The new boydsmaps app is ready!

Boyd

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Also, there are no buttons using Chrome on iPhone - see screenshot. Safari works great

Took a few minutes to check this out. What iPhone are you using and what version of Chrome? Everything seems to work and look fine for me on my old iPhone 6s Plus with Chrome 87.0.4280.77 (current app store version) on iOS 14. Seems like your version has a larger footer? Weird.

As I said, you cannot install the app using Chrome on the iPhone, Apple only allows that with Safari. So you will only be able to use the site in the browser, instead of full-screen.

chrome1.jpg



chrome2.jpg
 

Boyd

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Here's another big update that adds 7 maps from HERE.com:

Street maps (day or night colors). Zoom in all the way to level 20 for a lot of detail. HERE provides Garmin's map data, so these may look familiar.

streets.png



Then there's satellite imagery (with or without streets). And it's not just for New Jersey, HERE covers the whole world! Zoom out to level 2 to move between continents.

https://mobile.boydsmaps.com/#18.00/51.499249/-0.127152/hereHybrid/72.60/60.00

london.png



There are also maps of current traffic conditions (with day or night colors)

traffic.png



And shaded terrain with streets

here.png



I'm a registered HERE developer, but was reluctant to add these because there are usage limits which result in charges if they're exceeded. They've been on the old site all along though and I've never seen anywhere near enough usage to get charged. We'll just have to see what happens, I might have to pull them at some point. But I really like these maps and wanted to give it a try, they're formatted just for mobile devices, should be nice to have in the car.

If you've been using the site recently, you might have some problems. If so, you'll need to clear cached data from your phone, as I explained in this post. Enjoy, and let me know what you think! :)
 
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Boyd

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Weather radar is now available in the app for the continental US, just in time for tonight's rain! :) Nothing to see here in NJ right now though.

radar.jpg


Big storm in the midwest though...

https://mobile.boydsmaps.com/#5.00/41.6295/-85.2308/conus/0.00/0.00

radar2.jpg


The NWS only provides the radar imagery, you need to add your own base map. On the other site, I overlaid the radar on a HERE road map but was never happy with that. Had to make the radar very transparent to be able to see the map and that obscures the details. So I made my own simple US basemap that is drawn on top of the radar. The idea was to concentrate on the radar imagery itself and only provide some simple landmarks as a frame of reference. Turned out to be harder to acheive clarity than I expected, may want to re-visit this at some point. Maximum zoom is level 11, the radar pixels are so large that there's no point in zooming in any farther.

Note that this map does not automatically refresh, it's a static map that doesn't change after you select it. The imagery on the server is updated every 5 minutes, you will need to manually re-load the map to see any changes as time passes. This is probably obvious, but when you link to the radar map, it shows current conditions. So, by the time you read this, that link will look different from the screenshot above.

As mentioned earlier, if you don't see the map then it may be necessary to clear your cache by deleting site data. The map also works in a web browser on your computer, but the style is intended for a phone's small screen.
 
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Boyd

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Quick "heads up"... I will be doing a major update to the site this afternoon, so you may experience problems during the process. I will post again with more info when the update is complete. :)
 

Boyd

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Update complete! Everything seems to work, but we'll see how well it holds up. :) Quite a lot of new code here, although it may not be immediately obvious until you look closely. Here's a summary:

The 1980 and 2019 aerials have been added.

Set a "home" location from the main menu. It will then be shown whenever you open the app, instead of the standard Chatsworth topo.

Major change to how maps are managed. When you start the app, the map menu will be in "automatic" mode and maps that don't cover your locale will be hidden. This won't be obvious in the Pines, because it's covered by all of the current maps. But if somebody in Europe comes to the site (for example), it will only show the HERE and OpenTopo maps. As I add more maps to the site, this feature will get more useful.

