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Map problems and some questions

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31. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 7y

Quoting Sander

Quoting luzian

Ok, that was it... got the bad guy! :)

It's indeed Adblock..

Glad you found it. Given the popularity of Adblock, it might still be worth looking into this for us, though.

I think this is Mozilla bug 438830, which might get fixed in Firefox 3.0.4 (assuming the regression for a regression fix for this bug fix gets fixed before then (wheeee!)) :) or some later Firefox 3.0.x release.

32. Posted by luzian (Full Member 36 posts) 7y

Quoting Sam I Am

Just to be clear, that is not the easiest way to actually map photos, which is just by ticking each photo you want to map on your my photos page, then hitting edit and filling in the Location field. That is however currently the only way to map them really down to exact co-ordinates, although like Peter says, once you've done that once, you should be able to use the easy first option to then do the rest!

Quoting Sander

Remapping the photo to an exact location originally would've created a second location (available only to you) also named Belgrade, but with those new exact coordinates. When you edit the photo and don't touch that field, it should retain that exact location. If you do change the field (say by removing the last "e" in Belgrade, the autocomplete will probably come up with multiple Belgrade options; the top one will be the center of town, the others will be the other exact locations you've created. (To distinguish them, you could rename the location from the map view to "Belgrade, [something street]" or similar. (I did the same with a photo taken in One Tree Hill, Auckland.))

Ok thanks... I believe I'm slowly starting to understand the deeper workings of the map system... :)

I think what's slightly confusing is this bit: "Remapping the photo to an exact location originally would've created a second location (available only to you) also named Belgrade, but with those new exact coordinates. "

So if I have say 50 pictures in Belgrade with 50 different exact locations, the system would internally save Belgrade 50 times for me? Is it not a bit overhead to save the location each time, instead of just saving the coordinates for the picture? Ok I see the benefit of this is that if you have several pictures in the same "own" location, you could reuse it...

I could also do as suggested "To distinguish them, you could rename the location from the map view to "Belgrade, [something street]" or similar." The problem with this is that probably I won't remember 50 street names from Belgrade and even then there might be several pictures in the same street/location, but not exactly same coordinates.. eg several pictures in the fortress but at different exact spots, so I would have to create locations like Belgrade-Fortress-inside-gate, Belgrade-Fortress-outside-gate etc.

The reason why I'm asking all this: Technically I could locate each picture exactly (on google satellites map) and use exact coords for each one, to create a nice google earth view where even completely zooming I would still see each picture at the right location.. of course that's some work and I would want to make sure i don't overwrite the coordinates "by mistake".

In the end I'm not sure if I actually need this. I've been playing around with exact mapping on flickr (see example Belgrade or Bratislava), but probably it's too much effort to do "on the road" anyway, and otherwise I can still provide a link to my flickr map.

That's of course also why I was asking the flickr import question at some point.. the dream combination for me would probably be to do manage my pictures and locations and keep originals on flickr (which i might continue to do anyway) and have some sort of import here to quickly add pictures from there (ideally including the coordinates but not sure if the flickr interface even allows that) and show them here in my blog (and on a google map.. as google maps is someties more exact than flickr map ;) ).

But hey, I know I'm asking WAY too much.. I think this blog is great as it is and will work fine for me. Maybe the best way for me is to keep both... just means some extra work (uploading the pictures twice) that I'm trying to avoid...

Quoting Peter

I think Sander's analysis was probably correct - that installing Flash 10 has in fact caused this to break, as the current version of uploader is in fact not compatible. And it looks really nasty, because upgrading to the new one would probably break the uploader for everyone still on Flash 9 by the looks of it. Argh..

Argh can I go back to 9? ok that's difficult then if fixing it for 10 would break it for 9 :( sounds a bit silly for Adobe to do changes that break previously working content. I understand if something designed with Flash 10 doesn't work in Flash 9, but a Flash 9 app should still work if somebody has installed Flash 10 shouldn't it?

Cheers
Luzian

33. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 7y

Quoting luzian

So if I have say 50 pictures in Belgrade with 50 different exact locations, the system would internally save Belgrade 50 times for me? Is it not a bit overhead to save the location each time, instead of just saving the coordinates for the picture?

It would be if saving 50 minutely different coordinates with the same name would be a common use-case. But since it isn't, it's actually the most efficient way to go about things, and the few regular new locations which people create do get frequently re-used.

sounds a bit silly for Adobe to do changes that break previously working content. I understand if something designed with Flash 10 doesn't work in Flash 9, but a Flash 9 app should still work if somebody has installed Flash 10 shouldn't it?

Yeah, people aren't being too happy with Adobe because of this. (Although technically it is a move in the right direction, as the old way had rather bad security implications.) There'll undoubtedly be a reworked upload component coming along shortly which'll work in both Flash 9 and 10 (with different code paths) and then multiple file upload will work for you again - but meanwhile it's a pain.

34. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 7y

Quoting Sander

Maybe add a fifth dedicated tab to go directly to the photo mapping view? Might make it more discoverable to a few more people, too...

