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#1
Kevin McManigal

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Happy New Year all!

A while back I asked for some map specific tutorials for Flash. I didn't find what I needed for the class I was TA'ing, so I wrote my own. The university has had exclusive rights for a while, but now its time to share them with the world. (Or at least our small world ;) ). I recomend reading them through once before you start. If there are questions, feel free to ask. Enjoy!

Attached Files


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Orange Peel Cartographic
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#2
A. Fenix

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Thank you for posting these Kevin. :lol:

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#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Thanks Kevin!

[bumps up 'Flash' on 'list of things to check out']
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#4
Casey Greene

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Very Nice. Ive also been lookin' around for something tuts like these. Thanks for posting!

-Casey Greene
(cbgreene17@yahoo.com)
Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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#5
Nick Springer

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I think this site was mentioned here recently, but it bears mentioning again in this topic: http://www.flashmapping.org/

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#6
yuletide

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I think this site was mentioned here recently, but it bears mentioning again in this topic: http://www.flashmapping.org/


Hrm... "under construction"... (p.s. nice website, Nick!)

#7
Greg

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Flash is so 2001! Get with the times folks.
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#8
James Hines

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Flash is so 2001! Get with the times folks.

Tell that to the clients, for every map project to bid on there are 10 times as much as Google Maps, & 4 times as much as Flash.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#9
JimBlakeslee

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Flash remains the premier vector illustration web plugin. As maps are typically vector oriented, I'd argue Flash is still a darn good way to publish them.

My problem with Google Maps is that, in return for quick and easy maps, you totally forfeit cartography. As this is Cartotalk and not Maptalk, 'nuff said.

quoting Paul Smith on a List Apart "Ask yourself this question: why would you, as a website developer who controls all aspects of your site, from typography to layout, to color palette to photography, to UI functionality, allow a big, alien blob to be plopped down in the middle of your otherwise meticulously designed application?"

#10
ProMapper

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Happy New Year all!

A while back I asked for some map specific tutorials for Flash. I didn't find what I needed for the class I was TA'ing, so I wrote my own. The university has had exclusive rights for a while, but now its time to share them with the world. (Or at least our small world ;) ). I recomend reading them through once before you start. If there are questions, feel free to ask. Enjoy!

Wow, why I did not see this thread early. It is just great. Why don't you post all the lessons to have a better hang of Flash, it is real cool. Thanks so much.

Anu
http://www.mapsandlocations.com

#11
peanut

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Flash remains the premier vector illustration web plugin. As maps are typically vector oriented, I'd argue Flash is still a darn good way to publish them.

My problem with Google Maps is that, in return for quick and easy maps, you totally forfeit cartography. As this is Cartotalk and not Maptalk, 'nuff said.

quoting Paul Smith on a List Apart "Ask yourself this question: why would you, as a website developer who controls all aspects of your site, from typography to layout, to color palette to photography, to UI functionality, allow a big, alien blob to be plopped down in the middle of your otherwise meticulously designed application?"


I don't agree that you totally forfeit cartography when you use Google Maps. It just depends on how much work you want to do. You can overlay your own cartography over the top of their cartography or you can completely replace their cartography with yours. I have chosen to use overlays here: http://maps.lcra.org/interactive.aspx. It was quite a bit of work creating the tile layers for overlay on Google Maps but I think the performance and flexibility is far better than what you get with Flash and you don't require your users to download a plugin.

Whether you use the Google Maps API or some other interface the current Web 2.0 environment and the use of DHTML, Javascript and AJAX allows you to do natively in the browser most of the things that used to be only easily done with Flash.

I used flash to make the map on this site: http://cms.lcra.org . In retrospect, I wish I would have used DHTML and javascript (I could have come up with the exact same interface.) If I had done this natively in the browser with DHTML and Javascript all of the textual content you see when you mouseover the map would have been indexed and searchable by the various search engines. The way it is now all of the content is locked in the Flash SWF and not indexed.

Rich

#12
JimBlakeslee

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Yours is certainly one of the nicer Google mashups I've seen. I also like the Google terrain layer.

I would argue your purpose is analytical, data-driven, information graphics-- so you can get away without full blown custom cartography in the sense that I was meaning. For example, if you were a branded resort, trying to show nearby wineries, without giving up on your style guide for fonts and colors, I'm not sure a Google Maps solution would succeed the same way. Yours is an excellent interactive data piece, with good information design,but no heavy branding or visual identity design to worry about.

I do not object to Flash as a "plug-in" any more or less than I object to a mashup solution that "requires" javascript. 99% of web users have flash, 95% have javascript turned on. So flash might even be more "available" than AJAX stuff. I program in both, I like both, but I don't agree when people go hating on flash for being a "plug-in."

Like you, I do object to people stuffing traditionally "indexable content" into the flash. [Even if Google is indexing flash content now, which they are. ] Flash is great for vector art. As such, it is well suited to cartography. Underlying linked data, as you might pull from a database, is better presented outside the Flash where possible. Or with tooltips or bubbles on the map clicking through to HTML/CSS presentation of the full structured content.

The original article I quoted, he is making a case for doing full-blown cartography and exporting tiles to be served in a Javascript/AJAX way. Nothing about flash. The point is just that Google Maps, plopped as it so often is into an otherwise carefully designed page, quite often fails to deliver the carefully crafted cartographic user experience we all care so deeply about.

#13
peanut

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I do not object to Flash as a "plug-in" any more or less than I object to a mashup solution that "requires" javascript. 99% of web users have flash, 95% have javascript turned on. So flash might even be more "available" than AJAX stuff. I program in both, I like both, but I don't agree when people go hating on flash for being a "plug-in."


I have done several fresh operating system installs lately so when I initially go to pages with flash content I am prompted to download the plug in. This is a little annoying but you are right I am probably in the minority here.

Like you, I do object to people stuffing traditionally "indexable content" into the flash. [Even if Google is indexing flash content now, which they are. ] Flash is great for vector art. As such, it is well suited to cartography. Underlying linked data, as you might pull from a database, is better presented outside the Flash where possible. Or with tooltips or bubbles on the map clicking through to HTML/CSS presentation of the full structured content.


I didn't know Google was indexing content within the SWF files now. Just checked that http://cms.lcra.org and in fact Google does have it indexed. Pretty cool.

The original article I quoted, he is making a case for doing full-blown cartography and exporting tiles to be served in a Javascript/AJAX way. Nothing about flash. The point is just that Google Maps, plopped as it so often is into an otherwise carefully designed page, quite often fails to deliver the carefully crafted cartographic user experience we all care so deeply about.


Anything just 'plopped down' in a carefully designed page will look awful. Whether you are using Google Maps, Flash or DHTML/JavaScript it is important to take the time make sure your widget fits with the rest of the overall content.

Good discussion.

Rich

#14
kay

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Thank you so much for the Flash tutorial docs! I was looking for something like that for a long time :)

Cheers,
K

#15
jakel

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The maps Rich posted above are nice. I imagine many of you have seen the great (though not the happiest subject matter) New York Times maps of homicides in NYC.

http://projects.nyti...e/homicides/map

I think this level of graphic quality and interactivity with data is fantastic, and a very powerful way to communicate many types of information. I think most of you will agree :)

I'm wondering if:

1) There is anyway to make this style and quality of web-based map without Flash software. If so, what are the options? What software/APIs are best and easiest?
2) If not, and assuming I could get a hold of Flash for awhile, what are the best options to make a map like this from GIS data?

Finally, what sort of time effort are we looking at if you're starting from scratch with GIS data and a concept?

Thanks in advance.




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