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Eddy Ofarrel

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Everything posted by Eddy Ofarrel

  1. I think I'm awake again now... lol Although struggling to understand exactly what you mean (at least the sea background bit). The way that works right now is that the whole map has a background of that colour (it's actually marked as "SL_OCEAN_COLOR" in the CSS file that comes with the Map API examples etc), so when my server generates the map tiles for other zoom levels (which obviously contain more than one region each) I've made it use that as the background colour for the image too, so that any "gaps" in the tile where there isn't a region there look the same as the rest of the empty space on the map (if a requested tile doesn't contain any regions at all then it doesn't bother generating an image, just as the SL map tile server doesn't provide any image for regions that don't/didn't exist when the map tiles last updated, so the actual map background will show through in those areas). Or at least that was the idea... for some reason, it seems like the software I'm using to generate the map tiles isn't capable of producing that exact colour in a JPEG image, so gaps in zoomed-out tiles actually look a slightly different shade from the rest of the background. I'm not sure any of this is actually relevant to what you were saying, but I just thought I'd mention it anyway lol So do you mean some way of indicating that a region (now) exists in a particular location, even if there's no map tile for it, based on it having a name which shows when zoomed further in? If so, I have been thinking about doing something like that, but there are a couple of issues with it. One is that we now know (as people in this thread have discovered) that the SL caps server (which is where I'm getting those names on the map from) is reporting some regions as existing even if they haven't been there for years. So that means it wouldn't be entirely accurate. I'd probably still do it anyway though, as it's the best we can do right now... but the other issue is that because each name has to be requested individually from the caps server (it has no way of requesting more than one at a time), doing that at higher zoom levels would mean a huge flood of requests to it, from each person using the map (which is why it currently stops displaying the names above zoom level 2). The next thing I'm planning to do is create a better communication system between the map page and my server, which should make all sorts of things possible, but one of the first things I'll then do with it is request the region names from my server instead, which will be able to cache them instead of having to go to the caps server every time. And then it will be able to do things like this with the information too, even at higher zoom levels
  2. Just a quick update for everyone: I've just finished doing a load of work on the backend of the map page. You may or may not notice a difference, but the whole thing should be a lot more efficient now, so hopefully it'll be faster in at least some cases... and as a result of that, I've also tentatively enabled another further out zoom level. Bear in mind that it will still take a while to load things at that level though (especially for areas that no one has loaded at all yet, if there are still any by this point) just because of the sheer number of individual map tiles that my server has to download and process to make it possible. I've actually also added a little loading icon in the top right corner of the page, so that you can tell whether it's still loading map tiles or there's actually nothing there. One of the improvements is that my server now supports HTTP2, which is much better for this sort of thing, but browsers only support that over a secure connection so for that reason it will now always redirect you to https://maps.eddyofarrel.com/ if you try to load it without HTTPS. I'm now going to have a rest/try to get some much-needed sleep before I start on the next stage of things. Do let me know if you have any issues with (or just comments on) the new upgraded system though
  3. ...well that sounds a bit like some of the stuff I already had in mind I just wasn't sure if that many people would be interested in that sort of thing once the standard World Map is back to its full functionality. I'm not sure what exactly "community overlays" would be either, but it sounds like something that would allow people to create their own layers of stuff to be displayed on top of the map? That seems like it would need a lot of user interface stuff to make it work, and unfortunately I'm really quite useless at anything graphic designy/user interfacey.
  4. Wow, I hadn't realised that either (I mean, I don't really keep up with what's happening with the Lindens anyway, but had noticed that Oz was the only one who had replied in this thread). From what he said here though, I don't think he was the actual developer working on it. I personally don't think they'll do that. If anything, I think the opposite is more likely - particularly since they put out that "update" a few days ago saying they're still working on it, I think they've probably stepped things up a gear since seeing someone else is doing something, and they're probably going to release the new updated/fully zoomable map tiles *just* as I finish all the bits I'm working on now, making mine mostly redundant and wasting all the hours of time I've been putting into it over the last few days lol I've been wondering that too. They'd probably look quite different from the existing map tiles (some better, perhaps some worse) but at least it'd be something. I don't think it's something I'd be able to implement personally, but perhaps if someone who has experience with the viewer code/making bots etc would like to work with me...? Although I have just thought of a way that an avatar (i.e. actual person) might be able to do it with some automated assistance, but even then it would still require quite a bit of manual work for each region, so it would be better if a specialised bot-type-thing could do it.
