General Boards => Map Gab => Topic started by: Maxim on February 07, 2010, 12:17:47 PM

Title: Alternative map viewers
Post by: Maxim on February 07, 2010, 12:17:47 PM
I've been doing a little work on my website in the last few months, and this weekend I had a go at game map integration. There's an index here:

I've integrated a Javascript "image zoom" library (MojoZoom ( at the moment, along with some custom PHP to determine whether or not to just show the raw image (if it is not too wide).

I've also played with Seadragon (see elsewhere on this forum), and just had a go with a Google Maps service:

If anyone has any suggestions or comments then I'd be happy to hear them. Right now, I've gone for a very simple solution that works pretty well for the case where you only want to see an overview and 1:1 size, as opposed to any halfway zoom levels. Does the Google Maps approach offer any potential advantages? Annotations perhaps? Is there a use to zoom in only halfway?

Is Jon ever going to update this site with such niceties? :)
Title: Re: Alternative map viewers
Post by: Revned on February 07, 2010, 12:29:04 PM
The JavaScript one seems nice, but it's slow and takes quite a bit of CPU. I tried it in both Chrome and Firefox. It's nice that you can still do the regular file operations when you right-click on it, though. I also like having the smaller overview.

Seadragon was smoother than Google Maps, but they seem more or less equivalent. I personally prefer JavaScript to proprietary plug-ins. It would be better if the viewer itself used more space on the page, and it doesn't seem to have the scroll-wheel enabled at the moment.

I'll have a two month gap between graduating this May and starting working, so I might try my hand at designing a new site for Jon. We shall see.
Title: Re: Alternative map viewers
Post by: Peardian on February 07, 2010, 02:28:25 PM
Between Google Maps and Seadragon, Seadragon would be preferable. As Revned said, it's smoother, but it also gives you a larger and constant view of the image.

As for the Javascript thing, it's interesting, but doesn't seem to be much different than relying on a browser's image resizer.

I wish I could help, but I don't know anything about this kind of stuff.
Title: Re: Alternative map viewers
Post by: Maxim on February 07, 2010, 03:26:11 PM
My principal objections to Seadragon are:

1. It makes blurry images (you can't get 1:1)
2. You are relying on MS (who tend to shut down their Labs projects) and/or weird file formats
3. It seems to use lossy compression

Maybe with some API tweaks, the Google Maps one could do the smooth zoom thing you get on the real Maps site, along with mouse wheel zooming.

Maybe with some more advanced JS one could make a more full-screen viewer...

Regarding CPU use, they are all pretty similar on my machine (maxing out on motion), but Seadragon seems slowest.
Title: Re: Alternative map viewers
Post by: Peardian on February 07, 2010, 03:48:00 PM
Hmm, this is also true. Being crisp with 1:1 scale is the thing Google Maps has over seadragon.

Edit: Oh, it looks like there's a pure Javascript version of Seadragon available, called Seadragon Ajax.
Title: Re: Alternative map viewers
Post by: Maxim on February 08, 2010, 02:33:41 AM
Ah, the "weird file format" you need for the not-hosted-by-Microsoft version seems to actually be a bunch of directories with JPG or PNG images for different zoom levels, and a bit of XML to join them together, which is more sane. It might be very suitable for maps (especially with "sparse" tiles for blank areas) on a dedicated site, if the 1:1 thing can be dealt with (maybe setting the zoom level precisely in JavaScript), but it's a bit overkill for my purposes (it's beyond "upload an image and add it to a page"; my site only has maps as a feature, not the raison d'ĂȘtre).