Thursday, August 18th, 2005

Mapping UI: Flash vs. Ajax

Category: Flash, Google, Mapping

John Dowdell at Macromedia has hit out at Ajax compared to Flash for something like a mapping UI (Flash example here):

I’m slow on this — Paul Neave posted it Friday — but it’s a great example of how a single, universal, and predictable graphics/interactivity engine can deliver a much more enjoyable user experience than those developed for a range of general text & interactivity engines. The above bookmark goes to the southern part of Ueno Koen in Tokyo, and the general functionality is similar to that in Google Maps or Microsoft Network’s Virtual Earth. One small difference? Compare zooming — the Macromedia Flash Player can zoom in or out itself (animated if desired), where Google Maps and MSN VE require a trip back to the server for fresh bitmaps if scaled — no flash of white, no loss of context, and the specific source imagery is smoothly streamed in for best resolution over time.

flash-earth.png

Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:10 am
6 Comments

+++--
3.9 rating from 25 votes

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Well it just not works on my Linux machine with the latest Flash 7 player. at least the Ajaxian versions are more portable

Comment by Robert — August 18, 2005

The blurb’s wrong: it frequently blacks out and reloads when zooming out (on Safari 1.3 at least). I think the continuous zooming could be done in AJAX had Google wanted to: just resize the JPEGs.

Comment by Chris Purcell — August 18, 2005

I wasn’t intending to “hit out” so much as to show a better way…?

For “zoomout blackout”, think about what it’s doing… zoom-in is straightforward because the local engine can interpolate pixels it already has, but if you zoom out, only a small central portion can be interpolated, because the new outer regions aren’t on the machine at all. Compare back and forth on a moderate zoom-in and I think you’ll agree that retention of context is a significant improvement in user experience.

Main point: Transfer of XML data by browsers is definitely helpful, but text is only one element of a “rich” experience. Local and capable graphics engines are useful…!

jd/mm

Comment by John Dowdell — August 18, 2005

Sorry, that flash UI sucks and is buggy as hell. Nice ideas though.

Comment by Hrmm — August 19, 2005

Hello….
i’am beginner in maping, now interest with it. can U give me a reference for it.
I like with U website.
And who read this message,can U send a reference about it ristianto_ok@yahoo.co.id.(ihope with flash)
THANKS

Comment by ristianto — November 23, 2006

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Register at gamedevelopersummit dot com

Comment by Roop452 — January 29, 2010

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