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New Map (is back)

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Well, it seems the new search map is back and I am still having problems with it.

 

Yes, I love the new size and features such as the option to hide my finds or caches placed. However, overall I still have a lot of problems when I try to use it...

 

1) "Show Cache listing" Once I click on it and the listing is displayed, the map will no longer do anything. I can't view the details on the caches, scroll, zoom, etc... I have to go to another page and then come back (which means I have to start all over again..).

2) If I have the Hide My Finds and Caches checked then scroll or zoom, it forgets that they are checked and they show up again (even though they are both still checked).

3) The Cache Type Legend doesn't seem to do anything when I check/uncheck a box.

4) I am sad to see the ability to quickly add a cache to an existing bookmark is no longer available on the map page.

5) I am also sad to see that the listing of caches is no longer available directly on the screen (unless you click on the "Show Cache Listing" link. What really would have been a nice idea would have been to just list all the caches shown on the map BELOW the map... I sure hope that if this map stays, that feature would be added and replace the popup (which is causing me problems anyway). The listing would be very nice because you could provide, the cache code, name, type, size and maybe even a couple other things...

6) I still like the concept of showing Waymarks but, as it was last time, Once I click on the link to show them the map freezes and I have to start my search all over again...

 

I am glad to see that the "area" limit has been removed in this version.

 

Related, but not on the same page... I really wish we could still have the feature to view a Pocket Query's results on the map. That option seems to have been removed again as well. :)

 

System Info:

Windows XP Professional SP2

IE 6.0.2900.2180 SP2

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2) If I have the Hide My Finds and Caches checked then scroll or zoom, it forgets that they are checked and they show up again (even though they are both still checked).

 

I do not understand how this could be reported the last time and this error still appears this time. :)

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Related, but not on the same page... I really wish we could still have the feature to view a Pocket Query's results on the map. That option seems to have been removed again as well. :)

 

Agreed! That feature needs to be put back in place. Like I said in another thread, the lack of this feature would likely cause me to cancel my membership.

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Hmm... I guess I spoke to soon... There is still a limit on how far out you can zoom. So again, if you are looking for caches in rural areas, you will have to do A LOT of scrolling around... Sure wish you could remove the 15 mile max zoom!

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"Hide my finds" feature doesn't work eg. for webcam or event caches - It looks like unfounded also according to the cache icon on the map.

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5) I am also sad to see that the listing of caches is no longer available directly on the screen (unless you click on the "Show Cache Listing" link. What really would have been a nice idea would have been to just list all the caches shown on the map BELOW the map... I sure hope that if this map stays, that feature would be added and replace the popup (which is causing me problems anyway). The listing would be very nice because you could provide, the cache code, name, type, size and maybe even a couple other things...

It is a little different to not have them automatically display, but I like this new feature. Once displayed, you can move it to any location on your screen (like below the map). What I miss is the short description that I used to get at the top of the scree when I select one.

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Hmm... I guess I spoke to soon... There is still a limit on how far out you can zoom. So again, if you are looking for caches in rural areas, you will have to do A LOT of scrolling around... Sure wish you could remove the 15 mile max zoom!

Concur. The 15mi seems a bit too restrictive. Even a little farther out would be reasonable.

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Its interesting to try and find a balance between someone viewing Caches in the Seattle area to someone out in the soybean fields of Ohio. (no offense to Slagle)

 

In Seattle something large than 15 miles would return 2,000+ caches.. way to many to display on the Google map (Browser slow downs, etc) and to much to subject a drag and move map where someone will just click and drag click and drag with out much thought that each drag is querying the DB.

 

I could, like I've done in the past, do one query to determine the # of caches in the area then either return a random selection if the amount is larger than 250 cache. This is what I did on the older map. This caused to many DB calls for a query that was called so often which in turn was a performance hit.

 

So, how "little" is "a little farther out"? I've seen people wanting 100 miles which to me just doesn't make sense.

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Yeah, that 15 mile limit has gotta be increased! Otherwise, I like it.

 

If you're going to respond, can you maybe give feed back instead of just saying its gotta be done?

 

Thanks

 

-Raine

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So, how "little" is "a little farther out"? I've seen people wanting 100 miles which to me just doesn't make sense.

