Saturday, December 25, 2010

iPad Support - Upgrading your widgets

Scribble Maps widgets up to now have been completely flash based, with the rise of the iPad we wanted to make it so that any map you can make using Scribble Maps can be seen by anyone anywhere.

So what we have done is upgraded our widget so that we can have the best of both worlds, a flash based widget, and if flash isn't there, a fall back to a javascript version. In addition since the new widget uses iframes, instead of hard code, this allows it to be easily embed into services such as blogger more easily.

However, if you currently have an embed and would like to take advantage of the new system, you will need to upgrade your embed code. The easiest way is to load your map and then use the get widget code, alternatively you could do it manually, the new embed code looks like this:

<iframe width="550px" height="400px" src="http://widgets.scribblemaps.com/widget.html?id=mymapid&d=true&mt=false&z=true&l=false&p=true" frameborder="0" style="border: none; margin: 0; padding: 0"></iframe>

where mymapid is replace with your own mapID. Just like the old widget, this widget also has support for rendering KML directly by setting the kml parameter.

There is a caveat, we have some custom features, such as line styling, that will not be properly rendered out in the JavaScript version, however, we will constantly be upgrading the JavaScript widget to get it as close as possible to the flash based widget as we can. If you would like to see how your map will look in the JS widget, you can load it using our mobile viewer at http://m.scribblemaps.com.

We are very excited about this, and look forward to more of your creations.

Happy Mapping!

Friday, December 17, 2010

40k Maps, and performance

We are rapidly closing in on 40k maps, thanks to all of you. With the increased usage of Scribble Maps we have found that a few of the things we built at the start were not designed to sustain this many files, so over the next couple days we are going to be doing some work on Scribble Maps, you can still make maps, and your widgets will still work, there just may be intermittent down times and some latency from the site. We apologize for any inconvenience as we work on some things to better support the future of Scribble Maps.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordpress Plugin

We have recently developed a Wordpress plugin for Scribble Maps. This convenient plugin allows you to embed maps you have created with Scribble Maps directly into your wordpress blog. It also has the added functionality of being able to load and render any KML from a URL. We would love to hear your feedback and also how we can make this more useful for you. You can get the plugin at

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/scribble-maps-kml-embed/

Stayed tuned, we also have some more updates coming down the line as well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Paint Bucket, Text Markers, SHP, and Updates

Sorry for the lack of updates, we have been very busy the last two months both adding features as well as improving some behind the scenes technical stuff. One of the big features we added, if you haven't discovered it already, is a paint bucket. This allows you to scribble out a shape and then fill it with a color of your choosing. This functionality is completely compatible with Google Maps, so any filled shape should show up properly in both Google Maps and Google Earth.

There is also a hidden functionality of the paint bucket tool and that is it also works on borders/lines. Meaning you can use the paint bucket tool to change the color of the outline of a polygon, or just to change the color of an already existing line.



We have also added the ability to create Text Markers without the white border/background, when creating a Text Marker just hit the no border check box.

We have also been diligently working on improving support for SHP files in Scribble Maps Pro, this has turned out to be much more difficult then we expected, but we are making some progress.

We have a lot in the pipeline and you have all been very helpful by providing us great feedback.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Legends in Scribble Maps

We have added the ability to add legends in Scribble Maps. Legends can be shown in both the widget, and also added to an image for download. We are really excited about this, and hopefully this replaces the need to make legends by manually drawing them on the map. This also lets you create more complex maps.



Note: The pro legend creator has the ability to pick line types.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Time Mapping In Scribble Maps

We are happy to announce timed based mapping for Scribble Maps and Scribble Maps Pro. Time based mapping allows you to assign time ranges and time stamps to elements in scribble maps, and then lets you play them back in either Scribble Maps or a widget.

Furthermore, you can assign times to folders which allows you to make a presentation of sorts. Having a different map in each folder and then assigning each folder a different time will allow you to have multiple maps in one widget. Check out the image below for instructions.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Scribble Maps now has Styled Maps!

