Maps - What do you want?

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caughtatwork
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Maps - What do you want?

Post by caughtatwork » 14 June 11 9:45 am

Our Google Maps integration (which you can substitute with OpenStreet Maps) has gone through a number of enhancements over the years. This means, over time, the maps have been hacked together for quick wins and in the back end are not exactly what we would call nice code.

The Maps currently provide the followiung functionality:
Visualisation from a My Query (all caches)
Visualisation of caches in a zone (all caches)
Visualisation of caches in a route (all caches)
Visualisation of caches by "raid" (all caches)
Visualisation of where swaggies are.
Visualisation of caches by "location", restricted to 250 caches and the caches update / refresh as you move the map to a new area.
Visualisation of an individual cache and surrounding caches, restrcited to 250 caches and the caches update / refresh as you move the map to a new area.
Visualisation of a point of a locationless or moveable cache.
Ability to hide caches that you have found (downside is that the caches you have found still count in the 250 to be displayed, so if you have a find rich area, the unfound caches are restricted to 250-findcount).
Ability to hide caches that you own (downside is that the caches you own still count in the 250 to be displayed, so if you have a find hide area, the unfound caches are restricted to 250-ownedcount).
Visualisation of 161m proximity circles around each cache displayed.
Co-ordinates (bottom right hand corner) as you move your mouse over the map.
Size / dragger / window / box thingy (under the zoom bar) allowing you to select a region on the map to zoom in on.

Quite a bit of functionality squeezed in there and nowadays, some of it quite restrictive (like the 250 caches, including counts of found caches is annoying) based oin the technology available at the time.

The functionality that the maos provide can be enhanced to include other things that you would like. I know that there is a request to "create a query" from the caches shown on the map. There is also a request to add "cache types" as selectors to just show / hide the cache types you want.

Some of this future capability is essentially already provided by the My Query capability, but it might be able to be included in the maps, natively, as well.

So, what do you want the maps at Geocaching Australia to do? No guarantees we can do everything, but a list to things to start with (or feature improvements on what it currently does) gives us a starting point and enables us to build the capability in a more "object oriented" approach, making potential future enhancements much more easily integrated.

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SamWalkers
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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by SamWalkers » 14 June 11 10:35 am

caughtatwork wrote: Visualisation of caches by "location", restricted to 250 caches and the caches update / refresh as you move the map to a new area.
Visualisation of an individual cache and surrounding caches, restrcited to 250 caches and the caches update / refresh as you move the map to a new area.
The maps are great. Given the horrendous state of GC beta maps I use GCA maps for planning.

However - I don't get a refresh as I pan.
If I click on map from a cache page and zoom out till I see the cluster of 250 caches then zoom into an adjacent area or pan to a different area I do not get the caches refreshing as I go.

It would be nice if it did.

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by caughtatwork » 14 June 11 11:45 am

It depends on how far you move the map. Short distances currently do not refresh as it's likely that the caches on the map matcvh your currenmt zoom level / location/
What happens if you move the map to a greater distance away? Say 50km from your start point.
Does it refresh?
What browser are you using?

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by kennythe1st » 14 June 11 1:58 pm

Add NearMap.com to the viewing options. With its resolution I will be able to virtually visit virtual caches and ramp up my score massively :twisted:

It just occurred to me that the Multiview function in NearMap could be used to log some earth caches without visiting. Checked it out on an earth cache I had been to (albeit without my camera, so not logged) and sure enough I could copy the required 'photo' from the screen and then complete the rest of the requirements.

I think this could be detected by checking the EXIF tags in the image for physical camera info. Although maybe the missing info can be edited in? Of course this presupposes that someone would want to finagle a cache find :(

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by Philipp » 14 June 11 2:29 pm

This must have been brought previously up for sure: A map of caches not found by a couple of cachers. Would be nice for planning cache-trips.

