Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Updates, VIP and more

So we are excited to roll out the first of several updates that are going to be coming out for Scribble Maps in the coming months. The first is we have introduced something called VIP membership. VIP offers several benefits.

VIP Membership

No Advertisements
VIP Members will not see any ads on either of the editors (pro.scribblemaps.com and scribblemaps.com/create/).

No Widget Advertisements
We have quite a few publishers who create a lot of different widgets and it is not very cost effective for them to pay $5 a widget. So with VIP membership every widget published under a VIP account will not have ads as long as the VIP membership is valid. If you currently have a pro account, this will work retroactively on any published widgets you currently have out there.

If you have paid for widget ad removals independently, don't worry, they won't suddenly get ads. That system is still in place and you are not required to get a VIP membership. If you don't want to get a VIP membership and just want to remove ads on a single widget, you can still do that by clicking the remove ads link on the widget itself.

Locked Cost
VIP will have additional benefits added to it going forward as we roll out our API and other Scribble Maps programs. If you sign up now, we will never raise rates on already existing VIP members in the future.

New User Interface Elements

In addition to the VIP membership, we have also added a couple of beneficial UI elements to ScribbleMaps.com. First you will notice at the bottom of screen there is now a bar for logging in, as pictured below.



Once you login you can now access your maps saved on your account by accessing "Your Maps" under the menu. Keep in mind that if you have already created a pro account, your pro maps will show up here as well and you can also log in using it. A pro account is now just a Scribble Maps account.


Anonymous map saving and sharing which we know a lot of you love still works the exact same but now you also have the option to easily save maps to your account and reload them later.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Updates

Hello all, we have been diligently working on our next version of Scribble Maps and we are very excited. When we first built Scribble Maps we were not really sure how it would even get used and you all really surprised us. On more then one occasion we would have people come to us and ask for certain features and what we have decided that on top of adding them to our own we would develop an API that would allow developers to build different versions of Scribble Maps. We are aiming to have the new tablet ready version of Scribble Maps and the API ready for late july or august of this year, and here is what you can expect.

Scribble Maps Javascript (HTML5) / Tablet Support
Scribble Maps was originally built in flash, and while flash has a lot of advantages it lacks the support on some major devices such as iPad. While widgets can be viewed, our editor could not, this is going to be changing.

Scribble Maps API
This is what we are the most excited about, this would give developers the ability to use our tools and technology to create out of the box drawing applications. This is more then just a wrapper API, we have developed our own cross-browser drawing support. This drawing render works with Google, however it will also work with Bing, Yahoo, Mapquest, and Open Leaf.

It gets better, into the API we are building support to pull in data layers from a variety of sources including geoCommons, Google, WMS, Custom tilesets and Spreadsheets.

Map Data API
Linked with the above API will be our data API, this will be able to be used independently of the SM JSAPI, and will allow you to save and then retrieve maps in a variety of different formats.

Scribble Maps Themes
The new version of Scribble Maps is being built from the ground up with themes in mind. This will not only allow for creating say a dark/grey theme you can switch to, but it has the more practical application of allowing the entire editor to be modified based on what you are using. So when you visit Scribble Maps on iPad you will get larger buttons.

Map Collaboration / Private Maps
While it won't be built into our first release, we will have support for individual item modification. This will allow groups of users to work on a single map. In addition to this we are going to be adding support for truly private maps that can only accessed via password.

Misc Features and Tools
While we haven't been active on our feedback forum because we have been focusing on development, we do read every single one. We will be adding things like the ability to turn off marker clustering, to change map measurement units (ft/metres) and more. In addition the new version of Scribble Maps will have at least one new very cool tool we think you will all enjoy.

New Scribble Products
One of the goals of developing our API is also to allow us to rapidly deploy mapping products. The first will be showcase demo of our API called ScribbleTrails.com which will be a wiki based mapping experience for sharing biking and hiking trails. We will also be developing products for the education space that will make it simple for teachers to have amazing geography classes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Widget Advertisements

Since launching Scribble Maps we have been struggling with a way to keep it completely free and also make money to support future development and on going hosting costs. Today we launched our solution, and that is we have added advertisements to widgets. We understand that this might be frustrating to some, however, we have also added the ability to remove them.

For a one time payment of $5 the ads for a particular widget will be completely removed for you and all other viewers of the widget. The payment is per map ID, so if you only use one widget on your site with constantly changing content, you will only need to pay once. Also if you pay to get ads removed for one map ID you could reuse that same map ID at a later date if the previous map is no longer relevant.

Your $5 contributions will not only remove ads on your publish widgets but will also help us to continue developing Scribble Maps in a meaningful way. Thank you all for your support, and thanks for using Scribble Maps!