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This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies. Posted in: Widget Design

Steal this Atlas

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spauldingg



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 45

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

http://www.designasaur.com/gadgets/atlas/atlas1.html and help me make it happen.

Possiblly fed from the public domain maps at:
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/
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Chris



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 344
Location: Durham, UK

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Um. Clicking on 'Edit' next to 'Quote' doesn't work?
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A_Bloke



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 11

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

If only I could edit that spelling mistake, and stop myself looking dumb. Confused

/s/"their"/g/
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A_Bloke



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 11

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Well, it'd need to communicate with a web service, as the global database of place names is 5Gb in size. It isn't very useful for much too. So, it'd have to be a web service. The question is, is their a web service that can generate maps for a particular area? I've written on in php on a hotel site I did, but it only used a vector based mapping system which created each image on the fly. (GMT mapping tools).

So, the problem is, the service needs to be much more comprehensive. My service drew a map...that's it. No names. No roads. No buildings etc.

Anyone know of one?
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spauldingg



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 45

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Yeah, madmandan! You da man.

Do ya know how to code? Wink
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Madmandan



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 26

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

I, for one, would be happy to see an atlas gadget that you can search for a location, and zoom in and out of the map. Cool idea
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pyrotoaster



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 9

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Actually, Seachmo' supports both Dictionary and Theasaurus searches.
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spauldingg



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 45

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Despite all the discussions only one dictionary gadget is here on the dashboarder archive, and I can't test it as it has no effect in safari. So feel free to steal this dictionary...

http://www.designasaur.com/gadgets/dictionarysite/dictionaryfront.html
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Chris



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 344
Location: Durham, UK

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Hehe, that's rather flattering. Thanks

OK. If this gadget is just for typing in a place name and seeing it come up, I think that would be pretty cool. In fact - yeah. I could see that being rather useful. If it was just as simple as type in, see where it s on a globe (or flat map) and allow you to zoom to see more detail (just one zoom, rather than a smooth zoom into to any detail...). Hmmm. I could see that working.

<edit>
Although, it still has very limited functionailty, so for it to be useful (for more than just a casual glance out of passing interest), but still stay within the scope of a good gadget (only by my definition, thats is), it would need links to sites with greater details etc, I would imagine.
</edit>

I didn't realise the dictionary gadgets just took you to the page etc - I haven't used them yet. The one I started writing a while ago (the first gadget I wrote, in fact) displayed the results in the gadget itself. I gave up on it because of the other ones that were released. I'll have another look at it and e-mail it to you, to see what you think. If you want, of course.
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spauldingg



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 45

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Yeah, the atlas is a little elaborate, but I've always been one to push the envelope. Still, if I'm listening to an online radio news show and they mention Malinville in Benin it would be nice to just f12 to the gadget, type in Benin, and see where it is. It's not much different than a dictionary or thesaurus as far as a quick reference. And if I understand the Bash gadget correctly it is not something for a quick glance either. Come to think about it, considering Atlas is a quick reference gadget, a better idea might be a globe...hmm.

Maybe I'm just being greedy, but I would really like this gadget for myself, for you see, I am a map whore.

As far as functionality goes, I have tried to cram tons of things into a tiny space, but like I said up there in the other post, better to plan for it now than to try to squeeze it in later. And I'm kinda perplexed by the Google and Yahoo search gadgets, considering they launch the browser and take you to a page, why not just do that in a browser to begin with? This refers back to my dictionary design (which might be a better one to start with anyway) which loads the definition right in the gadget without having to drag the the browser into it at all. I was always under the impression that Apple meant for this to be the way it was supposed to work, kind of a Sherlock/Safari avoidance device. Otherwise, why would they have built in so many possibilities? So Users could have a choice of twenty clocks, thirty google searches a few games and nothing else?

In fact, your games are amazingly elaborate, despite their visual and interface simplicity. (applause applause) In fact I'm so addicted to dropper I think I'll shut up and play it right now.
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Chris



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 344
Location: Durham, UK

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Hrmm...

