Are SWF maps worthwhile, or just a gimmick?
Many sites have been putting up some pretty slick SWF maps lately, and the big map api's (google, yahoo, mapquest -- ve?) have followed suite. There's obviously something cool about these SWF maps. However, when I tried to figure out if it would be worth creating one for the most recent CML application, I was hard pressed to figure out how to make a flash map do what I want it to to do, and would it be worth it. Therefore, I figured it would be useful to describe why these flash maps are cool: its because they're vectorized and all geometries are fully loaded after the flash is loaded. This allows all sorts of interaction with individual elements -- elements which don't need to be pulled from remote store. Yet, a prime concern also seems to be more control over styling, and quick integration with other adobe cs tools.
but for a site which needs to generate vectors on the fly from a spatial database, which would then be loaded into the map, is flash still worthwhile? the speed of static geometries would be sacrificed, much of the non-map ui enhancements done in flash can be replicated by using scriptaculus. Other features must be considered.
Especially consider the NYC Subway map -- very nice -- if I can get something like this working, it would be well worth doing in flash -- still though, none of these geographies are generated on the fly.
OOOOH ... I THINK WE JUST NEED TO INCLUDE ALL VECTORS AND JUST TURN THEM ON AND OFF BASED ON ATTRIBUTES IN THE DB OR XML!!!!
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