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Mapfinder

An European map exploration tool

Web
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Description

This website is an online tool for searching, exploring and comparing maps online about the European Union. This project comprise a database with a large set of maps, stored as hi resolution images, which can be explored with different online tools (lens, zooming), saved into your account, compared with another map side by side and printed.

The uploading of the maps has been delegated to a third party company.

When the site was released, in 2011, we created a simplified mobile version of the site, which remained obsolete as the devices’ world has changed very quickly. We removed it in one of our latest maintenance jobs.

Technical Analysis

Again, we chose WordPress as the current framework to implement the tool. There was a heavy work on javascript and jQuery library (and other dependent libraries) and a special emphasis to make this site usable even when the final client browser had no javascript. We used session variables to save the settings of the user. I.e, if the user choose to explore a map with a lens instead of zooming and panning, then this option is remembered and the next map he visits will be explored with a lens too.

The exploration of the maps with zoom and pan was made by storing different versions of the map, at different resolutions (created automatically when a map is uploaded). Depending on the level of detail that the user is navigating, we use one or other image, in a similar way as google maps do.