  5. If they did get rid of the existing system, we'd all be stuffed - the World Map in Firestorm (and I believe all other viewers including the official one) actually uses the same map tile images as I'm using from the Map API (from a slightly different server URL for some reason, but it's serving the exact same images with the same filenames) I actually had a bit of a "eureka" moment a few days ago when I realised this, as I thought it meant it would be possible to replace the server URL with mine (which now provides proper zoomed-out map tiles up to level 3) in Firestorm's debug settings, and thereby have the zoomable map working again within the native Firestorm World Map, but alas, it's not that simple. The map server URL does actually appear in two different debug settings in Firestorm, but one just shows the current URL that it's using (so trying to change it does nothing at all), and the other is only used as a default/fallback if the grid server doesn't tell it a URL to use while connecting/logging in (which it does). So effectively the URL given by SL servers takes precedence over everything else. I guess it would still be possible by actually modifying the viewer code though (and maybe other third-party viewers might already handle it differently)
  6. Thanks. That is interesting, I would have thought the caps server would be a definitive source of whether regions exist or not, but according to the Gridsurvey site (which unfortunately is always verrrry slow, so I don't use it much even though it looks like a very useful resource, but that's another question/issue) it hasn't existed since 2009. Does that seem right to you? (I don't know much about the history of this sort of stuff) http://www.gridsurvey.com/display.php?id=69944
  7. Thank you! I really appreciate you saying that. You would think so, but my skills have really been going to waste for years (I can't really do a "normal" full-time job, i.e. one that would require going into an office every day etc, for several reasons). I've actually recently started to feel like I couldn't even do anything useful anymore, couldn't think like I used to be able to etc, so I'm really pleased that people like what I've managed to do here (I think I've always been motivated more by that than by money anyway, really) It is literally costing me (quite a bit of) money every month just to have a server that I can do this sort of stuff on though, and I have recently been thinking about either getting rid of it or at least downgrading it to something much more basic... but now it looks like this will make good use of it again. I have got several ideas for map-related things that I think people might find useful, things which aren't possible at all right now (as in not even before things broke), so I'm thinking I might end up putting those more advanced features into some sort of paid product (i.e. something that can be bought on the SL Marketplace), and hopefully that might cover at least some of the server cost. If I do though, I'll definitely always keep the standard version available for free (and keep improving it), as long as I still have the server to run it on. Before I can even start experimenting with any of that more advanced stuff though, I've been working on getting the whole thing working as efficiently as possible, which will hopefully allow for enabling at least one more zoom level. I was hoping to have some good news about that right about now, but unfortunately I've run into an issue/bug with a tool that I need to use as part of it. So I might wait a bit to see if I get a reply to my bug report for that... it is an open-source tool, so I probably could fix it and recompile it myself if it turns out to be necessary, but I don't really want to go that far down into it if I can help it! lol
  8. I'm not sure what you mean - as in region names showing on the map where there's no region there at all any more? Can you give me the name of one so I can have a look? In any case, the region names all come from the Second Life "caps" server, as described here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Map_API_Reference Just to let everyone know, I've fixed a few bugs that I've noticed such as region names with dashes or other characters in them being seen as invalid (in trying to validate/sanitise the input, I stupidly followed the Second Life guidelines for region names, which say they "Must use only alphanumeric characters (no punctuation)", but clearly that's not the case so I've got rid of that check lol) I'm also working on some updates to my server itself now, so you might find that the whole page stops working/is unavailable at times, but just bear with me, keep refreshing the page and it should be back within a few minutes each time hopefully
  9. I've just done another update to the map page (which is now at http://maps.eddyofarrel.com/ for consistency rather than map.eddyofarrel.com, but the old URLs should seamlessly redirect there anyway) The map tiles are now all cached on my server the first time they are loaded, and it now actually generates the tiles for zoom levels 2 and 3 when they are requested (so the browser side now works as it's supposed to, rather than using the fully-zoomed-in images for everything). I haven't (yet) enabled any more further out zoom levels though, because my server would have to load all the fully-zoomed images for all of the regions in view which haven't been loaded before (regardless of whether it's generating the tiles for that zoom level or not). At a standard screen size these days (1080p), there seem to be about 45 (9 x 5) tiles visible, so even at the current maximum zoom-out level of 3, that could be up to 720 region tiles for my server to load all at once. At zoom level 4, that would increase to 2,880 regions. I'm not too bothered about the possibility of it overloading my server, but it would take a long time to load in any case, and I'm more worried about the server that's the source of the map tiles not being happy about it. I might enable higher levels once more of the map has been loaded in and cached though. As the map tiles are now all loaded via my server (which is in the UK) rather than directly from the CDN that LL use (which I would assume has many servers around the world and always uses the nearest one to you), you might find that the map tiles actually load more slowly now (certainly for regions which haven't been loaded in the map since this change, but possibly even for ones that are already cached on my server if you're a long way from the UK). Higher zoom levels (i.e. zoomed out) should load faster than they did before though, at least once cached on my server. I've put a copy of the old version (which only uses the fully-zoomed-in map tiles, directly from the CDN) at http://maps.eddyofarrel.com/old.php in case anyone wants to compare. The new version already has the area around the default starting point cached at all zoom levels, so moving around a little bit/zooming out there would show the best case scenario. If you tell it to load somewhere completely different, that probably won't be cached yet unless someone else has got there before you. The region names still aren't cached, they still load individually from a Second Life API server, so the only difference between the two versions is in the loading/processing of the actual map images.
