay that with 100,000 markers. Add in a polygon layer. Then overlay radar data on top of it. This kind of layering is impossible with native APIs. With the BA3 Altus Mapping Engine™ it all works and it provides a smooth, fluid, intuitive and impressive user interface for your users.

Your data can be local to the device, or it can stream in over the Internet, or it can switch between the two modes seamlessly. Some apps using the BA3 Altus Mapping Engine™ have 1 gigabyte or 10 gigabytes of data on the device and never connect to the Internet. Some apps have zero data on device and stream everything in. Some use a combination. It’s your choice with the BA3 Altus Mapping Engine™.

BA3 is looking for clients who want to take advantage of this revolution and bring out advanced mapping apps with amazing functionality. This video can help you learn more:

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If you have questions about Altus products and services, the demonstration code or licensing, please contact us at: [email protected]. Also, any feedback, comments or suggestions that you have are always greatly appreciated.