 

I agree. For CT, the 15 mile limit is fine. Going any further would "flood the screen" with icons. I guess it matters where you live. Wonder if there'd be a way to limit it on number of caches like the old way, say 100 max or something like that. That way, it wouldn't matter how far out you zoom.

 

As far as the workings of the map, I love it, but it does lock up the map when I click the "Show Cache Listing." I'm using Vista Home Premium and IE7 with all the latest patches. I can still see the cache names when hovering over them and turn off/on displaying my caches and ones I've found, but I can't scroll or get any other cache info to come up.

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Raine, how about doing the DB query for the nearest 250 or whatever is a reasonable # on the available screen space rather than limiting to 15 miles? Suppose you get 250 at 5 miles? Maybe showing those 250 even if it is zoomed out to 100 miles isn't so tough.. You already pulled the query results :)

 

However, in very sparse areas, going out 100 miles and only pulling say 30 caches should not really be a big hit performance wise.

 

Maybe a new table or regional density could be created and periodically updated that is used to determine what type of query is called rather than always calling the same query and getting everything possible, within that 15 mile window.

 

In major metro areas, perhaps a single large cache icon could relate "lots of caches" rather than pulling them all. I know that isn't readily available (yet), but is a way to reduce both screen clutter and increase performance when zooming out over 15 miles. Just some idle thoughts.

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Related, but not on the same page... I really wish we could still have the feature to view a Pocket Query's results on the map. That option seems to have been removed again as well. :)

 

Agreed! That feature needs to be put back in place. Like I said in another thread, the lack of this feature would likely cause me to cancel my membership.

Will the preview in maps option be coming back? I have found it very useful, especially whan setting up pqs for a trip to see exactly what I'll be getting (and where).

 

I won't cancel my membership, but I'm really sad to see the feature go.

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Oh, one other thing I'm not sure is working is the "check boxes." I checked the Mystery box thinking it would show only mysteries, but nothing changed.

 

Like others, I used the preview PQ feature a lot. It's very handy for checking PQs before running them to make sure it's setup correctly.

Edited by Skippermark

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I like the new maps. Much easier to view in my opinion, as you don't have a huge balloon box pointing to the cache and covering up half the roads in the area.

 

My only suggestion would be to have a checkbox option to remove the temporarily unavailable caches from the map. Unless you click on them it's impossible to tell if they are active or not.

 

Oh yeah, did I mention I liked the new maps? :)

 

(Now if only the 'caches along a route' delete bug could be fixed I would be pretty dang happy.)

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I could, like I've done in the past, do one query to determine the # of caches in the area then either return a random selection if the amount is larger than 250 cache. This is what I did on the older map. This caused to many DB calls for a query that was called so often which in turn was a performance hit.

 

Can't you just do one query? (using LIMIT or TOP)

 

(MySQL)

SELECT * from cachedb LIMIT 250

 

(MS SQL)

SELECT TOP 250 * FROM cachedb

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Another idea. You don't really need to count the number of caches in an area every time a request is made. You could do it nightly (or even less often, since only a few caches get added every day, within each area)

 

(When the server is at min load) calculate the number of caches in each 'quad' of the globe. (say, a 7x7 mile square) and save this in a table. You could even do this recursively, and use different sized quads - in dense areas, automatically decrease the area of each quad, so that each quad has exactly the same number of caches in it.

 

You could use this as a lookup table to 'know' how many caches the map is going to need to render, based on where the map is looking, without actually having to query the large cache table.

 

Allowed view distance is based on the sum number of caches in the quads you have requested to view (via the google map). Count up in a spiral from the center of the map. Once the limit is hit, stop displaying caches.

 

Would be fun to play with your db to see if this actually decreased load.

Edited by benh57

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:)

 

Like the visual aspect of the new map. Really needs functionality work though.

Edited by Nakedbamboo

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Its interesting to try and find a balance between someone viewing Caches in the Seattle area to someone out in the soybean fields of Ohio. (no offense to Slagle)

 

So, how "little" is "a little farther out"? I've seen people wanting 100 miles which to me just doesn't make sense.

 

Agreed. I live in Atlanta where seeing 15 miles worth of caches would be useless, however, if you go out about 40 mile you might not even find a cache in a 15 mile search. Makes things difficult.

