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monkeykat

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Everything posted by monkeykat

  1. Hi all, still lurking around from time to to time, but definitely not as active searching for marks as I used to be. There have been a lot of changes recently with the Google Maps API. I've had to make a Google Cloud account and register for the resources being used on the Scaredycatfilms Benchmark Viewer. My usage is really light, and with a monthly $200 credit it does not seem like I will need to pay for using the API any time soon (current monthly usage averages around $11 a month). That being said, I came across a Google Maps API alternative called OpenLayers, and I took the opportunity of some time off this Thanksgiving holiday weekend to code up a mirror benchmark viewer using the OpenLayers API. It wasn't too hard to do, and fun to learn the ins and outs of a new API. At a minimum, it is kind of fun to search around using a different tile set. So, here is a mirror OpenLayers Benchmark Viewer, that was built using the OpenLayers API. At worst, if Google changes their API usage terms, or the site gets too popular (), there is an alternative site ready to go.
  2. Hi folks, just to follow up on what Art said, I do still maintain the benchmark viewer site. I recently renewed my domain for another 5 years and as part of that renewal I had to migrate my websites to a new server. It was not a simple process, but it should have been. They allowed me to export my old database, but then the new import only took a max file size of 1MB, way too small. It looked like everything imported, but it must have stopped at New York. I think I have everything up and running, except for email, but if anything looks wrong, or missing, don't hesitate to let me know. I do try and pop into the forums once a month, but I usually just lurk these days.
  3. I put a rudimentary "Show My Location" button in the left corner of the web site. I tried it out, and my location was way off. Also, it doesn't take you to your location, but it did put a push pin there. Try it out and tell me if that is what you were looking for. I'm not sure about the "mobile" viewer, does anyone use that? It was supposed to center on your current location, and show the marks for the state you are in. There was supposed to be a button to "reset" the state, so if you scrolled around to another state, you could hit the state button and load marks for the new state you were in. But the buttons don't show up. So maybe it works for the current state you are in? Or does it only show NY. Sometime maybe I can get these upgraded to maps 3.0.
  4. Hey everyone, I check in on this message board less often now. Feels good to know the benchmarking page is still in use. Everything should be squared away now, and in the future. Keeping the site up an running doesn't cost me any more than I already pay for my blog and other sites, plus it is quite easy to maintain, so it should be around for a while. Cache happy folks.
  5. Hey Guys, I've always had a little trouble restricting people's searches to the actual state they are viewing. Any city that has a name found in multiple states can be a problem. An example I use for testing is Rochester. It's a city in NY, Minnesota, and Vermont to name a few states. If you just enter Rochester in the search box, google tries to figure out the "most popular" rochester and take you there. Or else it tries to use context clues or something. it may not be the one in the state you are viewing. Google seems to have an interface for world wide regions, but I can't seem to restrict the state. I think what I am going to try is automatically taking on a ", STATE ABBREV" on the end of each search. So Rochster would become Rochester, MN if you were on the Minnesota page. And if you typed in Rochester, MN it would become "Rochester, MN, MN" which seems to work most the time. Easiest thing is to always put a ", STATE" after your searches, but I am working on a better solution. Hope to get something up since now its winter and I go out less.
  6. When did you last update? Mine is all dates Aug 10th, 2013. Did you update yours in Sept? Looks like my last update was July 26, 2013.
  7. Interesting, so other than stored KML files, does this make the Scaredycat Benchmark viewer the most accurate source of geospatial reference information? I'll have to remember to make a snapshot of the database before the next government shutdown.
  8. Hey folks, sorry about the recent outage on the site, GoDaddy decided to upgrade the server my site is hosted on, and apparently it didn't work out well. It went down Sunday morning, and not back until Tuesday. I think its the first time they really had an issue, so I'll cut them a little slack.
  9. Hi All, the benchmark viewer doesn't use flash, so that shouldn't be affecting the marks not showing up. Be sure you have the box checked to display markers. I put that in just in case users just wanted to see the map, without the pins. Also, be sure you are in the state you have selected from the upper select box. You can navigate all you want, and use the search box all you want, but it will only display marks for the state(s) you have selected. I think I did a database update from NGS a few weeks ago, but that should just have a few updates. Perhaps you could provide some browser information, version etc? Seems up and running now.
  10. OK, so here is why I haven't had multi-state viewing since the start. When I first started this site, I downloaded the benchmarks by state. I was worried if I put all the states into 1 table, it would be just too large to search. There are currently over 778,000 marks in the database. So when I do a search of the database, I end up doing a lat/long search from the top left to the bottom right of the viewable area of the map, over the whole database. Most times people are in 1 state, I think, so it seemed like there would be a lot of rows being queried that were totally nowhere near where the user was searching. I put each state as its own table in the database in the hopes of keeping the searching from getting too slow. Then when I wrote the code for the website, I decided to determine which table to search based off the file name the user was viewing. So RI.html would load from the RI table. This way it was going to be more difficult to add in more states. When I did the redesign of the website, I decided to go with a dropdown box to try and cut down on the number of web pages I maintained. So I made index.html the home page, and let users select a state. Then pass that state ID into the database functions so it knew what table to go to. I realized that I could make it a multi-select, and then just string the table names along with commas. Had a rainy weekend, and it ended up not being too hard to do. Enjoy!