Good idea.. there was just barely room for that tab there, but enough to squeeze it in.

35. Posted by luzian (Full Member 36 posts) 7y

Guys,
Thanks again for all the support and time taken to answer my questions here. I'm heading off today and will be on the road for the next month or two. My blog will hopefully get some occasional updates along the way (including flash map ), and has it's first official entry as of today! :)
Cheers, Luzian

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 25, 2008, at 2:13 AM by luzian ]

36. Posted by luzian (Full Member 36 posts) 7y

Hi,

Coming back on a few things here that I noticed while posting some blogs along the way...

Quoting Sander

If you notice locations which are wrong, please report them here. I spent a lot of time on cleaning up the database of 2 million locations which drives the map, but there's undoubtedly still hundreds, or maybe even thousands of wrong locations in there, and I know the overlords are happy enough to clean those up one at a time when they're identified.

It seems that many (or most, or all?) locations in Montenegro are listed as in Serbia... my guess is that when the database was created, Serbia & Montenegro were still together, but split up in the meantime... so probably "Serbia and Montenegro" was just changed to Serbia, and Montenegro added as a country, but the Montenegro locations not actually moved? Examples are Herceg Novi, Kotor, Cetinje, Budva etc.

For the map.. I'm getting used to the flash map and find it quite ok by now ;) (rather than google maps). Two things that I find very annoying though:

  • Also same thing when editing a map to add more destinations.. if it would start with the current trip rather than the world map, I would be able to quickly see where the new added destination goes...

For both, even if somebody actually wants to have the world overview, there's a one click button to zoom out to world view (between the arrows)... but none to zoom in quickly (none that I found anyway )

Next up, photos.. I still don't find the way of mapping photos (by entering the location name) very intuitive. For major cities it's ok. But for photos around smaller towns, or between towns, it can be quite a pain to find the nearest location that the system knows, and to make sure that it's actually the location I'm looking for (some of my pictures showed up in a different corner of the country, in a town with the same or a similar name... eg Labin, Croatia showed up in Labin near Split instead of Labin in Istria.. of course I didn't know there are two places called Labin in Croatia).

Also when using a custom entered location (eg I entered Kotor on the map as the system didn't recognise "Kotor, Montenegro", because it's listed as in Serbia...) and then later editing the picture again (actually I was editing multiple pictures), it rejected Kotor and marked the pictures that I was editing as incomplete uploads.. even though before editing, they were ok (and I didn't touch the location field).

Last one, sometimes I look at my blog again to check everything is ok. But when I for example find a picture that is at the wrong location, or where I want to edit the text, I don't find a direct way to do this (not from the map, nor from the public gallery). When I'm looking at a specific picture in the gallery (for example here, I don't see a direct link back to edit the specific picture... I do have a "manage" link at the top, but that goes to the start of the gallery management where I first have to browse through and find the picture again. Having a direct link to edit the picture would be very useful (eg. a link from the public gallery picture to here)!

Otherwise, all works fine from my side (just takes too much time to write these bloody blog entries )

Cheers from Tirana, capital of freestyle

37. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 7y

Quoting luzian

When I write or edit a blog entry and want to insert a map, when clicking on "select map view" for a specific trip, it comes up with the world overview... would be much more useful to have it zoomed in on the actual trip, same as when i click on "view" for a trip map in the map management, rather than having to click 10-20 times to zoom to the right spot that I want to insert...

That would indeed be a very good improvement to make. And should be quite possible, too. I happen to be doing some work for travellerspoint again at the moment (on a completely different part of the site), so when I next have the code open, I'll take a minute to see if this is indeed going to be the two-minute fix that I currently think it is, and if so, put that in. (No promises, though! It might need more time and be something the overlords would need to decide on if the development time would be worth it.)

Also same thing when editing a map to add more destinations.. if it would start with the current trip rather than the world map, I would be able to quickly see where the new added destination goes...

Unfortunately there's a lot of different ways in which people use the map and put in trips. For you it would be good to zoom in to the most recent destination, but for a lot of other people it wouldn't be. Maybe we could think about adding an option to configure this behaviour, but I'm not quite certain that's worth it. (Options themselves are confusing for a lot of users, and having fewer is something to strive for.)

Next up, photos.. I still don't find the way of mapping photos (by entering the location name) very intuitive. For major cities it's ok. But for photos around smaller towns, or between towns, it can be quite a pain to find the nearest location that the system knows, and to make sure that it's actually the location I'm looking for

This confused me, since the map view for photo mapping hides the location box in favour of clicking on the flash map to position photos.
But of course the multiple upload screen has that location box...
The main reason this was done, I think, is because people weren't discovering the existence of the photo mapping at all, while with this location box a very large percentage of photos are mapped. I don't really know how it could be improved much, though. If you're not uploading a whole lot of photos, you could revert to using the old (non-flash) upload screen, and then map them graphically as a second step - but I think you do upload pretty large batches of photos at once. Perhaps you could just fill in the country name in that locationbox (it should accept just that), and still do the real positioning with the map?

