I noticed a weird anomaly in my analytics today. It started shortly after midday EST on Monday, and lasted for approximately 24 hours. What was the shape of this crazy UFO-style disturbance? Something like this:
I call it the snapped hockey stick.
The anomaly was my post about making custom maps for my app, Taxonomy. I submitted it to both Hacker News and /r/programming, and to my surprise it was a hit in both. So, delving through the figures, I thought we could have a little fun, and compare Hacker News to /r/programming- the figures, the discussions, and which of you are nice and voted for my app. Continue reading
Lately, I’ve been making an app called Taxonomy. It’s designed to make your taxi experience better- a traveling companion, if you will. Going by the logic that a lot of people (in New York, at least) only really travel in taxis when out at night, I decided that it ought to have a dark colour scheme. Not morbid dark, but, y’know, “mischievous things happen at night” dark. I mostly succeeded- styling my logo, headers and buttons in a dark monochrome with some bright yellow highlights (it is a taxi app, after all), but every time I wanted to show the user’s current location this ridiculously bright Google Map showed up and ruined my carefully cultivated style. Something had to be done.
I played around with the styling options Google Maps now provides. It’s powerful, but it still wasn’t enough. The fonts were wrong, the options were difficult to tweak, and- as I was quickly discovering- the Google Maps API doesn’t even perform that well on mobile devices. I remembered back to a Hacker News post I’d seen some weeks earlier about TileMill, and the beautiful maps I’d seen created with it. Now, I’m just a web developer- I’ve done enough projects to know what latitude and longitude are, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge. Despite that, I decided to dive in and give it a try. How hard could it be? Continue reading