 

Based on my previous experience with database searches and returning results, it is usually pretty safe to say that if someone is searching and gets over 100 records returned it really isn't productive for them to spend the time looking at details for that many records. I definitely can't speak for everyone but limiting the returned records (as suggested by benh57) seems like a reasonable thing. The question then would be, do you know the centerpoint of the displayed map so that you could show X number of caches that are radiating out from that centerpoint... that way it would show as much as it could close to the center and leave the outer areas blank until the user scrolls the map (maybe displaying a message saying that the max of X caches is being displayed and to zoom in to refine the search).

 

For example, say I was zoomed out to see 40 miles with downtown Atlanta, GA centered on the map, I would see just X number of caches radiating around the centerpoint. Then if I scrolled and my centerpoint was over south Georgia, the query's X limit more than likely won't even be reached since there are not X caches within the 40 miles...

 

Just my 2 cents... And don't get me wrong... I love the new maps and where you are going with it and appreciate the difficulty you have trying to make everyone happy... But right now there are just certain parts that are not working for me (and hopefully, I am not the only one :) )

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Likes and Dislikes of Geocaching.com Google Maps

 

Likes

- Being able to turn off finds

- Seems crisper

 

DisLikes

- I don't understand the legend. I click the boxes and nothing happens.

- The popup list of caches seems to be in the way. I preferred the caches already listed, where you could roll the cursor over them and it would highlight on the map (numbered was nice as well)

- 15 mile zoom limit (I use it for route plotting in the country)

- Can't seem to highlight all caches in a personal bookmark as before.

- If I click on "Show Cache Listing" then X off the popup, then click on a cache symbol on the map, I do not get an individual cache balloon

- I can't seem to find a quick button to add a cache to a bookmark

 

I have a question.

Why was this changed in the first place? Where there requests or did Google force the change?

 

Thank you

 

Windows XP SP2

IE 7.0

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I like the new maps. Much easier to view in my opinion, as you don't have a huge balloon box pointing to the cache and covering up half the roads in the area.

 

My only suggestion would be to have a checkbox option to remove the temporarily unavailable caches from the map. Unless you click on them it's impossible to tell if they are active or not.

 

Oh yeah, did I mention I liked the new maps? :)

 

(Now if only the 'caches along a route' delete bug could be fixed I would be pretty dang happy.)

I like the new map. One minor thing I noticed is that the map link says Yahoo and the new map is Google....

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Yeah, that 15 mile limit has gotta be increased! Otherwise, I like it.

 

If you're going to respond, can you maybe give feed back instead of just saying its gotta be done?

 

Thanks

 

-Raine

 

Sorry, Raine. I said I like it except the distance limit. I thought that was pretty straightforward feedback. I guess I should have prettied it up a little for you. I'll shut up now and just wait and see how things develop. :)

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I don't like the new maps and here are my reasons for the moment. I am sure I will have new ones later.

Everytime you pan or move the maps you have to uncheck and the re-check the "Hide My Finds". What a PITA and seems ridiculous and repetitive to me. If you use the "hybrid" feature of the maps and are trying to zoom in, it can be extremely difficult to see the small cache icon in a "forest of green". The icon needs to be bigger or stand out in a different color.

 

I didn't have a problem with the old maps and am wondering why this change was made.

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I don't like the new maps and here are my reasons for the moment. I am sure I will have new ones later.

Everytime you pan or move the maps you have to uncheck and the re-check the "Hide My Finds". What a PITA and seems ridiculous and repetitive to me. If you use the "hybrid" feature of the maps and are trying to zoom in, it can be extremely difficult to see the small cache icon in a "forest of green". The icon needs to be bigger or stand out in a different color.

 

I didn't have a problem with the old maps and am wondering why this change was made.

The one feature I like on the new maps is the ability to hide my finds but, as is mentioned above, that doesn't work very well. From what I've seen so far I like the old maps better.

I will say that I appreciate the efforts being made to improve the site, even though I'm, sometimes, not happy with the results.

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HOOORAY! The old maps are back!!! And I hope they stay this way. I personally like the balloon feature because I can see them much better in the hybrid mode. The new version had a small green cache icon that got lost if you were zooming in on a heavily wooded area.

 

PLEASE don't change the maps!

 

Thanks.

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Yeah, that 15 mile limit has gotta be increased! Otherwise, I like it.