  10. Yep, that's unfortunately the one thing I can't do anything about, actually getting up-to-date map tiles generated As far as I know (in Firestorm at least, I don't use any other viewers) the minimap is generated in a different way. It seems to use the same tiles from the main map as a base, and then overlays them with some stuff based on what it knows is in the region from actually being there (or connected to it as a neighbouring region). I've just gone to check out Second Norway and found some regions which aren't showing on the map. For example the region Tore - I teleported into the region Hani to the north of it, then flew into it, and each bit of land visible in the region appeared on the minimap literally as it was appearing in front of me. Once it was all loaded, I noticed the sea in that region on the minimap looked a bit different (darker blue) compared to Hani, which does have an actual map tile. It also seems like actual buildings etc aren't shown on the viewer-generated minimap in the same way as they are in the main map tiles, as the couple of buildings that are there didn't seem to be visible on the minimap at all. I think it *might* be possible for a modified viewer to generate map tiles which could then be used for the main map, but it would require visiting each region for it to actually load what's there and generate the tile, and actual 3D graphical rendering stuff is really outside of my area of expertise. I've also just noticed something else curious in that area of Second Norway with regions with no map tiles - there are two regions next to each other called Brook Hill Cliff and Brook Hill Reef, which are showing on my map page (i.e. the server used for the map API is saying regions with those names exist at that point on the map, and the same in reverse, i.e. looking them up by name gives those positions on the map), but with no map tiles of course, just the names. But the built-in World Map says there's nothing there at all, i.e. no name, nothing that can be clicked on to teleport to etc. And even teleporting into the region next one of them to have a look, there seems to be nothing there at all. So I'm not sure what that's about. That sounds like Cool VL Viewer is doing much the same as my map page then, and yep, that's why I limited the zoom-out range to much lower than it would normally be. One of the things I'm planning to do next is try caching the map tiles on my server and see if I can make it generate the tiles as they should be for the other zoom levels, which would deal with those issues. I have just added a bit to the top of the page where you can type in a region name (and optionally X and Y coordinates), or just paste a full SLURL, to locate it on the map
  11. @AishagainThanks! I don't really feel like I've done that much so far - the zooming part was just a very simple tweak to the existing script and doesn't fix the underlying issue on the server side. I have got a bunch of ideas for ways I could improve it further though, so I'll start working on those tomorrow. As for working with Linden Lab, I'd actually be very willing to help fix this particular issue (i.e. both the zoom levels and the map updating - I know that's more complicated) if they'd give me a chance to (and it does seem like the sort of thing I probably would be able to help with, if given the necessary access to work on it). It just needs sorting out, so I'd be more concerned about making it work properly than the money. But I doubt that would be something they'd even consider as I'm on the other side of the planet from them (maybe if they hadn't closed their UK office back in 2010, which I've only just discovered even existed lol)
  12. I've just had a go at doing exactly that... well, kind of. It's based on the standard Second Life web-based map API, but with a few tweaks (everything beyond the fully-zoomed-in level seems to be non-existent there now). It doesn't actually do any gluing together of images, but it does allow you to zoom further out using the fully-zoomed-in images rather than trying to load the others that don't exist. The disadvantage of that (compared to using specific images for each zoom level as it's meant to) is that it will put a lot more load on your browser (and the server serving the map tiles) the more you zoom out, so I've limited it to only zooming out by two levels, at least for now (i.e. 3 zoom levels total) I've also added names to the bottom left corner of each region to try to match the in-world map, but that also requires a separate request for each region to a Second Life server, so I've limited it to only the first two zoom levels and then the names will disappear after that (which is sort of like the in-world map does anyway) I realise it's probably not that much use right now, particularly as there isn't (yet) any way to search for/load any particular region or area of the map, but I will add more functionality in the next few days if anyone thinks they would actually find it useful (bearing in mind that the one thing I'm not in a position to do anything about is getting the map tiles to actually update, as much as I would love to help with that) http://map.eddyofarrel.com/ Edit: I've just made it possible to load a particular location by using it sort of like an SLURL, i.e. replace maps.secondlife.com in the URL with map.eddyofarrel.com and keep everything after that the same. It should go straight to it as long as it's formatted correctly Also just made it possible to zoom in by an extra level. It won't make things any more detailed, as it's still using the same set of map tiles, but it might still be useful sometimes.
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