I though I would give it a try. This might be a step in the right direction. I am sure you have tried it though.
It goes straight to the earth app but does not always load the kml data. I found even when sending the file in by email the iOS app handles the KML files differently and has less options.
I tried the same having the file uploaded to a server and then loading that URL. Same results.
The KML looks like just some XML and I am not sure if you can pass that as text. The issue seems to be iOS does not really know what to do with the KML file even if you force it to open in the Earth App.
I do not have a google account with maps and such. I am not sure if that will help.
Yeah the three tap thing works, but it makes sense that you should be able to get it in one.
I saw somewhere on the net that someone created an intermediate app that was accessible by URL scheme that would force this to forward properly into the Earth app and this would make it a one tap situation. Essentially an app that tells iOS that it needs to open that file in the Earth app without the tapping.
Actually, it's 4 taps. The extra tap is the one after the text comes up, to get the share sheet button. This is where the user can get lost. "What is all this code? Why am I seeing this?" Unintuitive. FM and Apple should make this easier. Maybe in 14 we can get a script step that will go right to the "Open with…" dialog?
Is that another app on the iOS device? That wouldn't be the end of the world. In most cases, we are configuring the iPad for the end user. If you happen to remember where you saw that, let me know. Thanks!
I think the problem is with Safari and iOS. Apple still likes their Maps app and Safari should properly point the URL with a kml file to the Earth app but it does not.
Actually, I think the issue still comes from not being able to export a file from FM Go to another app. An URL scheme can only have text parameters, not carry along a binary file, as far as I can tell. We also found this:
Which makes of a php script on a public server. That wouldn't be an issue, but it still appears to just send text parameters.
The files in question, in this case, are .kmz files (generated by the client, for their customers). Looking under the hood of the .kmz files, that appears to be a wrapper which contains a .kml file and a folder of .png images. In this case, they are soil sample maps. The .kml maps out the location/boundries, but also references the images that are bundled inside with:
So, even if I extracted all of the .kml text to pass along in the URL, it still wouldn't load the images.
But, taking my specific example out of the equation, can anyone give an example of anything opens a file from a container in another app with 1 tap? Say a PDF file, opening in a specific PDF reader app? A .doc file that opens in Pages? Anything like that? Or is the sandboxing on iOS the issue?
Kinda got it to work… but it's totally cheating.
All of the research I have done tells me that you can't pass a binary with the Open URL scheme (for Google Earth, anyway… not sure if it would be possible with any other app, either). But you can pass an URL that points to a file.
In this case, just for a proof-of-concept, I used a file that is shared on my Dropbox account. I put that URL in a text field, then used Go To URL, pointing to that field and substituting the "https://" with "comgoogleearth://" and changing the "?dl=0" to "?dl=1" at the end, so it automatically loads the file.
In reality, I doubt we would use Dropbox for this anyway, but it shows that we could host the files on a public server (assuming we don't care about security) and point to them. As long as the files are either named uniquely, or have a unique and predictable path, we could calculate the URL to the file. Not exactly the solution I was hoping for, but I think this might be an acceptable work-around.
I thought this might work as well but did not have time to try it out. I am not sure if you can have the files exported and handled by a FM webserver. I do not deal with FM web stuff too often. The server could easily export and FTP to any server and log the URL in a field. You should be able to arrange some simple security when you open the file via URL on a public server, but it is not the most secure option.
It is not cheating if it works.