Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Maps on the iPhone

After my previous efforts with Google Maps for Sky and the native on the iPod touch, Ryan Scranton at Google pointed me in the direction of a Google Code project that was attempting to provide a more friendly user interface to the online Javascript version of Google Maps on the iPhone and the iPod touch.

It turned out to be a fairly trivial project to modify the code to use the new Sky maps, so on yet another wet Sunday afternoon, I did...

The results aren't quite as slick as the native version, but it was a lot less effort. You can drag the map around the screen using two fingers, although unfortunately you can't use the pinch action to zoom in and out. Crucially since it's just the normal maps with extra Javascript wrappers you can make use of the Maps API to add placemarks and overlays and other interesting things...

However getting used to using two fingers to drag the map around instead of one is surprisingly hard, it's very anti-intuitive for some reason. I'm also not entirely convinced it runs fast enough, at least for my purposes, it seems much less responsive and much more jerky during scrolling than the native application. It's a great hack, but not the solution to my problem. But don't take my word for it, if you've got an iPhone or an iPod touch you can try it for yourself.

Back to the hex editor perhaps?

Update: For comparison with the native version here is a screen shot from the online javascript version of Google Maps.

The Carinae Nebula in Google Maps