Note: We have delayed the implementation of this feature for the next month to a month and half, check back then to start creating your own styled maps.

We now support styled maps in Scribble Maps! Styled maps allow you to set the colors, visibility, and more of everything on a map including: roads, water, road labels, etc..

To style a map first select the "Style Map" option in the menu:



Then select your style, hit add style, and then hit add to map. You can have multiple styles as well.



Monday, May 3, 2010

Self Made Maps

This was one of our top requests. Scribble Maps Pro now supports the ability to upload your own image to use as a map, you can now scribble all over blue prints, hand drawn maps, or even a random image. This is different then photo overlays, with this new feature the image you upload actually acts like a map, with full zooming/panning functionality. It can be found under account, as indicated in the image below.



Just upload an image then hit the blue cross to set the map type, below is a sample map I made use an image of earth at night:



We can't wait to see what you can make with this new feature!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Layer/Folder Visibility

We have implemented layer/folder visibility toggling in pro. This was a feature that was requested by a couple of our users. You can now toggle both layers and folders on and off in pro. Keep in mind that hidden layers will not be visible in the widget, so if you are deploying a widget, keep this in mind. Below is in an image showing the button/icon to toggle layer visibility.

Monday, April 12, 2010

ICS Markers

We have launched a set of 578 ICS (Incident Command System) markers for use in emergency situations. The set was developed by the FGDC, and the symbol reference can be found here. Check out some of the markers below:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scribble Maps Secrets

Since we are currently working on documentation there are some not well know features that are in Scribble Maps but not well documented, or under utilized.

Ctrl-Z: While we have undo buttons listed in Pro, ctrl-z actually works in Scribble Maps as well, this allows you to undo the last action you did, including erase.

Ctrl-S: This is a quick key to rapidly save your map, if you have already specified a password, this will quickly save the map, great for working on large projects.

Map Importing: Maps can actually be imported into other maps, or used to duplicate a map to another other id. This functionality can be found under load/import.

KML Feed Support: KML can be loaded directly into a widget by adding the flash var kml=path, further more, KML can be loaded directly into scribble maps via the following url http://www.scribblemaps.com/#q=path.

OpenStreetMap & CloudMade: In addition to Google, Scribble Maps also support OpenStreetMap and cloudmade tile layers, that you can draw all over.

3D Widgets: Perspective views can be saved and loaded in a widget.

Requesting Features: We are constantly adding features, we have implemented a large percent of user feature requests, we rarely say no, and we are currently working on multiple user requested features.

Map Directory: Maps can be viewed as they are created at www.scribblemaps.com/maps/

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cluster View Video

We have recently implemented cluster viewing for both Scribble Maps, Pro, and all widgets, here is a link, or watch the video below.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Draggable Marker Windows

We have implemented draggable windows for marker editing (both text and icon markers). Here is a video demonstrating it:

Scribble Maps at Google I/O 2010

We are heading to Google IO this year and are interested in talking to anyone who might be interested in working with or implementing Scribble Maps. We are constantly improving our service and finding new ways to make GIS and map making even easier. If you're interested in meeting send a message to team@scribblemaps.com.

The Closing of Platial

The closing of platial is both sad, and exciting. After platial's first year they had 15,000 user create maps. On the 29th of this year, ScribbleMaps will be exactly one year old, and we have had around 14,000 user created maps (not including private maps).

Firstly, the closing of platial is sad because their goal was essentially the same as ours, to make an easy to use online mapping application that anyone could use. Scribble Maps while a little different then platial in terms of our objectives for mapping, one of our main focuses is drawing, it is still enough to make us a little sad to see it go.

Next, we are excited because platial is a good example of what people can do when they have easy to use tools. We're excited to see what you will make using Scribblemaps.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Line Endpoint Snapping

We have implemented point snapping for lines and scribbles. This functionality is particularly important for those who use scribble maps to generate GPX files. This is useful for things like biking and hiking trails because you can keep long drawn lines connected. Check out the image below for an example of line snapping.

