The new universal boydsmaps web app is (finally) here!

Boyd

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There were times when I thought this would never be finished, but this evening the new site is finally online! :dance:

https://boydsmaps.com

Getting a bit weary after a full day of staring at code, so this will just be an introduction. No help file is available yet in the app, but it will be coming soon. When you first visit the site you'll be asked what kind of device you're using (mobile or desktop) to properly configure the app for your screen. The preference is saved, so you'll only need to do this once on each device. Here are the primary functions in the desktop version

menu.png


Additional functions are accessed with the prefs button

prefs.png


In the mobile version, you must press the menu button to access most functions

menu2.png



On a phone, this app can be installed just like the older boydsmaps mobile app. With Chrome on Android, you should get a prompt asking if you want to install. If you don't see that, there's a menu option to install. With Safari on the iPhone, press the Sharing button and scroll down to the "add to home screen" option. After installing, you'll see the new app icon (based on a 1916 Keuffel and Esser compass I inherited from my father)

new-app.png



Some notable new features:

* The screenshot button saves a .png file of the current map view to your downloads folder. The screenshot only includes the map itself, without the menus, crosshairs, etc.

* The weather button opens a window with a radar map and forecast for the location you're currently viewing (anywhere in the continental US). The small radar map is fully functional, you can move it, zoom and rotate 3d views. Clicking the refresh button will update the forecast/radar for whatever location the little map shows. Note that you will only see radar from the nearest NEXRAD station (which is automatically chosen based on your location).

* The favorite maps menu is similar to the same feature at online.boydsmaps.com. Favorites are now treated the same as any other collection of maps. If desired, you can make your favorites the default map menu.

* Waypoints are arguably the biggest new feature. To create a new waypoint at the current location, just click the crosshairs in the middle of the map. In addition to saving the location, the current map, zoom level and 3d view are also saved with the waypoint. The boydsmaps waypoint format is also much more flexible than Garmin. For example, you can have multiple waypoints with the same name if desired. For that matter, you can have waypoints with no name at all (just an icon). And there are 6 separate data fields that can be customized as desired. There are no preset limits to the number of waypoints you can store, although lots of waypoints can slow the app down. The State Park POI file (see below) contains 1240 waypoints, for example. Accessing it is fast on my computer and iPhone 12 Pro Max, however the cheap Android phone I use for testing performs very slowly with this big file. Since the app is so new, we will all have to learn its limits as we go. :)

You can also import/export .gpx files to/from Garmin Basecamp and Google Earth. But the new boydsmaps waypoint files are much more powerful, and are stored as tab-delimited .txt files that can be exchanged with Microsoft Excel. I have prepared a few examples of things that can be done with these new waypoint files, use the following link to download them. Un-zip the file and read the simple instructions in the included READ_ME file to load the examples into the app.

https://boydsmaps.com/download/wpts.zip

* Backup/restore is another important new feature. A variety of things might cause you to lose data stored in the app, so if you start doing anything important, backup regularly - it's quick and easy. The backup file can also be used to move your data between devices. For example, e-mail yourself a backup file from your computer. Open the e-mail on your phone and save the attachment. Start the app on your phone and restore from the backup - the app on your phone will now be a clone of your computer!

* Looking ahead, when the help file is finished and the initial bugs are shaken out, online.boydsmaps.com and mobile.boydsmaps.com will be shutting down. Following the transition, all old links to those sites should then open in the new app automatically. If all goes well, this could happen in approximately one week. At that point, if you had installed the old boydsmaps mobile app, you'll need to delete that and use the new app. More on this when the time comes.

For now, I'll leave the rest for you to discover... stay tuned, there's quite a bit more! :)
 
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Boyd

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So that's where you've been!

Yeah... nose against the computer screen ever since summer! :D

Let me explain a few map menu features that may not be so obvious. Most menus have a gear icon at the top left and many of the advanced functions are located there. If you click the gear in the map menu, you get a list of mapsets - groups of maps that are organized by location. Notice there's now a South Jersey mapset with all the maps of our region.

mapsets.png


You can switch to this menu by just clicking it. If you'd like to make it the default, open the menu again and click the Mapsets gear. Click the Default Mapset button if you'd like to make it the default.

options.png


Notice that this is also how you configure the favorite maps menu. This can be setup however you like: add any maps you want and even re-name them. There is no limit to how many favorites you can have, the menu will scroll if it is too big for the screen. If you don't want to get into all this complexity, there's a quick way to create a basic menu of maps of the pines. Click the Edit Favorites button, then click the reset button and choose the legacy option.

reset.png


You can then customize this menu any way you like. The favorites menu is just like any other mapset, so you can set it to be the default menu using the technique described above.

favorites.png
 
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Boyd

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There will be a detailed help function built into the app soon, it will just take a few more days to get it written. Right now, this is a completely separate site and will remain that way for about a week. But when I make the transition, online.boydsmaps.com and mobile.boydsmaps.com will go away. However, this should not affect any links that you already have. Those links will just open in the new app automatically.

