Incoming: Big boydsmaps update

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,529
2,788
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Finishing this up right now. Need to tweak the code a bit, do some more testing, but will probaby be putting the new version online later today. This could cause cache issues, so "heads up". Clearing your browser cache should fix these issues, here's an article with instructions for doing this on Macs and Windows computers. A phone can be more problematic, both Android and iOS have preference settings to delete website data but it takes a little digging to get to them. When I have this kind of problem, I just delete the app from my phone home screen and then re-install since that's pretty easy. To reinstall, just go to boydsmaps.com on your phone and use the instructions in the helpfile to re-install.

If you have customized the app with your own waypoints, created special favorite maps or set other preferences you would like to preserve, make sure you have a backup. You can use the backup/restore functions built into the app for this, they are covered in the helpfile. It just takes a few seconds to do a backup. Even if you don't think it's needed - better safe than sorry. You can do a backup and then just forget about it. But it will give you a way to salvage your data later if there are any problems.

What's New

On the desktop version you will see three new items in the preferences menu - keyboard, map style and map view.

d1.png


Keyboard control is something I've personally wanted for awhile. Nothing was built into the API for this, so I had to write it from scratch. It's disabled by default, so turn it on here. There are a few different options which you should just try for yourself and choose whatever you prefer. When enabled, you can sit back and "explore" the map using the function keys on your keyboard instead of driving a mouse around. These options are only available in the desktop version (since a keyboard is required). The mouse still works normally when keyboard control is enabled.

d2.png



Normally, when you select either mobile or desktop mode, that will automatically select the style of my new maps. This preference allows you to over-ride the default and use the desktop version on your phone or mobile version on your computer if desired.

d3.png



The map view preference is another thing I've personally wanted for some time, it sets the map view when the app first starts. In the past, the app defaulted to 3d view and I found myself tapping the compass every time I started the mobile app to lock it into 2d view with North at the top. This is especially helpful on a phone - I find it almost impossible to use "pinch and spread" zooming in 3d view without accidentally rotating the map. The new default mode is 2d which eliminates that problem. You can still switch to 3d mode at any time by just tapping the compass. And if you open a 3d link, it will automatically switch to 3d view even when you have the preference set to 2d.

d4.png


As discussed elsewhere, 3d maps use twice as much data, are slower to load and make your device work much harder. There's just no reason to use the 3d maps unless you're viewing them in 3d. In the pines where everything is so flat, there aren't all that many reasons to use 3d view. Aside from that, everytime you load a 3d map, it could create a billable event for me if my quota of free mapbox data is exceeded. I suggest you leave this preference set to the default of 2d, but if you have a good reason to change that, it can be done here.

Here's how the menu is affected - the 3d maps are shown in blue. And this introduces another new feature: the maps shown in green are stored on the boydsmaps server and should load quickly and always be available. Just think "green is good" - you should be able to quickly "surf" the different green maps where maps that are stored on remote servers (such as the USGS or State of NJ) can sometimes be very slow or not available at all.

menu3d.png


These new functions are available on the main menu in the mobile app, you may need to scroll the menu down to find them

m1.png


There's one more major update that only applies to the mobile version. If you are using the GPS in 3d view for a "track up" style display (where your direction of travel is at the top of the screen), the whole display will now shift down. This is another thing I've wanted to implement for awhile, and it's similar to the way a Garmin GPS works in track up mode. It shows more of the road ahead. The old version showed too much of where you've already been, this shows more of where you're going. This only happens when the GPS is activated.


trackup.png


There are more changes "under the hood", such as automatically replacing links to 3d maps with the 2d version if they aren't really 3d views. This all happens automatically and you aren't likely to even notice. But it should make the app faster and stop you from wasting data when there's no need to use a 3d map.

As I said, expect these changes to become active by the end of the day today (Thursday 2/29). Happy leap year! :dance:
 
Last edited:

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,529
2,788
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Update is now online. Had to delete the app from my home screen on my iPhone and iPad to get it to work, otherwise it opened up to a screen of garbage. :ninja:

Seeing one problem with the new mobile feature where the pointer drops lower when using the GPS in 3d view. When you turn off the GPS, sometimes the crosshairs doesn't return to the center of the screen, turning the GPS back on may not have the desired result either. Pressing the compass to switch between 2d/3d seems to fix this.

Will need to do some more testing and fix this later tonight. Unfortunately, functions that require the GPS need to be tested "in the wild" as I can't quite replicate the environment of a secure webserver offline.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,529
2,788
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Have just updated the help file for the desktop version to bring it up to date with these new features. Will try to get an updated version of the mobile help file online tomorrow.

And - in case you weren't already confused - I have re-named the 3d maps so the names correspond to the 2d versions. This was very confusing before as most of the 2d and 3d versions had completely different names. This change only affects the names shown on the menu, any existing links to these maps will contine to work properly.

lidar_versions.png
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,193
4,292
Pines; Bamber area
Mr. Boyd, if Green is good, I encourage you to change the colors, so that White is good. It's so much easier on the eyes. I have to 'peer in' to see the green against the black background. Mayby make the background another color that provides greater contrast.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,529
2,788
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Yeah, I agree that the colors could be improved. My focus was just getting all the major changes online, but I will have another look at this now, the colors need more contrast.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bobpbx

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,529
2,788
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Switched to a bold font, solid black background and brighter green. Also made the selected map monochrome. I find this much more readable, but now that I've re-written the relevant code it will be pretty easy to tweak further if needed.

Still have almost two hours left of a big 10-hour map tile upload right now, so I can't do this update yet. Will put it online later tonight.

menu.png


BTW, the recent update that removes the 3d maps from the menu when you aren't viewing them in 3d is having the desired effect. In the 11 days since this change, people have accessed 3d maps about 500 times. During the 11 days prior to the update, the 3d maps were accessed about 4,000 times - eight times more! At these levels, I'm not going to worry too much about being charged by Mapbox (they allow 50,000 free map loads per month).
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: bobpbx

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,193
4,292
Pines; Bamber area
I'm curious Boyd. How many people use your map site? It has to be a lot. I turned on one of the guys from Ocean County Parks, and he was like "wow!".
 
  • Love
Reactions: Boyd

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,193
4,292
Pines; Bamber area
PS: that is a much better color. Partly my fault, I have a cataract in the right eye making my vision cloudy. Will get surgery next november.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,529
2,788
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I'm curious Boyd. How many people use your map site?

It's a little hard to nail that number down. I see 150 IP addresses being used in the last 24 hours but not likely those are all actually different (real) people. To answer that question, I would need to identify users with some kind of data stored on their devices (such as cookies) and I don't want to do that for privacy reasons.

I used some commercial software (statcounter) for awhile and that provided more detailed user data. But I discontinued that almost two years ago because I felt it was too invasive. Although I didn't use it that way, the software was really designed to track users and drive more business to websites. The Mac introduced a feature that tells you whether a site is tracking you and I really didn't like it showing positive results. Now, I use some open source software (goaccess) that aggregates statistics from the webserver logfile. Clean bill of health now! :dance:

boyd.png
 
Top