Spreadsheet Text Markers

Much requested, we have implemented the ability to populate text markers through the spread sheet. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Circle Data Visualization

A very common way to visualize large amounts of data is to use circles of varying size. We have improved our spreadsheet functionality for drawing circles, and the great part about using Scribble Maps to do the visualization is that you can also specify blend modes. Below is a US population circle visualization for the year 2000, the mode being used is median deviation; in this mode all cities who have exceptionally large populations or exceptionally small populations are represents by bigger circles.



Circle visualization is a great way to do some rough spatial analysis as well. To use this mode just load a spreadsheet in pro, and then select the associated options for drawing circles under the drawing tab.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hiding Ads for White Boards

We have added the ability to hide ads on ScribbleMaps.com. Since we know that Scribble Maps often gets used with white boards in the classroom and/or boardroom, we implemented this functionality to make Scribble Maps more white board friendly.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Real Estate Mapping

One of the great advantages of pro is the ability to not only import spread sheets, but also then annotate as well. http://www.beavercreekonline.com utilizes Scribble Maps not only for real estate but for buildings and attractions as well. In addition you can even rotate the map to make it easier to understand for potential clients.

Want to make your real estate map listings more interesting? Use Scribble Maps to add interesting points of interest such as beaches, malls, and schools. Check out one of the ways it was used here.

Matt & Mike's Charity Kayak Challenge

Found this great map on Scribble Maps for Matt & Mike's charity challenge. Read more about them here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Heat Maps!

Scribble Maps Pro now supports heat maps! This is one of our biggest additions to Scribble Maps to date. To make a heat map, upload a spreadsheet, and then hit the "heat" tab. Not only can you adjust all colors of the heat map, you can also adjust the blend mode. All heat maps can be saved as Jpegs or widgets. I will work on a video further explaining heat maps, but you can check it out below:



Thursday, February 25, 2010

SHP Bug Fixed

We have fixed a bug that stopped SHP Overlays from appearing in the editors and widgets, thanks for bearing with us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Animated GIF Support!

We just put in support for animated GIFs in Scribble Maps! Currently you can get an animated GIF into Scribble Maps by either importing KML, or by using the KML Editor in pro, and setting the icon style href to the location of a GIF file. We plan on implementing a library of animated GIFs in the coming days, but for the meantime check out these two astronauts groovin' in space:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blend Modes!

We are very excited to announce blend modes! Blend modes allow you to modify how colors are displayed on a map, this makes it easier to color maps while keeping features of the map intact, check out the demo below:



This functionality is currently available in Scribble Maps Pro which is in free beta. Any Scribble Maps Pro map can be viewed at www.scribblemaps.com, www.scribblemaps.com/maps/, or embedded.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Numeric Markers

We have just launched a new marker set, it is under "NumericTabs" under the marker selection window. This was a requested feature from one of our users, check out a sample of the markers below. In addition, we have also added two more size options for markers, 125% and 75%.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Google Maps Markers

For those of you using Scribble Maps to port out to Google Maps, and haven't done it in awhile, we just wanted to point out that we fixed a bug with marker positioning, so maps made in Scribble Maps should now show more accurately in Google Maps. If you were having problems before, you can re-save the map, and it the marker locations should correct themselves.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Map Directory!

We're excited to announce the Scribble Maps map directory, which can be found here. It is also in the links found on the right.

The directory is an easy way to look up maps, and also to see what maps people are making in near real-time. The discover page even features thumbnails of created maps so you can quickly see the content of the maps you are looking at.

For those of you interested in SEO, we have tailored the Map directory to be Search Engine and Geo optimized (Keep in mind we don't promise page rankings or when particular maps will be crawled). However, hopefully in the near future all of your content will be available through Google Maps, and Google Earth.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

URL Parameters

Scribble Maps now supports lat,lng,zoom,kmlpath,yaw,pitch, and maptype in the URL. Don't worry, just like before you can share a map with just the Scribble Maps Map ID, but now there is additional parameters to let friends see exactly what you are looking at on a particular map.

