MyMap Explorer 1.2

Last night I updated MyMap Explorer for Google Maps to make it more future-proof and improve KML support. The most recent version is available on the project website.

The most important changes that were made are:

  • MyMap Explorer is now locked to Google Maps API version 2.150, so version 1.2 will not break on July 1 when API versions prior to 2.140 are depreciated
  • MyMap Explorer now supports area overlays on the maps, not simply points as before
  • There is some improved error-checking

This update was initiated by a fellow named Joel asking questions and reporting bugs. Thanks Joel!

Announcing MyMap Explorer for Google Maps

Today I am announcing the release of MyMap Explorer for Google Maps. This small javascript allows you to embed a map created using Gooogle Maps’ My Maps feature into any web page with more information and flexibility than Google’s iFrame embed code.

Back in November, Heri asked for a relatively simple way to integrate his Technology Map of Montreal into MontrĂ©al Tech Watch, and MyMap Explorer is the result, (see it live on the Technology Map of MontrĂ©al), It takes the KML description of a map from Google Maps and adds it to a map created using the Google Maps API. It also provides an alphabetized, clickable list of the points on the map so that your users don’t have to click on each marker to find the location that they are looking for.

The KML is loaded live from Google Maps so if you make a change to your map on Google Maps it will be shown in all embedded versions of your map as well. This script has no dependencies, other than Javascript and a Google Maps API key. Just insert it into a web page where you want to see your map and it appears!

I have some features that I still plan on adding, but want to get the basic script out there and into use. I’ve released the code on Google Code under an MIT license so you are all free to use MyMap Explorer, and contribute if you feel up to it.

The demo is here.

If you thought opening a link in a new window was bad…

We hear it all of the time, “Don’t open links in a new window.” However, sometimes it makes sense, whether it’s because a client insists on it, or because way the site is meant to be used, (and is used by its users), works better if some, links are opened in new windows. The fact of the matter is that sometimes you’ve just got to open a new window.

But, what happens when someone else decides to close that window? Confused users, that’s what.

I recently came across a site that does just that. It checks to see if there’s an opener object, (we’re talking javascript now), and if there is one, it redirects the opener to its address and closes itself.

Here’s the code:

function checkForPopup()
                {
                    if (typeof(window.opener) != 'undefined')
                    {
                        var queryString = window.location.search.substring(1);
	                    if (queryString.indexOf('cliententry=true') == -1)
	                    {
		                    try
	                        {
		                        if(!window.opener.closed)
		                        {
			                        window.opener.top.location = window.location;
			                        window.close();
		                        }
		                     }
		                     catch(e)
		                     {
		                        //We Ignore this error becuase the user
		                        //may have closed the opener
		                     }
	                    }
                    }
                }

Seriously! I was disgusted. There is no better way to mess with a user than that!