Archive for April, 2007

Important Information on Maptacular

Maptacular is an Apollo application I wrote that lets you map addresses on your desktop (in vCard format) using Google Maps. You can download the public alpha binary from the Apollo application page on the Adobe Labs wiki, and if you’re interested in the source code, read the entry previous to this one.

Some important information on Maptacular (which I should have mentioned when I first released the app):

  • Once the application is running, move your mouse over to the left side of the window. A drawer will open with contacts. You can click on the contacts for more information, and you can also expand the contacts into address cards.
  • To map an address, drag it onto the map.
  • To get driving directions between two points, "pin" the drawer open by clicking on the circle in the upper right-hand corner of the drawer, then drag your starting point onto the map. Once it has mapped, drag your destination address onto the map. You should get driving directions between the two points.
  • Maptacular creates a directory in your documents directory (either "Documents" on Mac, or "My Documents" on Windows). Any vCard you put in that directory will get added to the list. Right now, you have to restart Maptacular for it to pick up new vCards. (I need to add some polling code one of these days.)
  • When Maptacular runs, it puts a sample vCard in your Maptacular directory. I did this to make it easier to demo. If you don’t want this behavior, you’ll have to change the source. Just look in the init function — it’s very easy to disable. Someday, I’ll take this out.
  • For a demonstration of how Maptacular works, you can check out this Google video.
  • All the addresses and phone numbers in the sample vCard are fake. I’ve gotten tons of emails and IMs from people asking me if I meant to reveal all this personal information about my coworkers. All of the addresses point to offices or restaurants around the city. They look real because they had to actually be mapable. Oh, and most of the pictures are real, except for mine, who is my favorite character from Homestar Runner.

Apollo Sample Application Source Code

I finally got around to releasing the source code for my sample Apollo applications. Sorry it took so long. The applications and the source code can be downloaded here.

A couple of important notes:

  • These apps are intended to work only the public alpha of Apollo, and they will not work with any earlier or later version (I will update them accordingly, though).
  • Lookup requires corelib and the dictionary protocol library I wrote in order to compile. I included SWCs in the lib directory, so just link them in to your project, and it should compile just fine.
  • I wasn’t able to release the source code for Maptacular because it uses an embedded font that we don’t have the rights to distribute. If you’re really interested in how Maptacular works, you can download the source code here, but it doesn’t have the fonts in it, so it won’t compile. If you know what you’re doing, you can fix it either by removing the dependency on the embedded font (which will screw up some of the effects), or by embedding another font (which is the easiest solution). Just drop the .ttf file in the assets directory, and you should be good to go. A quick glance at the top of Maptacular.mxml should make things clear.
  • The Maptacular application has the vCard parsing code embedded in it which I have since extracted, improved, and moved into its own class in corelib.
  • These are sample and demo applications which haven’t been thoroughly tested, and probably aren’t the most feature-rich, intuitive applications you have ever used. Most of them were designed to exercise and validate Apollo APIs rather than to solve real-world problems. That said, I think they’re decent and fun little apps. I’m especially fond of PixelPerfect for some reason.
  • Speaking of PixelPerfect, you will have to read through the source code to see all that it can do. Try right-clicking on a ruler, hitting shift+n, using the arrow keys to move the ruler, and using shift+arrows to scale the ruler.