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Time to update Maps features

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#1 Guntis

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:51 AM

When I open maps and just zoom in, I end up in Arabian desert, in nowhere. I always have to pan around to get somewhere. Could you please center map so that by default I'd end up somewhere between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee? ;)

Secondly, I think it's time to update 3D functionality. Why do I need separate controls to move 3D map? I could do the same with mouse, and even more with the touchpad. Currently touchpad has very limited support in maps. No rotation by moving two fingers around, no zoom in/out by pinching gesture, etc. That all cries to be implemented. Plus one button to return back to the vertical down-to-earth ("flat") view mode, all in the same map window/pane.

Regarding 3D rotation: I think you should start with the 3D map view directly from the top (90°), and I can rotate it in any angle in the same window pane, without any additional window for that. Pins for important places is good idea… Can you borrow some ideas from Waze software how places and their names are shown, and how horizon is put in “atmosphere” haze. You could even calculate position of the sun at any given hour and show it accordingly, with all shadows and highlights according to the sun position. (Daylight time slider — sunrise to sunset, plus month of the year slider). Or I could “freeze” sun position and rotate land in 3D, thus I could see 3D shapes better when light source angle changes. And perhaps option to magnify surface elevation to see relief better.

Please move major biblical site names to another flat surface, current overlay feature looks horrible when I rotate map, sometimes I can't even read anymore because 3D surface obscures parts of the text. Perhaps look at Waze (iOS app) or some other map software to see how they've implemented this. Pins with names also would be welcome.

Here’s one example, from Zondervan Atlas (OLive Tree). It’s just 2D image, but it shows depth, especially to the left from the Jordan river:

Attached File  Zondervan.png   1.23MB   76 downloads


Here’s approximately the same area in Accodance map. It looks too “flat”, rotating map doesn’t change light source angle, so flat shadows remain flat at any angle. Text is hard to read, because it is laid on the 3D surface.

Attached File  Accordance.png   834.6KB   75 downloads
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#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:37 AM

I am sure these are excellent ideas, but we have so many already on the list. We don't lack for suggestions, and we have hired more programmers. Should this take precedence over Retina display, Windows native, voiceover for the visually impaired...? I think you will need to be patient for a while.
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#3 WillT

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:50 AM

I agree it would be great to see the Atlas updated. I think where it excels is in its ability to layer various map features on top of one another. Where I feel it is weaker is in a lack of topographical and historical/geographical detail in close up views, at which point I feel the need to turn to a print atlas like the ESV Bible Atlas. It would be great not to have to pull an atlas off the shelf when looking for close up detail. Am happy to be patient :)

#4 Alistair

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

Should this take precedence over Retina display, Windows native, voiceover for the visually impaired...?


Seeing as you asked the question, I would answer yes on all three counts, IMHO.

Did you consider putting questions on prioritising features onto the forum?
It may give you a better idea of your existing customer's wants and needs.

#5 Guntis

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:00 PM

Should this take precedence over Retina display, Windows native, voiceover for the visually impaired...?

No, Retina should come first, by any means! :) Windows native? Hm, I'm not very enthusiastic about that, I escaped that "camp" some 7-8 years ago, and have no fond memories. But I can understand it from the business point of view. Voiceover — OK, I deny myself, as Jesus taught, let them have it first! :D Thank you, Helen! I'll be patient, but I hope that it won't take more than a year or so? ;)
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“Teach the way of God in Accordance” (Matt 12:14, NIV-Accordance edition)
“Those who live in Accordance (with the Spirit) have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Rom 8:5, NIV-Accordance edition)





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