Tag Archives: maps

Fun with CSS3 animations

I have been playing around with CSS3 animations for my day job and so I thought I would apply one to PubCrawler. The location marker now pulses:


The CSS for this is incredibly simple:

-webkit-animation: scale_map_marker 2s ease-out;
-webkit-animation-iteration-count: infinite;

@-webkit-keyframes scale_map_marker {
0%{-webkit-transform: scale(0.5);}
50%{-webkit-transform: scale(1);}
100%{-webkit-transform: scale(0.5);}

It basically scales the image down by half, then back to full size and back to half again over a 2 second period. The “ease-out” part smooths out all of the transitions. I originally tried a slightly different method:

-webkit-animation: scale_map_marker 1s ease-out -1s alternate forwards;
-webkit-animation-iteration-count: infinite;

@-webkit-keyframes scale_map_marker {
from{-webkit-transform: scale(0.5);}
to{-webkit-transform: scale(1);}

Unfortunately, Android does not seem to like the use of the “from” and “to” clauses. Other Webkit browsers such as iOS and Chrome are fine with it. This is just one example of several inconsistencies in CSS3 compatibility between Webkit implementations.

PubCrawler updated to Google Maps API V3

Good old PubCrawler. I have somewhat neglected my duties in maintaining this web app. However, I recently completed the migration to Google Maps API V3 for it. Advantages of this include:

  • Automatic display of controls based on device. For example zoom buttons are displayed on Android devices but not on the iPhone (because it has multitouch built in). This means that I have done away with the buttons below the map.
  • Built in map type buttons (Map, Hybrid, Satellite, Terrain) so I got rid of the button to do this at the top
  • Speed: it uses less data and therefore loads maps faster. They built it with mobile devices in mind.

There’s more but Google themselves can explain it better than I can. PubCrawler running on Maps API V2 (or PubCrawler Classic as it might become known) is still available here. I actually started this process of migration to V3 not long after it was announced. However, at first the full feature set wasn’t there so I parked it for a while. I’m not sure when the API became complete enough for PubCrawler’s needs but everything is there now.

Revisiting PubCrawler after such a long break means that the iPhone-esque look and feel is starting to look a little dated to me. At some point its going to need revising to something more unique and suited to the application’s purpose.

Touch screen implementations and browser size

I have noticed something not mentioned much elsewhere when testing the PubCrawler on various devices. It is how much screen space is devoted to a web page. This is not a simply dependent on screen size as these screenshots show:

iPod Touch/iPhone 3.0 HTC Dream/T-mobile G1 Android 1.5 HTC Hero
iPhone Dream Hero

All the devices have the same resolution at 320×480 but the iPhone has the larger screen at 3.5 inches. The other two have 3.2 inch screens. It is obvious that the iPhone is showing less of the page, chopping off the bottom of the map. This is an important thing to remember for a single page web app like PubCrawler. The map should resize dynamically for each device which is something I might look into. Luckily the iPhone does not need the controls at the bottom thanks to multitouch pinch and zoom. The reason for the lack of browser room is the absence of physical buttons on the iPhone. This means it has to show more buttons on the screen which take up valuable space. Some people have wandered why there are so many physical buttons on Android devices but they are there for a reason: freeing up screen space and providing more options.
As mentioned before the Hero turns the entire screen over to the browser window forsaking even the notification bar. This leaves a big gap between the map and the controls at the bottom. Space for an ad perhaps? Maybe but you wouldn’t see that ad on the other devices!

PubCrawler HTML5 geolocation

I’ve been neglecting the PubCrawler a bit recently because of my current widget fetish. I made one quick change to it last night though. It now has HTML5 geolocation for browsers that support it. I tested it in Firefox 3.5 beta 4 which is a bit flakey when it comes to the geolocation stuff even on other peoples’ sites. Ideally I need someone to test it with a new Palm Pre which it should work for. Please contact me on webmaster at ubikapps.net if you do. Either that or I will have to wait until iPhone OS 3.0 comes out and try it on my iPod Touch.

I have lots of changes I want to make to PubCrawler. One thing that is high on my list is updating it for Google Maps API V3 which has a much improved mobile experience. I may have to create a separate version though because V3 is not fully featured yet.

Update: just installed OS 3.0 on my iPod touch and it works.