Sunday, November 12, 2006

Google Broke the Hike and Bike Trail!

There's a Google satellite image tiling glitch on Austin's Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail. Either that, or the Balcones Fault is way more active that we thought...

Well, we got newer, higher-res images, and this problem no longer exists...  C'est la vie.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Round-Trip Translation Hilarity Engine

The "Lost in Translation" site is a great way to make fun of machine translation. For example, consider the following:
Original Text: "Now is the time for the small, furry animals to unite and rise up in unison against the oppressive reign of mankind."

Super-crazy Result: "
Hour the hour stops of the small one, with the skin of the animals it is due to moor and GONE until the expensive outpost in the agreement to satisfy to press of the rule of the humanity."

The Path: English > French > English > German > English > Italian > English > Portuguese > English > Spanish > English

Google Maps API Update

Well, I got bitten by the Google Maps API update that happened on Wednesday. The code for my Photo Gallery Map used several conventions that were rendered obsolete. So, I employed my not-so-mad programming skills, looked at the API Reference, and managed to "H4X0R" my map back into operational status.

The good news -- it works again, and I'll be OK until API version 2 is made obsolete at some undisclosed future date. The other good news, there was an upgrade cheat-sheet that made my life easier.

What did I have to change in my simple page code:
In addition to the trivial required change from GMap to GMap2, GPoint now refers to a location on the bitmap, and not a geographical location. I was using it "the old way." A new GLatLng class was introduced to reference geographical points. This new version also swaps the position of the Latitude and Longitude data with respect to the old convention (Gee, imagine that Lat/Long specified in that order...). So, all references that used to look like this:
new GPoint(-115.173019, 36.095472)
now look like this, instead:
new GLatLng(36.095472,-115.173019)

Also, the zoom factor got reversed, so my old zoom factor of 13 is now a zoom factor of 4 to display the same view (it's more intuitive now, bigger number=more zoom).

Finally, the "Map Type" convention changed. What used to be _HYBRID_TYPE is now known as G_HYBRID_MAP... This was also made easier, as setCenterAndZoom and setMapType have been combined into a single setCenter operation.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Red-Letter Day or Red Pill?

Today I received my new MacBookPro. It's the first Apple computer that I've owned since the ][e that my folks got for me "back in the day." It also means that I've added to my OS collection yet again; my current tally includes not only OS X and Windows, but also Solaris, OpenBSD, and Linux... I've only been using the system for a couple of hours, but I'm digging it so far... Of course, it's hard to argue with the horsepower that this baby has! I think my poor little Athlon XP (Barton) desktop is going to start feeling a bit lonely...