 

If you're going to respond, can you maybe give feed back instead of just saying its gotta be done?

 

Thanks

 

-Raine

 

Sorry, Raine. I said I like it except the distance limit. I thought that was pretty straightforward feedback. I guess I should have prettied it up a little for you. I'll shut up now and just wait and see how things develop. :)

 

My response to you was harsh, and I apologize. I was hoping for you to throw a number out like 20 or 25.

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Since we are voting I love the new maps!! I am not afraid of change and enjoy new things! I understand you guys want to tweek them. I love the icons, the scanning range, the waymarks, (btw showing the waymarks does not help my Waymarking OCD :) ) I like how you can click things on the side and stuff goes away, and changes. I don't think I ever had problems with my stuff not working right on the maps. Maybe you guys click to hard.

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Raine, how about doing the DB query for the nearest 250 or whatever is a reasonable # on the available screen space rather than limiting to 15 miles? Suppose you get 250 at 5 miles? Maybe showing those 250 even if it is zoomed out to 100 miles isn't so tough.. You already pulled the query results :)

 

However, in very sparse areas, going out 100 miles and only pulling say 30 caches should not really be a big hit performance wise.

I like this idea. I'd probably bump it to 500 and then add a generate PQ button to fetch the 500 caches currently being viewed! :sad:

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While I liked some of the features of the old map (now the new map, again) - like the list of caches visible on the screen, I really like the new one (the one that's gone again). From the sounds of things, it sounds like the list won't be too viable with the new map, and I suppose I can live with that.

Work out the bugs that are apparently in there, and you've got a winner!

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Since we are voting I love the new maps!! I am not afraid of change and enjoy new things! I understand you guys want to tweek them. I love the icons, the scanning range, the waymarks, (btw showing the waymarks does not help my Waymarking OCD :sad: ) I like how you can click things on the side and stuff goes away, and changes. I don't think I ever had problems with my stuff not working right on the maps. Maybe you guys click to hard.

 

Oh Harriet, always making me blush :)

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Is Raine maybe toggling back and forth while tweaking the configuration?

 

I liked the small icons on the "new" map. As someone else said, they don't block out the nearest roads.

 

I didn't like the lack of identification, i.e., which cache is that? Mouseover to get the name, OK. I didn't like the use of a popover for a list. This arrangement is bad for printing.

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Its interesting to try and find a balance between someone viewing Caches in the Seattle area to someone out in the soybean fields of Ohio. (no offense to Slagle)

 

In Seattle something large than 15 miles would return 2,000+ caches.. way to many to display on the Google map (Browser slow downs, etc) and to much to subject a drag and move map where someone will just click and drag click and drag with out much thought that each drag is querying the DB.

 

I could, like I've done in the past, do one query to determine the # of caches in the area then either return a random selection if the amount is larger than 250 cache. This is what I did on the older map. This caused to many DB calls for a query that was called so often which in turn was a performance hit.

 

So, how "little" is "a little farther out"? I've seen people wanting 100 miles which to me just doesn't make sense.

 

I for one like the new maps! I just wished they would stay on the site instead of coming and going. I see the old ones showing up now.

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I don't see the new maps. I guess they're gone again. I wish they would come back. The new maps blow the old ones out of the water easily.

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Yeaaaah! The OLD maps are back!

 

I WOULD like the new ones if....

 

#1: You could still see the list of caches on the right

 

#2: The caches didn't disappear when you zoom out

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Raine,

 

Is it possible to keep the old (currently up) geocaching.com google maps and update a few items?

 

A couple items I (as well as others) would like to see updated.

- Smaller size of cache symbols (size that shows on new version) with numbers corresponding to cache list on side

- The option to hide my finds or caches placed

 

If just these two items were updated and all else was left the same, I think we would have a winner.

 

Is this possible?

 

Jeff

Edited by JC_Geo

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The first thing I noticed was that the cache icons do not indicate whether I found it already or if it is mine like the previous map.

 

The Icons could also be a bit more visable.

 

In my area the 15 mile limit is too restrictive.

 

I am not a premium member yet, so I hope the icon showing if I found it is not now just a premium feature.

 

That being said, I really haven't had enough time to really try the new map out.

