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An update has just been released for our Google maps module, Maps2, which adds new layers and some new options to make certain mapping caveats easier to deal with. You can grab your free copy of the Maps2 module here.

Panoramio Layer

A new option has been added to the available layers which adds the panoramio geotagged image layer.

There are 2 options for the layer. The standard on/off toggle and the ability to limit the images shown by a tag.

In popular tourist spots the number of images can be overwhelming, so the ability to limit images by a tag can keep the number of images down whilst also making them more specific to a theme.

screenshot panoramio new york tag empire state building

A map of New York filtered by 'Empire State Building' tag

Map Resize Triggers

If you have ever tried to place a map in an area that is hidden on page load then you will probably have come across this issue before.

The problem is that the map needs some dimensions in order to load the correct map tiles. When the map starts off hidden, perhaps in a tabbed module, it has no dimensions, so when you click on the tab to show the map the result is a half drawn map with grey squares where the map tiles should be.

The answer to this is to trigger a map resize to redraw the map. This usually involves adding some custom JavaScript to your site, but as the issue is not that uncommon we have added 2 new fields to the advanced options to make the process easier.

Trigger Selectors

Trigger Delay – Sometimes there might be a delay between the click event and the map area becoming visible. This input lets you delay the resize by a specified number of milliseconds.

Some Small Speed Optimisations

Version 1.1.0 contains 2 changes intended to shave a bit of loading time off the map rendering.

Removal of layer libraries when using a standard map

The previous version of maps2 always requested the maps api with the addition of the weather layer if it was needed or not. This has been changed to only load the layers when needed, which is when the weather, cloud or panoramio layers are enabled.

Due to the way Joomla modules work, this means an important change for pages that load multiple maps, some with layers and some without.

Joomla will automatically filter out duplicate calls for the same script from the same module. If some maps require layer libraries and others do not, then there will be 2 calls to the maps api, one with and one without the libraries.

To combat this issue there is a new option in the advanced area to disable the loading of the api.

In the situation mentioned above, you would disable the api in the maps which do not require the layer libraries and leave it enabled in the maps that do which would result in one call for the api which includes the libraries.

This also makes it easier to use the module together with other extensions which load the api and don't have the option to disable it.

Dns-prefetching

Maps2 now adds dns-prefetch links to the head of the page.

This tells browsers to check on the location of the domains used to display the map before the assets are requested. This is a non-blocking technique which cuts out the need to perform the lookup at the same time the assets are requested on the page.

You can also disable this in the advanced options area.

Bug Fixes

There has been one small bug fix relating to css conflicts between Google maps and bootstrap. In some cases, the previous css was being overridden by bootstrap so this has been updated to prevent problems with the rendering of map controls and images embedded in placemarkers.

Maps2 Documentation

You can find the Maps2 documentation in our knowledgebase.

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