Posted on August 13, 2009
Final changes for Maps and SM 0.3
Maps and Semantic Maps are almost ready for release now, with all but some small issues resolved. As a follow up to my 2 previous posts about both the structural changes and new feature in maps, this one will address the things changed or added since then.
Configurable map controls
Controls on both Yahoo! Maps and Google Maps map can now be configured by the user with the controls parameter. Yahoo! Maps maps already have this option for a limited set of controls since version 0.2, but the amount of available controls has now been expanded to what the Yahoo! Maps API offers. For Google Maps the change is significantly larger, since a lot of new controls can now be added. These included an overview map, a scale line, a drop down menu for map types, an automated reverse geocoding location determiner and more. All new types and their names will be added to the documentation after the release of 0.3.
Separate meta data for each point
I already described this new feature in one of my previous posts. It has now been completed, and has been extended with an icon parameter, which can be used to display a custom marker. The custom marker functionality is now also available in Semantic Maps, and is meant to be used in Semantic Compound queries, to for example display hamburgers as icons for shops of type ‘fastfood’, and t-shirts for shops of type ‘clothing’.
User friendly error reporting
Until now, no thought was given to what happened when the user provided an address that could not be geocoded. This actually pretty serious shortcoming has now been fixed. When an user provides one address, and it can’t be geocoded, an error message explaining that it couldn’t be geocoded is displayed instead of a map. The same thing will happen when the user provides multiple addresses that can’t be geocoded. When only a few of multiple addresses can’t be geocoded, the map will be displayed with the available coordinates, together with an error message saying some of the results could not be displayed and a list of these addresses. Similarly, for Semantic Maps, when a query returns no results, nothing will be displayed, instead of an empty map.
New OpenLayers layers
A whole list of OpenLayers base layers have been added. These include the satellite, street and hybrid views for Yahoo! Maps and Bing Maps, but also finally the OpenStreetMap layers. The problems I had with the different map projections between OSM and the other services has finally been resolved.