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Mapping Sheets new version announcement - February 2015

posted Feb 12, 2015, 10:42 AM by theXS Assistant   [ updated Jun 16, 2015, 5:09 AM by Faustino Rodriguez ]
On the new overhauled version launched on Feb.14, 2015 (Valentine day gift?), the Mapping Sheets with Google Maps add-on is including quite a few important changes, most of them in line with our 2015 new year resolutions.
We are planning to write separate posts (as time permitted) with more details on some of the changes, but for now, let us list and briefly comment on all of them (sorted by the impact on users)
  1. New approach to marker icons (the most requested improvement ever) including now by default only 14 different colors (basic palette) an a flag-like shape as icon, but with several options for fully user's customization based on the filter / group value, including two levels: (i) just custom colors keeping the default shape, (ii) colors plus anything else, like shape, size, image url, or even the old marker sprites. As part of this change, the filters in the left sidebar are now using standard check boxes, but filled with the assigned colors. See below a draft outline for a post still to be written.
    This change might affect those users (less than 10) that customized the markersprites.png file, but I hope they would be happy with all the new options, and create even better icons.

  2. Data files for mapping (those *.json files within the add-on folder in your Google Drive) are now using a GeoJson data layer, an open standard format included by Google last year. This would open endless possibilities ahead. However, there will be no more clusters of icons, as they are not supported on GeoJson data layers.

  3. Enhanced default info-window (the bubble that shows up when clicking a marker icon). Even though still not customizable, it will now render html tags within that window, so if you want to show an active link or an image you can put those lines in your data spreadsheet, see a couple below:
    <a href='http://www.thexs.ca/' target='_blank'>Visit theXS website</a>
    <img src='http://www.thexs.ca/assets/images/xsMapping-128.png' height='64' width='64'>

  4. Some minor improvements to make the map page a bit mobile friendly, removing the top line header menu, including a 3-step menu button to hide / show the left sidebar, no more padding for an actual full screen map, etc.

  5. We are not describing here a few more changes and new features that have no external effects from the users view (like, no more camel notation, sheets access to only current document, etc)

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