Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Super Zoom Control is really super!

The web mapping site 192.com has a very nice map zoom control which dynamically displays a representative image of the map at the prospective zoom level.


This nicely addresses a problem which has occurred in a few applications I've been involved with recently - how to communicate to the user what a given zoom level actually looks like.

At first I thought the control might be truly dynamic - i.e. pulling a live tile from the centre point of the current map view. But it's actually just a set of tile snippets at a fixed point. Still, it provides a very nice effect. (The dynamic version would be simple to implement, but perhaps would be too slow in actual use, with unpredicatable latency).

Are you listening, OpenLayers?

5 comments:

Jody Garnett said...

We had the dynamic version in an earlier copy of GeoTools (when the library was focused on applet development). We needed to remove it due to a patent on magnification tools ...

Edmar Moretti said...

Cool. I will use this idea in the software i3Geo.

Dr JTS said...

Sigh... is there no end to this rampaging patent craziness? Fie on it I say! Go Edmar! (and go OpenLayers!)

Dr JTS said...

Actually, Jody, I'm not sure your patent issue applies to this concept. The SuperZoom control isn't displaying a live magnified view - it's just displaying a set of predefined images which represent the different zoom levels. Hard to see how that could be patented.

Jody Garnett said...

You are probably correct; your idea of being dynamic though is probably covered.