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A lot of things that are being listed that people want like the distance range can already be easily done in google earth. Or in a topo map if you have to print where the caches are. I got my topo map when I bought maps for my GPS, so I didn't have to re buy anything.

 

Off Topic:

The frogs have such a wide range of ages and tech skill level to develop for. I know there are people like my dad who use the site that can barely turn their computer on, and if you take away one of his icons on his desktop he freaks out because he can't do something the way he has been doing it for the last 2 years. And then on the opposite end, you have people who love techy stuff, and like the constant change of new features. Which I fall into, I want a new Iphone, not because my current phone is broken but because it has cool features and is soooo shiny! :)

Edited by Harriet the Spy

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If TPTB are counting the yay's and nay's then I'm adding my YAY for the new map.

 

Love the smaller icon size, the ability to hide my finds and hides, 15 mile limit is tolerable and the cache list is just a click away.

 

Good work, Raine etal.

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I like the newer maps MUCh better except for the distance limit which is too low for rural Nebraska. I'd like to see something more like 25 miles. Maybe just throw up a warning that the query will be restricted to showing "x" number of caches (like 250 or whatever......)

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To address the zoom out issue I would agree with those who have suggested that a limit is set on the number of caches displayed rather than a miles zoomed limit. My vote is for 100 caches displayed (I would be happy with 50 but I am sure someone out there wants twice as many as I do).

 

Thanks for always trying to improve the maps...even though it sound like we are all complaining, we do appreciate your work!

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Regarding the smaller icons, I liked them on the map view, but they did tend to disappear in satellite view. OTOH, the white balloons have always bugged me, because they're so bulky. Maybe a compromise could be reached, say someone could design a new set of small to medium cache icons (a few pixels larger than the old ones but smaller than the balloons) with a thick border that would stand out more?

 

Here's a rough idea. See the set in the middle. I resized the cache icons and added a little drop shadow for clarity.

 

98bb98e5-072d-4c79-b4a3-bc1369da2d88.jpg

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Regarding the smaller icons, I liked them on the map view, but they did tend to disappear in satellite view. OTOH, the white balloons have always bugged me, because they're so bulky. Maybe a compromise could be reached, say someone could design a new set of small to medium cache icons (a few pixels larger than the old ones but smaller than the balloons) with a thick border that would stand out more?

 

Here's a rough idea. See the set in the middle. I resized the cache icons and added a little drop shadow for clarity.

 

98bb98e5-072d-4c79-b4a3-bc1369da2d88.jpg

 

I really like the large icons without any borders. Thanks for taking the time to make this so it could be viewed. I kind of liked the balloons, but could do without them if need be. I do like seeing the cache list on the right hand side, though. Filtering out my finds is a good feature, but I shouldn't have to keep checking/unchecking that option box everytime I pan/zoom/move the map like it was doing on the new version yesterday before it was pulled down.

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Living in a cache-dense area, put me down for preferring the small icons. I can live with them sometimes blending into the background if they don't overlap each other so much.

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Living in a cache-dense area, put me down for preferring the small icons. I can live with them sometimes blending into the background if they don't overlap each other so much.

 

Ditto.

 

I loved the new map and cant wait for it to come back.

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I found the 15mi too restrictive, but I can't very well put a number on what is appropriate either. I think the suggestion that it be linked to the number of caches "in that view" is best. That means 5mi might be too close in some places and 50mi in others.

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A lot of things that are being listed that people want like the distance range can already be easily done in google earth. Or in a topo map if you have to print where the caches are. I got my topo map when I bought maps for my GPS, so I didn't have to re buy anything.

 

Off Topic:

The frogs have such a wide range of ages and tech skill level to develop for. I know there are people like my dad who use the site that can barely turn their computer on, and if you take away one of his icons on his desktop he freaks out because he can't do something the way he has been doing it for the last 2 years. And then on the opposite end, you have people who love techy stuff, and like the constant change of new features. Which I fall into, I want a new Iphone, not because my current phone is broken but because it has cool features and is soooo shiny! :D

 

Then there are those who don't use the maps on geocaching.com, just cause...

I use the maps in my GPS and if the info in there is wrong, then I have a longer hike... O well ...

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Alright, I'm frustrated. I still see the old crap maps and I would love to see the new good ones. Can anyone help me out? Here's what I see:

 

4kvc5tf.jpg

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