Announcing the new NJPB Maps

Discussion in 'Site News & Games' started by Ben Ruset, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    Here's some huge news: After four years, NJPB Live Maps has rewritten from the ground up. I took about two weeks and taught myself Javascript and the Google Maps API and am very proud to give you guys a new, modern mapping application.

    http://maps.njpinebarrens.com

    Here's the rundown of some of the features:
    • Mobile device support - NJPB Maps uses the Google Maps API version 3 which offers support for mobile devices. I have tested the app on an iPhone 5 and is displays perfectly.
    • Support for GPS sensors - By clicking on the "Locate" button at the top right the map will access the GPS data in your browser and center itself on your position. This should also work on desktop browsers provided that your ISP and browser support this. (Now you can be out in the woods and see your location on any of the maps provided you have a data connection.)
    • Cleaner interface with fewer distractions - Map controls can now be accessed by clicking on the "Controls" button in the top left corner.
    • LIDAR imagery - I am now serving the same image tiles that come from the excellent BoydsMaps.com site. (Super huge thanks to Boyd for letting me fetch map tiles from his server as well as providing me with some solid Javascript to stitch them together.) [Note: LIDAR is not available for all areas of the Pines yet.]
    • Jump Menu - There's two drop down menus in the control panel that will let you pick various towns and points of interest. Right now I'm still working on adding more locations to the list.
    • See it in Another Map - Since I can't fetch image tiles from other mapping providers without getting sued, I can send you directly to their maps based on your coordinates. The zoom level that you're on probably won't work (I haven't figured out a way to reconcile Google's zoom level with other people's maps yet.) As of right now you can go to Historic Aerials, Bing, Bing Birdseye (you'll need to zoom in once you get there), and Yahoo! Maps. If you're viewing a road map on NJPB Maps you'll be taken to Bing or Yahoo's road map. If you're on any other type of map (satellite, 1930s, etc.) you'll be taken to their Satellite Hybrid view. Historic Aerials defaults to their 1951 image set.
    • Improved GPX Parser - This now shows waypoint names and coordinates when you click on a waypoint pin.
    • Google Terrain Map is now the default view when you go to the site without specifying the map type in the URL. It looks much nicer than the stupid Google road map.
    • Support for Google Street View - where available.
    The URLs for this version are fully backwards compatible with NJPB Live Maps, so any links you may have shared will still work and open up in NJPB Maps. This includes any GPX files you may have uploaded.

    The old version of NJPB Live maps is still available at http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/old just in case you run into a problem.
     
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  2. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    • I have not tested this on any other mobile browsers besides the iPhone 5. I'd be interested in hearing your experience with the maps on Android devices.
    • I'm interested in getting more points of interest and locations added to the Jump Menu. If you want to submit some, please send them along to my email (ben.ruset@gmail.com). If you are sending a number of them, please send them along in CSV format, formatted like this: name,url to the spot on the map
    • I am thinking about adding an option to display various hiking trails on the map. If you have a GPX file that shows any of the official hiking trails (Batona, etc.) and would like to send it to me, I'd really appreciate it!
     
  3. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    Very cool Ben - happy to be a part of it. This is what I get on my iPhone 4 - which is running iOS 4.01 (yeah, I know, but everything else works for me). Even if I zoom or scroll the screen, it still only draws half the map.

    IMG_1479.PNG

    In landscape mode it works properly, but doesn't leave much room for the map and the controls don't fit....


    IMG_1480.PNG
     
  4. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    Take a look now.

    Everyone else send me your bug reports via email. I don't want this thread to be cluttered up that stuff.
     
  5. manumuskin

    manumuskin Piney

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    Thanks for the hard work Ben,I for one appreciate it and thanks to you also Boyd for adding your LIDAR to it. I do love maps:)
     
  6. Spung-Man

    Spung-Man Explorer

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    Ben,

    I truly admire your diligence and dedication to NJPB and its goal to help Pinelands enthusiasts. The suite of new map options takes the cake! Hardly a day goes by without me using NJPB maps, images that are indispensable tools for anyone doing serious study of the local cultural or physical environment. You have done a great service at many levels – amateur to professional. Thank you for tirelessly stimulating the broader interest in this unique and remarkable place.

    Let’s all hoist one to the Administrator!
    S-M
     
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  7. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    Thanks, everyone. I'm happy to give you guys such a useful tool for exploring the pines.
     
  8. Lloyd Taylor

    Lloyd Taylor New Member

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    Ben, amazing! Works great on my iphone 5. This will be a HUGE help to me running in the woods. Thanks soooooo much!!!
     
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  9. MikeBickerson

    MikeBickerson Explorer

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    Looks awesome. I'll have to head out this week and test it on my IPhone 4 and see how it does...

    Trail maps would be amazing.
     
  10. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    I just dug out my old iPhone 4 and tested it - it looks perfect now. I also tested it out on an iPad 2 - looks good there.
     
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  11. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    And to think you were going to eliminate it in the past and we had to talk you out of it. When I stone search the map site is invaluable, and it is obvious from the posts here many individuals think the same.

    Guy
     
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  12. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
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    I like the Lidar. Thank you for your efforts Ben. And Boyd.
     
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  13. WaretownMike

    WaretownMike Explorer

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    This really makes this site so much more valuable. I wrote a little program to take my coordinates amd turn them into proper links for Boyd's and historic aerials so this is fantastic-
     
  14. 46er

    46er Piney

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    Great work Ben & Boyd, thank you. Never realized that some of the maps work country wide, an added bonus when traveling :D
     
  15. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    I've added a bunch of locations and POI's to the drop downs in the controls menu. I am sure I am missing a lot - please let me know if there's anything you think I ought to add.
     
  16. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    FWIW, my web host notified me that they moved my site (boydsmaps.com) to a new server a couple days ago to improve performance. It seems to have helped, the LIDAR is loading faster than it did previously.
     
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  17. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    Huge thanks to Ed Campbell for letting me know that uploading GPX files was broken, and also giving me a nice GPX file of the Batona trail!

    http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=...2664154917&z=11&type=terrain&gpx=batona-trail

    I did notice that it takes 10-15 seconds for the map to display the GPX once it loads. I'm going to look and see if it's just a matter of the GPX being complex and taking a while to render or some inefficiencies in the Javascript that does the rendering.
     
  18. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    I just heard that the maps site may not be working right for those of you with Windows 8 and IE 10. If there's anybody out there that has that setup can you take a look and see if the map loads? Works now!

    Also, if anybody has an Android phone can you look at the maps site and see if it looks right?
     
  19. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    The NJ Office of GIS changed the URL parameters to request the image tiles for their aerials. I have updated the code to use the new parameter and now the maps load again. Sorry for the downtime.
     
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  20. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    I did not know there was downtime. I used it recently and it worked. In any event, thanks for the fix and the update.