BTW, the "Boyds Maps" link in the NJPB menu bar has now been updated to take you to the new site.
 
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manumuskin

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This is unbelievable! I"m getting ready to resume my winter kiln hunt and have imported my kiln file.Works great! Being able to see the various aerials under the points helps greatly to figure out which way to go in and the old aerials even bring up a few old roads next to the kilns that no longer exist.Most kilns seem to be very close to a present road or a road long gone and only visible by the U shaped depression it left. Your time spent with nose to the screen has not been wasted!
 
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Boyd

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Very cool Al! :cool: So, tell me a bit about your GPX file, did it come from your Triton? Vantage Point? Did it have different icons, or were they all the default waypoint, which is the red flag? Does the spreadsheet show all of your original data?

Can't claim to have done exhaustive testing, but my observation is that Basecamp only reads the name, comment and icon from a GPX file. I am processing GPX file as per the official specification, but Garmin just ignores the description, source, type and fix fields. Google Earth appeared to do the same thing, and in fact, it claimed my GPX file was a "Garmin GPS", LOL. :D

Another feature that is somewhat hidden is the ability to set a default icon for waypoints. Click on any waypoint on the map to see the editor.

wp1.png


Then click on the icon to bring up this screen

wp2.png


Now, choose whatever icon you would like for the default, such as the green circle here. Now click the gear at the top of the window and press the change button on the next screen. The green circle will be the new default.

wp3.png


Also, check out the screenshot feature, it shows your waypoints on the map but none of the user interface. For example, this is what you see on the computer

screenshot.png



But this is what the screenshot looks like

clean-screenshot.png


If you don't want your waypoints to be in the screenshot, they can be hidden. Open the spreadsheet and click the gear, then click the hide button. That button will change to "show" if waypoints are already hidden.

hide.png


And don't forget to backup often if you're starting to put your own data into the app! I can't overemphasize that. We've seen times when the app just doesn't work after an update because of cache issues and the only way to clear them is to delete all site data - that would also delete your waypoints. But it's really easy to restore from a backup.
 
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Boyd

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Glad you like it! I did virtually no testing of the new app on an actual phone before the site launched, this is somewhat difficult. I used a "simulated" phone on the computer instead. Now getting around to actually field testing and noticed a couple problems this morning.

1. Pressing the pointer to create a waypoint while GPS tracking is active appeared to crash the app (but actually it may just blackout the screen). It appears that the waypoint was created however. This was only tested in the mobile app, most people won't actually do that in the desktop app since a GPS chip is required.

2. The buttons at the bottom of the waypoint spreadheet don't work properly in the mobile app. Pressing any of them just takes you back to the map screen at your previous location. The buttons work correctly in the desktop app. Yesterday I changed the code to add labels to the buttons and that may have caused the problem.

I have made some other layout changes to improve usability of the mobile version, such as adding labels to the favorites editor buttons. Also wrote a routine to automatically make the main buttons as large as possible based on screen size. This needs to be fixed however, because if you try the mobile setting on a computer screen the buttons get HUGE and go partially offscreen!

Cache issues will create problems for some users when I make changes to the code. Sorry, I don't know how to prevent that. I actually had to delete the app from my phone and re-install after changing things yesterday to get it to work. Was fine afterwards, but deleting the app also deleted all the preferences and data. So, once again, this is why you need to do backups frequently!
 

Boyd

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The buttons at the bottom of the waypoint spreadheet don't work properly in the mobile app. Pressing any of them just takes you back to the map screen at your previous location.

Looking closer, I don't think this is actually a problem, more like a "duh" moment for me. I had GPS tracking turned on when I tried that, so it would go to the waypoint location, then quickly snap back to my GPS position. I think what needs to happen is that these "go to" buttons need to be disabled when the GPS is on, because the map should always show your current position in that case. :)

Think this is fixed now, also fixed the problem of the huge buttons when using mobile mode on a computer screen.
 
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manumuskin

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Very cool Al! :cool: So, tell me a bit about your GPX file, did it come from your Triton? Vantage Point? Did it have different icons, or were they all the default waypoint, which is the red flag? Does the spreadsheet show all of your original data?

Can't claim to have done exhaustive testing, but my observation is that Basecamp only reads the name, comment and icon from a GPX file. I am processing GPX file as per the official specification, but Garmin just ignores the description, source, type and fix fields. Google Earth appeared to do the same thing, and in fact, it claimed my GPX file was a "Garmin GPS", LOL. :D

Another feature that is somewhat hidden is the ability to set a default icon for waypoints. Click on any waypoint on the map to see the editor.