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by caughtatwork » 14 June 11 2:34 pm

Philipp wrote:This must have been brought previously up for sure: A map of caches not found by a couple of cachers. Would be nice for planning cache-trips.
Go make a My Query. Choose the names of people you want to cache with, tada :-)

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by caughtatwork » 14 June 11 2:49 pm

kennythe1st wrote:Add NearMap.com to the viewing options. With its resolution I will be able to virtually visit virtual caches and ramp up my score massively :twisted:

It just occurred to me that the Multiview function in NearMap could be used to log some earth caches without visiting. Checked it out on an earth cache I had been to (albeit without my camera, so not logged) and sure enough I could copy the required 'photo' from the screen and then complete the rest of the requirements.

I think this could be detected by checking the EXIF tags in the image for physical camera info. Although maybe the missing info can be edited in? Of course this presupposes that someone would want to finagle a cache find :(
Any idea whether NearMaps can be used? I've not seen an API that uses NearMaps. Not saying it can't be done, but I just haven't seen it. It's on the list as wants though.

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by CraigRat » 14 June 11 2:58 pm

There is an API, and yes it can be used:http://www.nearmap.com/documentation/br ... 0Guide.pdf

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by mtrax » 14 June 11 3:10 pm

Is there going to be an open API for searching for my "unfound" caches ?
ie I would like to call from my Android App all my unfound GCA caches, at the moment it shows
all. :-"

Also if there is a way to pass "Filters" in a link so I can browse a location just for Traditionals or no Puzzles etc..
eg showcaches?lat=123&lon=456&mystery=n&found=n

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by caughtatwork » 14 June 11 3:36 pm

The API would be separate from the Maps or are you saying you want to be able to have a "tick box" on the map AND a URL concatenation?

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by Black Bunny » 14 June 11 4:00 pm

mtrax wrote:Also if there is a way to pass "Filters" ..........
If we could also add a "filter/check box " for caches from "other" sites such as opencaching that would be good. I have noticed some caches being listed on multiple sites and would be good to be able to ignore these ones.

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by mtrax » 14 June 11 4:21 pm

caughtatwork wrote:The API would be separate from the Maps or are you saying you want to be able to have a "tick box" on the map AND a URL concatenation?
Basically I would like to have a "permlink" or link I can bookmark from a page so I can revisit without having to setup what I want to show. I guess Queries can do this but what the heck if it can be done with a bit of code... :-&

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by caughtatwork » 14 June 11 5:35 pm

A bit of code is subjective :mrgreen:

There are:
18 cache types.
8 cache sizes
2 difficulty ranges
2 terrain ranges
2 rating ranges
7 (owned, found, etc) options
3 available, unavailable, archived options
Then there is sort radius, hidden by, found by, not found by, state, country options (6)
2 hidden between ranges
Hidden in last days (1)
Proximity markers and other site options (2)
Tags (1)

All up there are 54 options to choose from and set a variable against. We could look for only "On" style options. i.e. If the variable is not set then assume NO.

The real world limit for URLs is about 2000 characters. Whether we would fit or blow that is subjective. Keep in mind, also, that the SGML spec declares that a URL as an attribute value (e.g. <a href='{url}'>) cannot be more than 1024 characters.

Again, not saying it won't happen. It can always be on the wish list.

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by Laighside Legends » 14 June 11 5:49 pm

Just discovered that you can view queries in google maps :D
Seems to work well :D - maybe an option to show the kml icons instead of the ugly google ones?
Are "Bing Maps" a possibility? They are the only ones on the gc.com site that show all the country roads...
Other than that I'm happy with the way they are :D

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Re: Maps - What do you want?

Post by caughtatwork » 14 June 11 6:51 pm

kml icons don't pinpoint the cache. They are the wrong shape.
gmap icons show the point right at the cache site.
We have tried other icons to make the gmaps point the cache site, but prettier, and they all failed rather hideously.
If you can design some icons we can try them out.

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