As part of this change, all maps now have "bounding boxes" - a rectangle that defines the boundary of the map. If you try to drag the map beyond the invisible boundary, it will snap back. If it keeps snapping back while viewing something near the edge, zoom in farther. If you choose a map from the menu that doesn't cover your area, you'll "fly" to the new map now, instead of getting a blank screen.

The most obvious change is a new map options menu that you access by tapping the "three-bar" button at the top left. You can manually choose a region here if you don't want to use automatic mode. There's also a "go home" button that will go to your default map and update the menu.

new-options.png


Finally, the help file has been updated to cover these new features. Just press the help button on the main menu, or you can directly access it here (it was designed for phone screen and will look odd on a big computer monitor).

The new map menu system gives me a framework for adding a lot more maps. Will add all the Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and Maryland maps from the other site in the next few days and then look toward expanding coverage into adjacent states. The new maps menu and ability to set a home location should make the site more friendly to users outside the Pines.
 
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Boyd

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Should also mention, with all these changes, you might have problems with cached data from the site if you have been using it frequently. If things aren't working correctly, here's how to clear site data on your phone.

clear-site-data.png
 

Boyd

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Web apps can't be installed on Mac or Windows computers, just phones. However, you can use it just like a website on your computer. I would suggest making the browser window somewhat small though, since everything has been designed for a small screen.

Or, if you like, enable the developer menu in Safari and choose "enter responsive design mode". There you can pick from several emulated iPhone screens. The site will be properly formatted there, that is how I do most of my intitial testing. If you click the little "phones" at the top of the screen, the view switches between landscape and portrait.

But, as I've said, it's an app for a phone. Why not just try it on your iPhone on wifi?
 

Boyd

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Have done a few silent updates in the past few days, but just finished a more major one. Have added 12 aerials from the City of New York covering the period 1924 - 2018. The 1924 aerials are very nice, wish we had something in NJ that clear from the 20's! Have also added Delaware aerials. These are all the same maps that have been available on the desktop site for awhile.

https://mobile.boydsmaps.com/#15.00/40.709262/-74.007242/nyc1924/42.00/60.00

nyc.png

There are major changes under the hood to fix bugs and make things work a little better. Now, if you switch to a map that is outside of your coverage area, you will get an alert and have your position moved to the middle of the new map at the same zoom level. However, if you have GPS tracking on and try to pick a map outside your area, it won't let you do it.

bounds.png


Lots more to do, but things are moving along. :) Let me know if you have any problems. As I posted above, you might need to delete site data if you have used the site recently and are having problems. This is described a few posts above this one.
 

Boyd

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Good catch Al. It was there, and you could access it by choosing NJ maps from the options menu. However, there was a typo in the Western boundary of the map. So, it was not being included in the automatic menu because that made the map appear to be somewhere else. I have fixed it now, however you may have to clear site data for it to appear on the map menu.

Screen Shot 2021-02-04 at 7.11.09 AM.png
 

manumuskin

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I noticed it was on there again earlier today.Thanks! The 2007 IR is my absolute favorite for distinguishing features on the ground such as trails and buildings.Was hoping for an updated IR soon.the new 2019 is a very pretty aerial but done in the summer isn't much help for trails and water features. Nice to check for updatedthings like woodcuts and development.
 
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Boyd

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What is the trick to get the app on my M1?

Well, I was wrong. Turns out that it *is* possible to install the boydsmaps app on your computer. I was unaware of this before and incorrectly said that it couldn't be done. The caveat is that it can't be installed with Safari on the Mac. However you can install it in Chrome or Edge on the Mac. Very simple to install, and basically the same as a phone. Just go to mobile.boydsmaps.com, a window should appear asking if you want to install. If you don't see that, click the symbol in the address bar.

This is Chrome on the Mac. Did not try Chrome on Windows, but assume it is the same

chrome-mac.png



This is Microsoft Edge on Windows, I also tried the Mac version and it is the same.

edge-win.png


Of course, the question is, what's the advantage of installing the app vs. using the website in a browser? I suppose the main thing is that it runs independently, so you can close Chome or Edge and the app will continue working in its own window. The other advantage is that web apps can use "persistent storage". In other words, data that you store in the app will not be automatically deleted. In a web browser, if you don't access the site for a period of weeks, stored data is automatically erased. At this point, I am not storing any data with the app, but will be in future versions.

