Monday, January 5, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

A link came across my desk this morning, with a note citing "another sooo sweet openlayers [sic] application." I expect I'm behind the curve on this, as I don't sit on the open layers lists, but I wanted to bring this to the attention of anyone who, like me, is tired of the overly cluttered and obfuscated applications that tend to bury beautiful functionality under a steaming pile of "it can also...". I really can't say much about the app. Everything I know is in that link, but I'm impressed by the cleanliness of the interface, the clarity of the map and the simplicity of the application as a whole. My only question is, why do I need to add a note to see the legend?

For some contrast, this is an example is another version of what seems to be the same application (no version details were obvious). The latter provides the same interface, but includes far more variety of markers, higher volume and a smaller minscale. Throw in the raster background and you end up with a fairly ugly map that personally find useless until the fifth highest scale level and unpleasant until the second. There seems to be no map at the first. While I certainly appreciate the value a raster can add at high scales, I much prefer the clean and clear effect of the NYC map.