Google Map API

I have been working to modify the site to use the new Google Map API. There are a few thing which aren’t quite there yet so I will leave the current site as it is until these are ironed out.

I quickly solved the problem of linking the icons on the panel to the map using arrays to hold the GMarker items and the associated XML block. You can find this here. My posting is under ‘ajr’. I thought my solution was quite good as it used the API elements only.

One of the new neat things I have noticed is that the map now offers detailed satellite images of London. This has made for some amusing moments as I attempt to match up where I placed camera icons with what the roads really look like. I never promised they were totally accurate and I see I am going to have to do a little (lot) of revision.

I have been having problems moving this blog to the new cgi server. If it goes belly up for a while then you know why!

Roadworks

I have added new content to site. The first thing to notice is that I have changed the icons. These have been altered as I plan to let the icons classify the type of event they are attached to. My initial attempts were a bit rubbish so I have left them blank on the traffic and transport pages.

There is a new page which is roadworks info as supplied from the QMISS xml feed here. I had a motorway VMS (Variable Message Sign) feed for the maps but I was looking at it over the weekend and there was some sort of fire on the M25, this caused every sign on the motorway to light up like a Christmas tree. Way way too much data for the browser which choked on it. I have some ideas about summarising the information.

Anyway, as it is the roadworks data is filtered on the following rules

– all severe events are passed
– only moderate events which have started are allowed
– only slight events which start on the current day are allowed.

This was the only way to keep the number of events down to a manageable size.

My isp in their infinite wisdom have decided to shut the current cgi server down and move every customer to a new one. I would like to say there will be no disruption but setting the redirection for the URL is bound to take some time to go through. I will try to do this overnight at some point during the week.

Comments and suggestions welcome.

Cameras

Most of the BBC Jam Cams are back up again.

I am planning to add Roadworks and major road message sign values to the site at which point I will address outstanding issues with the rendering and layout.

The new content requires creation of two large parsers which though not difficult is hard graft especially when the sun is shining outside! I am slowly getting there. It doesn’t help that there is a dearth of free python development environments (I need a debugger to function). I have been using the eclipse plugin by activestate. The debugger is pretty flaky through and I have been falling back on the one bundled with the ERIC editor.

Summer solstice today which explains delays around the A303 which runs past Stonehenge in case anyone is interested.

Additional Content

The site as it stands has a few problems which need addressed.

– Doesn’t fit completely into IE window
– The google map control needs updating to the latest configuration. I have put in a fix for the problems earlier in the week but this is not the correct way to do it.
– As Dom pointed out in an earlier comment it is possible to use the Google panel directly in a manner which will resize to the screen properly. The benifit of this is that it is neater and whatever improvements Google make to this are inherited.

I am busy working on adding content to the page at the moment and will get to these soon.

The feed from the Cams seems to go up and down all the time. For instance, East London is feeding images now but Central London is mostly stuffed!

Check out Paul Wilsons clever mobile app.

Up again

Site up. I have added extra cams as you can see.

I have modifed the mapframe.html to load version 6 map. This seem to have cleared the problem for now.

Site fix

Site down again. Same problem as yesterday except it seems to be here to stay.

I have a fix and will update early this evening.

Since images have started to appear on cameras from the south east and east of London I have managed to update quite a few and add some more which were missing.

Namespace Woes

Site is broken.

I am getting the error message:

Error: _MapsApplication is not defined

Google have modified the map file to use namespaces. I am still investigating how to fix this.

This only applies to sites which reference the map files directly from google. Any others who hold them locally seem to be fine.

That was weird. Site back up again. I made a copy of the broken version 4 map and it had namespace stuff in it. This was different from the previous version. The newest version is different again but the namespace stuff is gone.

London Cams

I have added more London Cams. This is not quite the whole lot. I left out a great deal of the east London ones because I have never seen them feeding an image. The ‘Jamaica Road’ one jumps to East London ‘Rotherhithe Tunnel’ which can’t be right and I couldn’t find anywhere on the A2 called ‘Black Prince’. There is a Black Prince Road but it’s nowhere near the A2.

Some will be incorrectly positioned in terms of where the camera is and some will be completely wrong. What I hope is that anyone using the site will spot any glaring mistakes and email me or leave a comment about it. As a start, any location name with a (*) next to it indicates I was unsure and it needs to be checked. If anyone wants to have a go then this is how to do it:

You can match a road/place name on a London map from streetmap.co.uk. Once you find the place you are looking for examine the image at gtraffic.info or the BBC Jam Cams page. If there is an image does it show any features you can identify on the map? If so then this should give an indication of where the camera is facing and it’s rough position.

Clicking on the streetmap where you think the camera might be will place an arrow pointing at your chosen position. Go to the bottom of the streetmap page and you will see a blue box with the text ‘ Click here to convert/measure coordinates’ in it. This will give you the (WGS84) latitude and longitude of your selection. Easy!

Complete

I have been looking at Dom Ramseys site and in particular his use of IFrames to hold the page components. To that end I have revamped the gtraffic.info to do the same (only not as clever). The item list on the right hand side is no longer the Google standard panel but an IFrame into which an xml file is passed. The file has an associated XSL stylesheet which is used to transform it into html. Trying to get this list to look the same on Firefox and IE was a nightmare. I plan to post a more technical discussion on this soon.

The gtraffic site is best viewed on Firefox/Mozilla browsers. Under IE it seems to render larger than the browser window size. This is probably something stupid on my part.

I have added a few new webcams for BBC Bush House, Television Centre and Abbey Road. These are not strictly traffic-orientated so I might pull them. For now enjoy the view.

Processing…

Well done to Dom Ramsey on his site. Nice icons!

I have been examining his use of IFrames and have a half finished rejig of the gtraffic.info site which should address some of the problems with the layout of the page.

In the process of redoing the layout I have solved the problem of triggering the infopanel from within the list IFrame and will include this and a better explanation of the code hopefully on Friday. Tonight is out because Scotland are playing Belarus and I am off to pub to watch them.

Thanks to everyone for the compliments on the backstage site. I have taken what you said on board and hopefully the redone site will be better.

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