Disadvantage is that you can't save bookmarks or open multiple tabs. So, it's up to you. The app was designed for a phone with smaller screen and built-in GPS, and that doesn't change when you install it.
 
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Boyd

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I have added a new measurement tool that you may find useful. To activate it, press the measure button on the main menu. When the tool is active, tap (or click) the points on the map that you want to measure. To stop measuring, double-tap (or double-click). You can start a new measurement and/or close the old one by tapping the close box. Alternately, return to the main menu and tap the measurement tool again to clear everything (this is easier than double-tapping on a phone). The tool works best if you zoom way in to choose the points, you can zoom and move the map as needed while measuring. You can leave multiple measurments open at the same time if you like.

measure.jpg


Unfortunately there are some limitations: the labels cover each other up if the points are too close together. If you select a point near the edge of the screen, the measurement may be hidden but you can just drag the map over. It's easy to choose points if you're using a computer and mouse, but it's hard to be precise with your finger on a phone. For more accuracy you could use a stylus, I've had an older version of the Dash stylus for awhile and it works well.

I'm afraid these are limitations of the API for which I don't have any easy fix. It would help to be able to over-zoom the map for measuring shorter distances and I'm still working on that but have not found a solution. Anyway, it's another tool that's available and you'll have to decide if it's useful.

As with other major changes, you may need to clear site data for this to work, the procedure for this is described in an earlier post. If you're using the site on your computer, you may need to clear the browser cache. Google how to do this for your browser.
 

Teegate

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Well, I was wrong. Turns out that it *is* possible to install the boydsmaps app on your computer. I was unaware of this before and incorrectly said that it couldn't be done. The caveat is that it can't be installed with Safari on the Mac. However you can install it in Chrome or Edge on the Mac. Very simple to install, and basically the same as a phone. Just go to mobile.boydsmaps.com, a window should appear asking if you want to install. If you don't see that, click the symbol in the address bar.

This is Chrome on the Mac. Did not try Chrome on Windows, but assume it is the same

View attachment 14975


This is Microsoft Edge on Windows, I also tried the Mac version and it is the same.

View attachment 14977

Of course, the question is, what's the advantage of installing the app vs. using the website in a browser? I suppose the main thing is that it runs independently, so you can close Chome or Edge and the app will continue working in its own window. The other advantage is that web apps can use "persistent storage". In other words, data that you store in the app will not be automatically deleted. In a web browser, if you don't access the site for a period of weeks, stored data is automatically erased. At this point, I am not storing any data with the app, but will be in future versions.

Disadvantage is that you can't save bookmarks or open multiple tabs. So, it's up to you. The app was designed for a phone with smaller screen and built-in GPS, and that doesn't change when you install it.

Just saw this. I will download it and see how it works.
 
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Boyd

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One interesting thing you may have noticed, if you make the app window wider than it is tall, the buttons are on the right side (like your screenshot). But if you make the window taller than it is wide, the buttons move to the bottom. This is what happens on a phone when you turn the screen from landscape to portrait orientation.

For computer use, it works best to have the buttons on the side because maps menu will also be on the side, which makes the best use of screen space.

compare.jpg
 

Boyd

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Not Pines-related, but something I'm very pleased to announce. The app now features John Thorn's Great Britain Opendata Map. John is well-known in the Garmin community for his maps and especially his MAPC2MAPC software which is the most powerful tool for making custom maps for your handheld GPS. Took us a couple days to get our servers talking to each other, but those issues have been resolved and the map is now live.

https://mobile.boydsmaps.com/#15.00/51.513443/-0.089209/gbopen/0.00/0.00

Gotta love this map, it has all the pub locations as well as public restrooms! :D

gb.jpg
 
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