  11. Awe Yeah, here yah go. Bottom line, I just added in multi-state viewing. I changed the dropdown box to a multi-select box. You can select multiple states at a time by holding the control key down while clicking with your mouse. Also, you can select states and bookmark pages by using the "sel_state" url parameter. So if you bookmark benchmarks.scaredycatfilms.com/index.html?sel_state=CT,RI your page will load with Connecticut and Rhode Island benchmarks. The map will center on the first state in the list. Yeah, you can do more states, like add in Massachusetts (index.html?sel_state=CT,RI,MA) but the more states you add, the slower and slower the queries will be as they are searching more states, so just keep that in mind everyone. I tested with CT,RI and DC,VA. As always, if something doesn't seem to quite work, let me know. Maybe at some time I can let users pass in a location too, so they can center around their house or something, we'll see... probably not till after summer, unless I get a really rainy weekend.
  12. Hey folks, if you haven't already noticed, I had to make some changes to the Scaredycat Benchmark Viewer recently. I built the viewer based on Google Maps version 2.0, which has been obsoleted by Google. It sounds like they were going to put some sort of 3.0 wrapper around it, but I took the time given to me to update my software to version 3.0. I also got rid of the individual pages for each state, and shrunk down to a single page. Not to fear, you can still get to the individual state pages by adding a url variable at the end of the benchmarking url. To access NY state benchmarks, you can bookmark: http://benchmarks.scaredycatfilms.com/index.html?sel_state=NY Just put the state you want after "sel_state" (for selected state). I've been testing this for a few months now, but I'm sure nothing is perfect. I just recently found some display issues with Google Chrome I'll try and fix up, maybe this rainy weekend. One user told me he has issues with it loading a state in FireFox, but the direct state link works. If you have any issues with anything, please let me know and I'll try and fix it up as soon as I can. If you have suggestions, likes, dislikes, I'll see what I can do. I have a busy work schedule through June, but If something is really awful, I can find some time. Link is still the same: http://benchmarks.scaredycatfilms.com/index.html
  13. Hey folks, I haven't been on the forums much lately, been lurking every once in a while, started working a lot of overtime in january, which led to much less free time. Being the author of the benchmark viewer, I can comment on the dancing benchmarks. There still exists what I consider a bug in the google maps software. If you try and map two or more locations with the exact same coordinates, at first, you would get a map with none of the "duplicated" marks. I think the latest version gives you at least one of the marks, but no method to know there are more than 1 there. Its actually not that uncommon to have 2 or more marks at the same location. I needed a solution to address the "invisible" marks. What I did was add what I felt was a small fudge factor to each benchmark I chart. I use a random number generator to add what I felt was a small offset to every mark. Since it is random, any two or more marks at the same location will be offset randomly, and the chances of them being in the same location and "disappearing" is minimized. The viewer is meant to get you close, but not exact. I suppose maybe my offset is a little too big. maybe I can shrink it down a bit, keep the marks closer. I have a V2 viewer I have been working on, upgrades to google maps V3, hope to release it soon. Glad to see people are still using the maps app.
  14. Congrats Dave, it's always good to go out on your own terms. Hope you can find some time to stay active on these forums. Your thoughts and opinions were, and are, always valued.
  15. Thought this was going to be a picture of AZcachemeisters house, gave me a laugh when I saw the real location. Surprised this mark wasn't recovered monthly.
  16. thank you for sharing such a wonderful story and those beautiful pictures. What a wonderful team member to share your adventures with.
  17. I find importing them into excel (or open office "excel" calculator I believe) works fine for me. I wrote up a perl script that goes to the NGS site, downloads all the state shapefiles I want, unzips them, opens them up and does a little formatting, and then they are all set to upload to my database for the scaredycat benchmark viewer. With this method I am able to update my database monthly, or just view state data in excel spreadhseets.
  18. I like to go right to the ftp source. ftp://ftp.ngs.noaa.gov/pub/DS_ARCHIVE/ShapeFiles/
  19. As an engineer, I DEMAND Order!
  20. I added a refresh button, updated a little bit of the code, and also enabled scroll wheel zoom. I am having a devil of a time trying to increase the size of the zoom buttons, not sure if I will bother to look much more into that, the scroll wheel zoom is so nice. Enjoy.
  21. I'm glad people are enjoying the mobile viewer. I coded it up while trying to work towards an actual app for a phone. At the time, about a year ago, there weren't really any simulators or other ways to test how apps or web sites work on phones. I haven't really gone back to change it in a long time. I'm pretty sure I can't make it automatically know your current location, it has to ask permission. If anyone has any requests, or sees things that don't look quite right, shoot me an email, or post in the forums and I'll see if I have time, or if there is anything I can do.
  22. thanks for the interesting lunchtime read. In one of the photos, the Safford AZ camp, it looks like they are camped out next to a horse racing track. I looked around a little, and did see that Safford AZ does have a quarterhorse track, but didn't find any info on the date it was created. It is located on what is called the Graham County fairgrounds, which seems like a likely place to have a group camp out while they do their survey.
  23. well done with the fill in of new york. I had it in the back of my mind to work on it at some point, just never quite found the motivation. need a new task to dream about now...
  24. I saw one in Florida when I was down there for the shuttle launch a year ago. I am not sure about "acquiring" it. I believe there is another one down there somewhere too. Nearby to AK0783
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