Revised Maps Feature - Feature Requests Discussions on Obsidian Portal Community Forums
Revised Maps Feature
edited December 2009
I was just answering another user's questions about the map feature on here when it occurred to me that for regular users, the google maps functionality is rendered pretty much pointless by the way things are currently set up. Let me break the issue down:
As it stands, the best map resolution for standard users is 1024x1024, which will be displayed in a 512x730 window. This is to say, zoomed in as far as it will go, the user will still see about 65% of the area of their map. This doesn't exactly allow them to zoom in and place detailed location markers.
What's more, the two other zoom levels they have are totally pointless. The next level out shows the entire map, with blank areas to each side, and the last does nothing but add still more blank space. Neither of these make any use of the major feature of the system - the ability to pan around the map.
I imagine this is meant to conserve bandwidth, but when compared to the new image hosting feature it just doesn't make sense. In his two megs of image space, a user could store ten 1024x1024 JPG images, and simply display them on a wiki page at nearly the same size they're seen in the map viewer.
To improve this feature, I suggest making the two zoom levels currently reserved for Ascendant members (2048, 4096) available for all users, and removing the pointless (512, 256) levels. With a typical file size of around a meg after compression, this seems pretty reasonable. For ascendant members, I suggest two further zoom levels (8192, 16384), with a typical file size around ten megs, less than 1% of the image storage they are currently offered.
As an aside, it would be great to see some of the other features of the google map tech, especially nested maps (where a different image is used for an area at closer zoom levels, as seen when zooming in on the satellite view of regular google maps), and the ability to create links to maps from a wiki page which center on a specific coordinate or map marker, and pre-select a zoom level to start at.
I'd love to see this. I'll be sure it's on the to do list. At some point I'll talk with the devs about mentioning some of the todo items in order of importance on the forums so people know what we're working on.
I would also really like to see this. I think some people are spending time rescaling their maps to be bigger and uploading them again to see if they can get them to better fit with the levels of zoom offered when actually the map processing is just scaling them back down. I'd also really like to be able to replace the map graphic after uploading a map without having to delete the map entirely and create it again. If you delete and recreate the map you lose all the map markers you've set. The way things are right now once you've set all your map markers you can't really update the map without having to reset all of them. As a result you're kind of stuck with that copy of the map.
The map feature as it stands is already fantastic. Just a couple tweaks would make it pretty much perfect.
I didnt even know one could add map markers before reading this post. Thanks for the enlightenment.
Now I do agree with what you say TPiddy. The prim reason I havnt been taking advantage of the map feature in the first place is because of how.... restricted it is.
Plus, I found a way to work around this problem using some very clever HTML.
Have a look at my custom map with html image hyper links replacing the function of "map markers"
for more info on how this can be done you can see this "discussion":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=1251&page=1#Item_11
or you can always just ask, Im happy to help =)
I too would like to throw in my own vote for Chainsaw's recommendations for a revised Map filter.
I have to agree with ChainsawXIV. I was excited to see the map feature but after experimenting with it I find the implementation useless. I can't see a case where the supported zoom levels or ability to pan the map could possibly be useful for the images I would like to display given the resolution limits.
It would seem like a simple fix in my particular instance, have the map dimensions default on the farthest out zoom setting. Eliminate the potential for the dead space. Period.
Then all the remaining zoom levels would just be closer redraws of the map, or even simple magnification (I.E. liken the effect to the Ctrl-+ feature on most web browsers).
This is my only actual complaint about the site, everything else seems great.
I want to make sure to include this in the discussion... Micah went over how the map system works in detail in "this thread":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=1137&page=1#Item_8 I agree that the current limitations on the system are unfortunate. However, after Micah's explanation, I understand why things are the way they are. He does a good job of explaining why it's not just a simple matter of adjusting the default zoom level.
I know, I saw it before, and in the case the whole system should be junked in favor of a static image page, if the zoom ends up useless what's the point of having it at all?
edited April 2010
There are a lot of duplicate conversations on this topic floating around out on the boards, and I just want to make sure everyone has the full picture... no pun intended... okay, yes the pun is intended :)
Also, I agree that OP would be better looking and cleaner scrapping the system if they can't make it useful, but that would take dev time and resources and I'd rather have them spend that time adding cool new features rather than scrapping the ones that don't work very well. I'm pretty sure that is why the less than perfect system is still out there. Besides, they may get the resources to improve it at some point in the future, and in that case, it would be better to simply update the existing system, rather than having to recreate it from scratch if it were removed in the mean time.
For now, I will continue to ignore the maps tab and just include linked static images in my general wiki.
Post edited by gnunn on
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