So a URL will now look like this:
http://www.scribblemaps.com/#id=MyMapID&lat=42.314111&lng=-83.036825&z=3&t=Map&y=0&p=0

But this still works:
http://www.scribblemaps.com/#id=MyMapID

The website address is automatically updated as you move around, but for those of you who are interested, here is a list of the parameters currently supported.

lat - the view's center latitude
lng - the view's center longitude
z - the view's zoom
t - the view's map type (Hybrid, Terrain, Satellite, etc..)
p - the view's pitch
y - the view's yaw
q - The path to a KML file.

For those of you who are technical, the path to a KML file is the quick and easy way to get a KML into Scribble Maps so that you can start working on it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Education, Scribble Maps, and an LCD

I came across a blog post that I found really interesting, a teacher used Scribble Maps on LCD projector with his students. A very interesting idea that might be useful for teachers currently using Scribble Maps, check it out here

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scribble Maps hits 10,000 Public Maps!

We're very excited to announce that in the last month we crossed 10,000 line for maps made using Scribble Maps. Scribble Maps has come a long way in 10 months with the feedback of our users, and we greatly appreciate all the feedback we have received to make our service better.

Thank you all for using Scribble Maps, and check back here often to see all the new features we are going to be adding.

To Teachers Heads up - Map Listing

In the next 1-2 days we are going to be launching a new service for Scribble Maps which is essentially a directory of maps made on Scribble Maps. We are aware that this could affect some teachers that use Scribble Maps to give assignments to their students.

The solution to this is to make sure that when a student saves a map that they have the delist checkbox checked when they save a map as indicated by the below image:



This will ensure that the map does not come up when doing map searching, or appear in the map directory. Keep in mind that the directory will also be available to you, so you will be able to see if a student has a map listed or not. Thanks for using Scribble Maps, and we apologize for any inconvenience this could cause.

Monday, February 1, 2010

User made video tutorial

Here is a great video tutorial a user made demonstrating some of the key functionalities of Scribble Maps.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Improved Rendering

We have improved rendering for more complex maps. Maps with a lot of items will render faster and more efficiently. We have also improved the KML parsing for KML files that have highly complex polygons and lines.

We have also corrected a minor bug with line styling not showing up properly for small line segments, or when zoomed out.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

OpenStreetMap & CloudMade Support!

We have recently implemented support for OpenStreetMap, and CloudMade in Scribble Maps (and the widget), visit scribblemaps.com or pro.scribblemaps.com to make your own OSM or CM map with scribblings and more.

Demo Video for SM Pro Beta

Monday, January 18, 2010

Photo Overlay Bug Fixed

Hey guys we fixed the photo overlay bug, as well as the bug of the embed code being wrong if grabbed from pro. Here is a widget embed using photo overlay, in this example we use a png which maintains its transparency.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Using Spreadsheets in Pro

One of the exciting new features in Pro is the ability to upload data in the form of spreadsheets. To add a spreadsheet, you can either click the spreadsheet button in the top right, or goto Menu > Account > Files, then upload the file and import it to the map, once you do either of these things you will get this window.



From here it is pretty straight forward. Select the address column, or alternatively latitude and longitude columns, that pick what you wish to do with the data, whether it is to plot markers to the map, or do some drawing functions. Also in this window you can select a range via start index and end index, this allows you to only plot the points within a certain range of rows. For instance, if I only wanted to add rows 50-100 of a spreadsheet.

We are working on implementing thematic mapping support, and when it is implemented we will let you know here.

Scribble Maps Pro Beta Launched

We have recently launched the Pro Beta for pro.scribbleMaps.com, and we are very excited about it. If you're interested in diving right in, you can visit pro.scribblemaps.com. There is a ton of new features, one of which is support for SHP files both in the application, and in the widget.

We would love to hear from you, whether it is about features you would like to see, or about how you're using Scribble Maps, do not hesitate to contact us at team@scribblemaps.com

Check out this widget that has a SHP overlay for the African Waterways.