Posted by: seasideviews | 22/04/2010

Cartographical Site Maps and the death of the User Manual

Using Google Maps

I think “cartographical” is probably a bit of an exaggeration if you compare Google Maps to the Ordnance Survey’s range.  But I thought needed a site map, and as most of the pages are panoramas and views, a site map in the literal sense was just what was needed.  The drawing tools are a little primitive as well – they remind me of Harvard Graphics (remember that?) but I got everything done in the end.

Creating an embedded map is reasonably simple but not as easy as it should be: embedding photos in the descriptions seems to require uploading an image to Picasa (watch the spelling!) as storing the image on my own web site was too tricky for me.  Then once you have uploaded the images they sometimes don’t display properly.  The “folks” at Google will no doubt point out I’m not using it properly … but the point is that it could be easier: why can’t I upload a photo direct to the map and it then posts the picture into Picasa.  Madness, and in the age when RTFM* is long gone.

What I really want

If anyone reading this knows when the Ordnance Survey will catch up, I’d be delighted because the Google Map design just doesn’t tell you as much, for all its other virtues.  What I really want is 1:2500 Explorer range with a licence to use it on my web site and it doesn’t seem to be available as part of OS OpenData … one day perhaps, meanwhile the US takes the initiative where the UK used to lead.

OS Landranger v Google

* for those who wonder what this means send me an email and I’ll reply privately.


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