View attachment 16306

Then click on the icon to bring up this screen

View attachment 16307

Now, choose whatever icon you would like for the default, such as the green circle here. Now click the gear at the top of the window and press the change button on the next screen. The green circle will be the new default.

View attachment 16308

Also, check out the screenshot feature, it shows your waypoints on the map but none of the user interface. For example, this is what you see on the computer

View attachment 16309


But this is what the screenshot looks like

View attachment 16310

If you don't want your waypoints to be in the screenshot, they can be hidden. Open the spreadsheet and click the gear, then click the hide button. That button will change to "show" if waypoints are already hidden.

View attachment 16311

And don't forget to backup often if you're starting to put your own data into the app! I can't overemphasize that. We've seen times when the app just doesn't work after an update because of cache issues and the only way to clear them is to delete all site data - that would also delete your waypoints. But it's really easy to restore from a backup.
Boyd They all just showed upo as dots but thats my fault I created them with just the default markers in a program called topofusion.I know how to change the markers in another program I have if you want me to put multiple tyoe markers in and see if your program recognizes them? I do use different markers when I need two types of files on a map at a time.Like I put my covered bridge file in as a bridge marker and then my waterfall markers as a fall marker which is letting me plan next years new england trip to both bridges and falls but it helps to know what is what since the falls are often hikes,
 
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Boyd

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Actually, there is no standard for the symbols in a GPX file. I used Garmin's system since (I guess) that's the de-facto standard. Garmin has almost 300 symbols but I only support about 150 so far (I don't have covered bridges or waterfalls, for example). Didn't want to use Garmin's actual icons due to copyright, so I have created all of mine from scratch with Photoshop and that takes awhile.
 
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manumuskin

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well on topofusion my gpx file shows as flags The Kils file is imported into your site) but in your site the showed up as dots which is just fine with me but perhaps the site would turn all waypoints into dots?
 

Boyd

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Al, GPX files are really just text files. You can change the extension to .txt and open them in any text editor, such as notepad. Look for the <sym> tag, that where the symbol name is defined. Here's an example of a waypoint with a Blue Flag icon, from a GPX file exported by my app, I actually went to some trouble to make these files easily readable by humans. Looking at some of Garmin's GPX files, they're kind of a mess. ;) Anyway, you can look in the file and see what the symbol is supposed to be.

Code:
<wpt lat="40.913930" lon="-74.923290">
    <ele>253.91</ele>
    <time>2012-06-10T23:38:54.000Z</time>
    <name>Jenny Jump SF</name>
    <link href="https://boydsmaps.com/#15.00/40.913930/-74.923290/hereHybrid/0.00/0.00"/>
    <sym>Flag, Blue</sym>
</wpt>

The black dot is a generic waypoint symbol. Pretty sure that's what is actually in your file because it would display a flag if that's what the file called for. In other words, I would expect your file to contain <sym>Waypoint</sym>.
 
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Boyd

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Pressing the pointer to create a waypoint while GPS tracking is active appeared to crash the app (but actually it may just blackout the screen).

This is fixed now. Actually, the same thing happened in the mobile version regardless of whether the GPS was on or off. Stupid mistake, I used the command to hide the map where I should have shown it. :bang:
 

imkms

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I’m using an IPhone 11 and when I press the button to get my location, I get an error stating “Sorry, could not determine your location (permission denied). Is there a setting I need to tweak?
Thanks!
 

Boyd

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Yes, I need to put something about this in the helpfile. Trying to remember, I had to do a couple things when I first tried on my iPhone. This is what I *think* I did...

Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Scroll down to Safari Websites and check Allow Location Access While Using the App. Then you also need to click the switch for Precise Location, or else it will intentionally show an approximate location (for privacy reasons).

Let me know if this works, pretty sure that was all I had to do.
 

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
515
133
SJ and SW FL
Yes, I need to put something about this in the helpfile. Trying to remember, I had to do a couple things when I first tried on my iPhone. This is what I *think* I did...

Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Scroll down to Safari Websites and check Allow Location Access While Using the App. Then you also need to click the switch for Precise Location, or else it will intentionally show an approximate location (for privacy reasons).

Let me know if this works, pretty sure that was all I had to do.
BINGO! That fixed the problem, thanks for the quick response!
 
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Boyd

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Went out for a road test and had a bunch of problems, it asked for permission then opened with no errors, but my position would not change as I moved. When I made that previous post, I somehow managed to turn off "share my location" in step 2 below. I believe these 4 things have to be set on the iPhone. Let me know if this is the way it works on your phone.

ios2.png
 
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