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Benchmark Viewer 2.0


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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

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Use it all the time, and I love it. Thanks again.




For the entirety of my benchmarking career, I've lived just a few miles from a state boundary, and unless I'm missing something, the Viewer only displays marks in one state at a time. I'm sure there's good reasons for that, but I never understood why. Is it something you can explain to a non-programmer?




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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.

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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.



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Thanks...just tried it out and had no problems. I have put my benchmarking activities on a temporary hold while taking care of other things in life. Looking forward to the day when I can resume and devote more time to it. Meanwhile, I visit here from time to time, and do some "armchair benchmarking"--poking around in monkeykat's benchmark viewer, planning trips in my head to execute when time allows, and checking out logs posted by others.


The only "problem" I experienced in Firefox was one of habit--I don't recall now if the previous viewer had this behavior, or if I'm used to it from other web sites. After clicking on a mark and getting the pop-up balloon, I kept trying to clear the balloon by clicking elsewhere on the page (outside the balloon,) rather than using the X in the corner. Personally, I like that better, since it gives a much bigger clickable area--less mouse movement to make sure you get it on the X. Don't have any idea how difficult that would be to change even.


Like I said though--it's not a problem, just a habit to break. And again, THANK YOU for your efforts in making this available to the community! Your work on the viewer makes choosing marks to search for so much easier!

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