Barend Gehrels wrote:
Op 20-6-2016 om 17:59 schreef Adam Wulkiewicz:

So in general I propose to hide as much as we can and expose only crucial parts of the API.
For run-time projections use PIMPL idiom and wrap the pointer inside.
Require only to define CalculationType for projection and use double as default.
In transform strategy take projection as template parameter and use run-time projection as default.

    // compile-time
    projections::robin_spheroid<> prj("+ellps=WGS84 +units=m");
    projections::robin_spheroid<> prj(srs::spheroid<>());
    projections::forward(pt_ll, pt_xy, prj);

    // run-time
    projections::projection<> prj("+proj=robin +ellps=WGS84 +units=m");
    projections::projection<> prj(epsg);
    projections::forward(pt_ll, pt_xy, prj);

    // also runtime
    projections::project_transformer<> projection("+proj=robin +ellps=WGS84 +units=m");
    transform(pt_ll, pt_xy, projection);

This looks indeed simpler. And probably it is possible. This should be changed in the generation.

I was also thinking about an alternative API, based on projection tags:

    // run-time
    projections::projection<> prj("+proj=robin +ellps=WGS84 +units=m");

    // compile-time
    projections::projection<robin> prj("+ellps=WGS84 +units=m");

So robin (or robin_tag) would be a tag passed into projection<> as template parameter. For a default tag the projection would be runtime and for non-default tag the projection would be compile-time.
And then it would be possible to pass only tag to transform strategy, so no need to pass the whole projection type.

    // run-time
    projections::project_transformer<> projection("+proj=robin +ellps=WGS84 +units=m");
    transform(pt_ll, pt_xy, projection);

    // compile-time
    projections::project_transformer<robin> projection("+ellps=WGS84 +units=m");
    transform(pt_ll, pt_xy, projection);

This could simplify the generic implementation. E.g. the constructors taking all of those possible input parameters directly in projection (mentioned below) could be implemented only once. Otherwise we'd be forced to implement all constructors in every static projection.

On the other hand it could be harder to understand when projection is dynamic and when static.

What do you think?

Note that also possible should be:

typedef boost::geometry::linestring<any point type> ls;
ls line_ll, line_xy; // fill line_ll
projections::forward(line_ls, line_xy, prj);

So the line is automatically projected, where, if necessary, extra points are added because straight lines will usually become curved and vv is also possible. Same for most other geometry types (multi_point excepted).

This does not need to be implemented in the first release, but we need to take this into account.

Wouldn't it be the transform() function's purpose?
Shouldn't projections (and transform strategies) only project between points?
This allows to logically separate the code nicely. Otherwise parts of projections code like projections::forward() would call transform() which would use Pt-Pt projection in a strategy, so call projections::forward().

If the user shouldn't use the projections directly (only transform + strategy) we could leave the parameters type (filled in the transform strategy) as it is now and pass it into the projections instead of proj4 string or epsg code. Then we wouldn't be forced to implement constructors for all inputs in every projection. But parameters should also take the CalculationType and I don't see a reason to have init() function (this also causes problems with multiple representations, see below):

    projections::parameters<> par("+ellps=WGS84 +units=m");
    projections::parameters<> par(epsg);

    projections::robin_spheroid<> prj(par);

I agree that the init function can be skipped. The current API is a bit close to the proj4 API , which also calls pj_init (or init_plus). But we can hide it indeed.

Now, regarding the other kinds of projections definitions, both proj4 an WKTs are strings so currently it wouldn't be possible to implement both unless there was some other function like init_wkt(), but i think it's not elegant. Instead I propose wrapping the parameters, like this:

    using namespace projections;
    parameters<> par = proj4("+ellps=WGS84 +units=m");
    parameters<> par = epsg(epsg_code);
    parameters<> par = static_epsg<EPSG>();
    parameters<> par = spheroid<>();
    parameters<> par = wkt("..."); // maybe in the future

OK for me, it looks good.

    // still the user should use:
project_transformer<> projection(proj4("+proj=robin +ellps=WGS84 +units=m"));
    project_transformer<> projection(epsg(epsg_code));
    project_transformer<> projection(spheroid<>()); // compile-time error
project_transformer<aea_ellipsoid<> > projection(spheroid<>()); // ok
    transform(pt_ll, pt_xy, projection);

This would make the code more clear too, and semantically separate Boost.Geometry from the internal implementation being Proj4.

It looks good indeed.

There are also other things I'd like to ask about, i.e.:

What do you think about getting rid of forward and inverse methods and instead figuring it out from the input types?

Yes, the transform function should do that indeed. I agree. And it is easy to implement.

The projection would always perform a forward projection if the cartesian geometry was the second parameter and inverse projection if it was the first parameter. I'd be similar to boost::lexical_cast which gets the direction from template parameters. In such case the user would be forced to pass the correct point/geometries types so this is limiting.

This could be implemented only in the transform strategy (so the projections would still have forward() and inverse() functions), then project_inverse_transformer wouldn't be needed.

Maybe it is more convenient that the called method should figure it out. The transform strategy should be neutral to inverse/forward. But it can be implemented on different levels, we should carefully compare the options here.

There could be the third function (besides forward() and inverse()) picking projection's direction automatically.
And three corresponding strategies simply calling these three functions.

projections::project(pt1, pt2, prj); // forward or inverse based on input point types

Another way could be project_transformer automatically figuring out the projection direction and explicit project_forward_transformer, project_inverse_transformer strategies.

I'm also confused about the names of projections. AFAIU the ones marked as xxx_ellipsoid map from ellipsoid of revolution or spheroid and the ones marked as xxx_spheroid map from a sphere. There is also e.g. cass_spheroid which AFAIU can work with ellipsoid of revolution. Are these simple inaccuracies or am I missing something?
It is by the generation. I have to look this up, but if the proj4 source supports an ellipsoid for it (even if it does not make sense), it is generated too. We can always adapt the generation.

Currently the names are directly derived from Proj4 parameter names but in WKT they're different (PROJECTION["Transverse_Mercator"]) so users which doesn't know Proj4 could be confused.
What do you think about naming projections using full names, e.g.:

    projections::aea_ellipsoid -> projections::albers_equal_area
    projections::cass_spheroid -> projections::cassini
    projections::tmerc_ellipsoid -> projections::transverse_mercator

I kept all the proj4 names and I think that is more convenient than adding another translation table. For users, who usually know proj4 (it is quite well-known), it is also more convenient.
Having said that, I agree that cassini looks better than just cass, and if WKT has a complete map of all translations, we could consider that too.

And by "proj4 names" do you mean the names of functions used in the Proj4 sources?
Because the projection parameters has different names in Proj4 string format. I'd expect the users are more familiar with these names, not function names.

E.g. for aea_ellipsoid (e.g. I see that there are basically 3 formats/names:

OGC WKT: PROJECTION["Albers_Conic_Equal_Area"]

This would again be more clear and general. And wouldn't be confusing if we had tri-axial ellipsoid projections in the future.

Thanks for your input.

I'd like to do the necessary work now if you're still ok with that.