Saturday, March 26, 2011

Get on the Map - Google Maps

I don't know if any of you have considered applications for Google Maps or not. If you think you might have one, like recording the locations of your outdoors adventures, fishing spots, hikes, or favorite hunting spots, it's pretty easy to start using (IMO anyways) and worth an hour or two getting familiar with it. It may not be that exciting building it and maintaining it at first, but after a year or two, if you're like me, you'll enjoy reflecting and sharing the historical record that it maintains.

Google Earth has similar function, but I couldn't figure out how to imbed it. Maps was easier.





I was using Google Earth to track online and wholesale customer locations (you know who you are), taking a screenshot jpg and putting it on the FCS Get on the Map page and it was kind of a drag keeping it updated, then relaunching on the website each update.

Don't get me wrong, the snapshots were fun and probably a better point in time reference. In my application, watching the map fill up was a hoot, still is! With Maps, I might have to track yearly progression with different Icons. Google provides a bunch, I opted to build my own.

Whew, back to the post.. While doing other website changes over the last several months (in addition to starting this blog), I considered Google Maps. Maps turned out to be a less time intensive method of tracking online and wholesale customer locations then Google Earth.

Mostly because I couldn't figure out how to launch Google Earth externally or never invested the time to figure it out. Google Earth was always loosing my icons too. I found Google maps seemed easier or less intimidating. Having the whole Earth in my primitive hands, just freaked me out! A flat map was more better!

I like that Maps provides zoom and positioning arrows instead of a static screenshot. Now, when I maintain My Maps on Google Map, they show on the website automatically (after I did the initial build). That avoids continued jpg refresh on the website. The zoom and positioning buttons allow others, better visibility to their specific interest area, including a worldwide perspective.

The bottom line is I converted Google Earth history to Google Maps. If you're a customer, fish with FCS and find I missed your location during the conversion, feel free to let me know and I'll fix it.

The only downside to it that I've discovered is that, while doing entry, the software started building a second map. I might have unknowingly caused this to happen because I use custom icons. There seems to be a size restriction and paging is probably due to the size of my icons and those size limitations. I did rebuild the icons with less definition (free FXIcon software) but damage was done. The size restriction is kind of a pain to deal with, but live and learn.

If you have a few minutes to kill, check it out, maybe you'll think of something to do with it too!

1 comment:

troutrageous1 said...

I'm not shy about sharing my public access fishing spots. I had created a map a while back for this...it's pretty cool in my opinion.

Troutrageous! Map