This does not seem to be what the dashboard is actually for. Stay with me on this whilst I try to explain. You have quick access to gadgets because it's something you want to glimpse at quickly - e.g. a clock, a calendar, a stock ticker, a web cam viewer etc. I question the role of games in the dashboard too, but they are things you'd likely do often, and I've been keeping them simple to try and fit in with the metaphor apple impies with the gadgets they have released. That's not to say I've completely managed that - but as far as I can see, the games are something you'd want quick access to to just muck around for a few minutes whilst you're bored or waiting for something. And that's how I see them fitting in well with the dashboard.

Where am I going with this? Well - the atlas idea you've proposed doesn't seem to fit within this scope. Obviously, feel free to disagree with me on this point - it is just how I perceive the dashboard. It's also just how I see you're gadget working too. For all I know, there are many people who would like to take a quick glance at a map very frequently. However, I feel that the sort of functionality needed by people who would be using a map would better merit a full-scale application than just a gadget. you would need to see distances etc I would imagine for this to be useful - and also be able to plot points to see the distances between. Or can it be much simpler and still be useful? Maybe a better explanation of it's over-all functionality/usefulness would prove me wrong Wink

I'm sorry this post seems negative - I actually like the design of the gadget (reminds me of an old maritime atlas).

Also - it'd be pretty hard to use the spinning downloading thing, as you'd have to roll your own. Although, I suppose it could be an animated gif wihch is visible until the readyState changes in the XMLHttpRequest.... hmm...

Anyway - prove me wrong abouts it's viability as a gadget. I may be inclined to help you if you can
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Rick T



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 11
Location: Australia

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Aww, and I thought there was a real atlas in here waiting to be stolen.

Wink
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spauldingg



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 45

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Thank you for the nice compliments and thoughts.

I really like to try to think beyond the box, even though most of my designs are square.Wink What I've seen of konfab widgets and some of our early gadgets here is that they are mostly single purpose, one button things and that's great. but most of them, besides games, could be a dockling/menuling/little utility app, or just a bookmark on a browser bookmark bar. My goal with these designs is to try to design a compact UI for a full fledged but small app.

This entails trying to create interface elements that are logical, visible, and as unobtrusive to the task as possible. Especially hard considering Gadgets, as far as I know, do not use the menu bar, so most options will have to be built in to the tiny interface. Unfortunately like Windows' windows.

My designs are seeking the Ideal. I would not like to have lots of people download Atlas and look for a tiny map of Australia and then go, "now what?" Or have people write and say that Atlas needs this, that and the other thing, which I would have to squeeze onto a tiny gadget that was not designed for these extras. And oddly enough, it seems words instead of icons/buttons work better in this format. I don't really know why yet.

As far as your thoughts on Atlas, part of it might be viewing all the panels at once, so you are seeing the 8 continet choices, the map manipulation widgets, and the options choices all at once. It might look a little overwhelming at first. Also, I'm showing all widgets at once for illustration purposes. The spinning download thingy will vanish once the map is loaded, the question mark is supposed to be an "i" for info, (shows population, import, exports, etc. maybe in a browser, or on another panel.) but thats the widget I grabbed from interface builder. the grab and pan hand might not survive the programming, as I don't know what can be done, and the resize slider could be shrunk or changed to little plus/minus symbols. After reading your thoughts the only function I might remove entirely is the save as button, and leave that up to the user when the open it in their default app.

Thanks again for the kind words, and keep on letting me know what you think.
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The Inn Keeper



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 29
Location: Hawaii

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Nice work spauldingg I like the attention to detail on your graphics, I hope someone can bring it to life around here.

Suggestion: I'm not sure quite how, I haven't looked enough, but perhaps minimize the number of options and buttons on it, to keep things as clean and simple as possible.

It really depends though on what you think the primary task for this gadget is? To casually look at maps of the world? Or to go in really close? Searching for a place, or browsing out of interest?

I think answering these questions would really help to make the gadget as easy to use as possible. Overall though, very nice graphics!
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A_Bloke



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 11

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 - 6:22 am    Post subject: Imported from The Dashboader Reply with quote

Nope, Access Denied.
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