New shortcuts and add layer features in mapwarper.net

Mapwarper.net has been updated with several months of the latest code. Some of these features are directed towards the rectify map interface with the addition of keyboard shortcuts and the new search and add custom layer tool. If you want to support mapwarper.net donate to paypal.me/timdevelops!

Search for existing map and mosaics and add to the map

Search for warped maps and mosaics (previously called layers) to add to the reference map.

Add Z/X/Y tiles to reference layer

Instead of searching for maps, paste in a map template string into the box. In the animation below, we get a template from another warper and add that in. You can use any tiles so long as they are in the ZXY ordered scheme e.g. https://example.com/osm/{z}/{x}/{y}.png

Keyboard shorcuts: Change Mode  & Place Point

Use 1, 2 and 3 on your keyboard to change mode from place point, add point and move map modes.

Press “q” to place a point at the mouse cursor – regardless of the map mode. This enables you to quickly move around and add points

Quick Place and Quick Save

In this animation, the user has the move map control mode activated, and they move the mouse of the maps, and click “q” to quickly place point at mouse location. They then hit “e” or “return” to save that point – that saves you clicking the  “add control point” button!

Auto Place Point – MAGIC!

Here the “a” key is pressed to (similar to the q key) drop a point where the mouse is, but crucially, another point on the other map is added. This works if the point you add is on either map. The other map is zoomed to that new point. You’d need at least 2 points to give this a go.

(It uses a helmert transform to work out, based on the existing points, where to add the other point – so it’s a simple 2D transform and won’t be accurate for very warped maps)

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Tubesign: goes viral (again), memes and fake news

Tubesign – was a fun service information sign maker that that I made in 2013 and in 2015 TfL demanded me delete it. It has reappeared in the news, with a sign created by a Windsor doctor (around my age) being read out on the news, a few TV programmes and in parliament, and lots of media discussion about it – with the bias towards the popular “fake news” narrative.

CC-BY-SA Tubesign.uk @tube_sign and John Moore

The code was open source and on github and some others (@tube_sign on twitter) picked up a copy and hosted their own at tubesign.uk. The main difference with my original site is that tubesign.uk do not host any images and the image does not contain the London Underground roundel.  Needless to say, tubesign.uk, their twitter @tube_sign and the image that was shared has nothing to do with me, but as Geppetto is rewarded by seeing his wooden creation become an entity on its own right so am I happy to see it’s new independent life.

Here’s a few links and copies of the main stories below. I found it amusing to note that there were about half a dozen genuine London underground signs made by employees but this one was the one that really went viral. I think that says much about working in the tube than anything.   There was discussion about whether it mattered it was “fake” if the message was agreeable. Part of the reason why it went viral is that it was slightly edgy – one is impressed that a lowly employee got around their manager to write such a thing – the actual signs are more dry and less edgy. Many responses to the initial sharing quickly said it was “fake” and that it was made by an online sign maker, but it didn’t stop it going viral. Or at least the story about it was the thing that went viral. The whole thing gave me a much needed chuckle a few days after watching such a horrific event hit London. I fully expect that people will forget about it for a year and it will go viral again.

Read the articles for yourself. The doctor thought everyone knew it was not real:

“In fact, he believed the tube sign generator he used was so widely known that no one would believe it was real.

Parliament –

BBC Question Time –

Guardian: Fake Tube Sign Read Out on BBC and in Commons after Westminster Attack
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/23/fake-tube-sign-read-out-bbc-westminster-attack

YouGov poll https://yougov.co.uk/opi/surveys/results#/survey/bf4b06c0-1076-11e7-a8f4-c6af4c483187/question/3ad268b0-1077-11e7-b82a-4e47a0d22bac/toplines

Guardian creator interview “Creator of that viral tube sign: ‘I didn’t think people would think it was real’ https://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2017/mar/28/creator-of-that-viral-tube-sign-i-didnt-think-people-would-think-it-was-real#img-1

New Statesman – The man who created the fake Tube sign explains why he did it http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/media/2017/03/man-who-created-fake-tube-sign-explains-why-he-did-it

The Verge: Is sharing fake news okay if it feels right? http://www.theverge.com/tldr/2017/3/23/15034018/london-terror-attack-tube-sign-fake-news

Nieman Lab: Is it still fake news if it makes you feel good? (Yes, yes it is): Updates from the fake news world http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/03/is-it-still-fake-news-if-it-makes-you-feel-good-yes-yes-it-is-updates-from-the-fake-news-world/

What’s coming to Mapwarper.net – new stuff!

Mapwarper.net is getting an upgrade of code early this first week in April.

New things:

  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • New JSON-API and docs
  • Map caching for faster maps
  • Bigger map windows
  • Upgraded Ruby and Rails versions
  • Changed “my maps” to “favourites”
  • Changed “layers” to “mosaics”
  • Social logins – OpenStreetMap, Github and Facebook
  • Year / date search
  • Translation support
  • Added Mapbox Satellite layer
  • Search for an existing map or mosaic to help rectification
  • Ability to add an “Z/X/Y” Tile layer to help rectification
  • Upload CSV of Control Points for a map
  • Download CSV of control points for any map
  • Many bugs fixed and much other things I forgot to list above!

Screenshot_2017-04-02_19-14-00

You might particularly enjoy the keyboard shortcuts:

Screenshot_2017-04-02_19-11-38

The “a” shortcut does some auto-magic where if you have 3 or more points, it will automatically place the other point at the place where it thinks works best.

GIFrecord_2017-04-02_193003.gif

Quick place “q” and save point “e” then Auto place “a” twice and save point “e”.                      Click the image for bigger

To try out these latest features yourself visit http://mapwarper.net

Let me know what you think!

If you wish to support the hosting and development of this project, you can donate to Tim via PayPal here: paypal.me/timdevelops