Last week Vaclav Klusak from our team attended the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco, and was able to demonstrate Old Maps Online there.
Even better, two members of the Google Maps engineering team used Old Maps Online as their first non-in-house example of how best to use the optional styling facilities in the Google Maps API to suit a particular site. Jonah Jones, the design lead for Google Maps, said:
Old Maps Online let you find historical maps in libraries around the world, and they have got a map that really feels historical and old. They have got a faded color palate, they have got this cool kind of grain effect that you see over the top.
You can see their presentation online, and he makes this comment a minute in:
However, you can't please everybody. One user recently mailed us to say:
All I am getting is a very faint background with faint outlines of a main road and a river. What am I not doing/doing wrong? ... I know it’s free but I’ve accessed many other free sites and this is the most frustrating website I have ever had the misfortune to come across.
Looks like he is unhappy about exactly the styling the Google Maps team think is cool! We do wonder if he needs to adjust his display.
This blog has been getting visually rather boring, so from now on we will try to include maps of the places we do presentations. Here, for example, is part of a 1908 maps in the David Rumsey collection showing the relative intensity of the San Francisco earthquake. The full map is here