Having a direct link to edit the picture would be very useful (eg. a link from the public gallery picture to here)!

That indeed sounds like a pretty useful improvement. Will take a look if I can very swiftly do that, too. (Idem the no promises caveat.)

38. Posted by luzian (Full Member 36 posts) 7y

Quoting Sander

That would indeed be a very good improvement to make. And should be quite possible, too. I happen to be doing some work for travellerspoint again at the moment (on a completely different part of the site), so when I next have the code open, I'll take a minute to see if this is indeed going to be the two-minute fix that I currently think it is, and if so, put that in. (No promises, though! It might need more time and be something the overlords would need to decide on if the development time would be worth it.)

Sounds good :) (having worked in software development myself, I understand of course that it's hard to predict how much time some code change will take... I always had trouble with my manager because he wanted a fixed timeline, and i struggled to convince him that the new feature will just be ready once it's finished...)

Unfortunately there's a lot of different ways in which people use the map and put in trips. For you it would be good to zoom in to the most recent destination, but for a lot of other people it wouldn't be. Maybe we could think about adding an option to configure this behaviour, but I'm not quite certain that's worth it. (Options themselves are confusing for a lot of users, and having fewer is something to strive for.)

Well, you certainly know more about how other people use the map than me ;) A configuration option to would be one option to change this... the other one would be a way (button etc) to directly "zoom in" to trip overview level... or if it's difficult to create a "one click zoom-in button", then i would still suggest to have trip overview by default, as there's already a button (between the arrows) to zoom back out to world level in one click for those who need that, however around 20 clicks or so are needed to zoom/pan/drag&drop to see the trip overview...

If you're not uploading a whole lot of photos, you could revert to using the old (non-flash) upload screen, and then map them graphically as a second step - but I think you do upload pretty large batches of photos at once. Perhaps you could just fill in the country name in that locationbox (it should accept just that), and still do the real positioning with the map?

That might be an idea... I'll give it a try. Btw in the "map my photos" screen, some way to directly see the photos which are not yet mapped would be useful... they seem ordered by date, but if i've just uploaded a batch of pictures from different dates, and some failed to map on the first attempt, then i have to go through all dates in order to find them...

That indeed sounds like a pretty useful improvement. Will take a look if I can very swiftly do that, too. (Idem the no promises caveat.)

Sounds great

39. Posted by luzian (Full Member 36 posts) 7y

One more (unrelated) thing that I find confusing... I've set the "Maximum entries per page" to 1 as I have a map and pictures in most entries, and don't like to load overloaded pages...), but this also seems to affect the "Latest entries" list on the blog page - it only ever shows the current entry under "Latest entries". Is that intended? I think some number of latest entries should still be listed there...

40. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 7y

Quoting Sander

That would indeed be a very good improvement to make. And should be quite possible, too. I happen to be doing some work for travellerspoint again at the moment (on a completely different part of the site), so when I next have the code open, I'll take a minute to see if this is indeed going to be the two-minute fix that I currently think it is, and if so, put that in. (No promises, though! It might need more time and be something the overlords would need to decide on if the development time would be worth it.)

This unfortunately indeed needs more time; right now there's some dependencies on that specific page; to refactor it would take a couple of hours. I've asked Sam & Peter if they're happy for me to spend that time, but realistically there's a lot of other things which have priority at the moment.

At least the change to include an "edit photo" link with each photo in public galleries was the 1-minute fix that I thought it was, so that should show up live at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Quoting Sander

Unfortunately there's a lot of different ways in which people use the map and put in trips. For you it would be good to zoom in to the most recent destination, but for a lot of other people it wouldn't be. Maybe we could think about adding an option to configure this behaviour, but I'm not quite certain that's worth it. (Options themselves are confusing for a lot of users, and having fewer is something to strive for.)

Rereading what you'd requested, I think I slightly misunderstood things when I wrote the above. I do think it would be good to do the same zooming-in when editing an existing trip (just not when creating a new one, which I thought you were talking about). Needs the same refactoring work, though.

Quoting luzian

Btw in the "map my photos" screen, some way to directly see the photos which are not yet mapped would be useful... they seem ordered by date, but if i've just uploaded a batch of pictures from different dates, and some failed to map on the first attempt, then i have to go through all dates in order to find them...

We actually used to sort them with the unmapped photos shown first, but that was deemed confusing. :(

Quoting luzian

One more (unrelated) thing that I find confusing... I've set the "Maximum entries per page" to 1 as I have a map and pictures in most entries, and don't like to load overloaded pages...), but this also seems to affect the "Latest entries" list on the blog page - it only ever shows the current entry under "Latest entries". Is that intended? I think some number of latest entries should still be listed there...

It might be intended, but I agree it's not really useful the way it's now. The fix appears to be extremely simple, but has dependencies I'm currently missing, so I passed it on to the overlords to look at and hopefully fix.

Thanks again for all the really great feedback!

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 8, 2008, at 1:46 PM by Sander ]