Saturday, July 3, 2010

Street view & iPad/iPhone beta test

I've been doing a rather big upgrade on the real-time map code. I have it using version 3 of the Google Maps Javascript API, which better supports the Apple iPad, and there are fixes for the iPhone, too.

Another big thing is that I've added Street View support. The Track in Street View link in the info balloon of a moving vehicle will give you a first-person view of how things look from the driver's point. The camera is pointed to the direction where the vehicle is moving, if it's course is available.

If the station is not transmitting a course, the camera will point from the panorama picture's center coordinates (where Google's camera was when the panorama was taken) to the exact coordinates transmitted by the stations. This implies that clicking on a house symbol of someone's home station will often open up a photo of that house (with antennas on top).

These features are now being tested on the site. There are probably some bugs left – please let me know if you find any! The intention is to fix them before the new (substantially different) code is installed on the production servers.

More details can be found in the user guide.


Unknown said...

Wow, this is way cool! I've just been following Lynn, KJ4ERJ, on holiday in Spain as he drove down to the coast.

A few observations: I notice that if the tray strays away from the path of the Street View images the top window closes, and it doesn't seem to reopen automatically so you just have to keep clicking until it comes back. Even a bad position report can do this. It might be better if it simply displayed a message that no images were available so you could close it optionally or leave it until the images come back.

Tregonsee said...

I operate a digipeater, NOLEN. "Stations Heard Directly" is currently showing 24. However, when I click on "Show on Map" I just get the basic information balloon, but no coverage shown. It was working about 2 weeks ago when I last checked it.


Steve said...

Tried the beta, just wondered why on the iphone selecting info you get a page error and you cannot get the info page displayed, then on the rare occasion it does work, and this was on the non beta version as well..

Typical just tried it again and the page loaded...
Right here we go
This pages contains the following errors:
error on line 11 at column 3: comment not terminated

Oba JA7UDE said...


Great feature!


Hessu said...

Julian: Yes, you're right. I noticed it right away too, have to figure out a way to do that. Google doesn't return an error code for the "move street view point-of-view to these coordinates" command if a panorama isn't available, so it's a little bit tricky, which is why I didn't do it straight away.

Tregonsee: That should be fixed already.

Steve: Please tell the callsign of the station whose info link you clicked. Also tell exactly which page you were on when you clicked it. It's a bit hard to guess from this end :)

Oba: Thanks!

Steve said...

Hi there the iPhone problem appears it seems only when connected to 3G not on a wi-fi connection.
Now I just tried it on my phone using my call m3sxa-9 and worked fine on wi-fi then turned off the wi-fi and tried it with 3G and the error page showed up went back to wi-fi and it worked fine.
73's Steve

Steve said...

I should have added I had the map displayed and simply entered my call in the small box (search) then clicked on info

Hessu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hessu said...


Please disregard my previous comment. Now that I've had my first cup of coffee this morning, I can see your callsign in your comment.

With my iPhone, i can search for m3sxa-9 on the map page and click on both info links (on the bottom of the page, and in the info balloon) and jump forth and back between the info page and the map. Works fine on 3G and Wifi (not that there should be any difference, unless there's a problem with your 3G carrier). Does it happen with other callsigns like OH7LZB-9?

Hessu said...

Steve, I cannot edit comments before moderating them, so because you asked to remove the screen shot link before posting, I'm rejecting the message instead. The screen shot indicated HTML parsing errors (Comment not terminated, Encoding error).

It seems like your 3G carrier, O2 UK, is using some kind of proxy to compress images before they're passed on to 3G users, and that proxy is also breaking the valid XHTML of the info page so that the phone's browser rejects it. We'll have to try to figure out if there is something I can change in the info page's html so that the proxy will not break it any more. Could we switch this discussion to the discussion group – it's more convenient than the comments since it works over email?

There are discussions on the Apple and O2 discussion forums regarding the proxy, but mainly in the light of the crappy compressed image quality on the iPad:

Maybe some more googling will reveal html mungling problems, too.

- Hessu

Hessu said...

Here's a good blog post on O2 UK html proxy mungling issues. It seems really bad.