Map Icons Collection news. Features, requests, polls.

Maintenance [update #6]

Map Icons Collection is under maintenance until further notice. You can expect server errors, or missing icons.

I apogogize for this inconvenience, the site is causing server performance issues to my host. I need time to investiguate how to fix that.

Update #1

As I investiguated the cause of the server issues, I found out my anti-hotlinking policy wasn’t working as expected. It seems many people hotlinked, causing huge server load.

Hotlinking is not allowed, please download the icons on your own server or Dropbox

Now anti-hotlinking seems to be efficient, I may enable icon generation again if it was the only problem.

Stay tuned.

Update #2

Now that the server load came back to normal, after cutting all hotlinking, I will enable icon generation again, and test again the server load.

I may cut it again if needed.

Update #3

I disabled the download all the icons at once feature, from the page Creating 800 icons at once is too much for my server. I may enable it in the future.

I also installed a better cache system with “Quick Cache”. It may introduce some bugs, let me know if you find some.

Update #4

There are still some servers issues, I am disabling zip download feature, as a test to see if it’s the only function that causes CPU load.

Update #5

Zip download is still disabled but I created a static zip file so that you can still download all the icons at once, without customization:

Download all the icons

Update #6

The maintenance has now ended.

The site has some features that are disabled or changed:

  • Customize the icons all at once. But you can still download the default icons all at once on the Markers page.
  • Numbers & Letters:
    • Special Chars: this is a new page including only the special characters (for example @ # %)
    • Letters: now disabled, may come back in the near future
    • Numbers: now disabled. This page uses a lot of CPU, if it comes back it will only have a restricted numbers, up to 50. I am afraid I won’t be able to give access to icons up to 100 or 300.
  • New Cache System: there is now a powerful cache on the site. In some cases, the side effect is that icons will be missing when you customize them. I am sorry for that, the cache is the only way for my site to survive on my host.

Now it’s back to normal, my host didn’t kick me out, it’s only because I optimized or stripped almost all the features of the site.

Thanks for your attention.

Issues with Firefox8 and Dropbox (update 2: partially fixed)

Firefox 8 (and 9) came out recently and now supports cross-origin resource sharing (CORS). The problem is that Dropbox, Photobucket and other file sharing providers don’t.

On Firefox8-9, the icons you uploaded on a file sharing service won’t show up anymore.
I am trying to find a solution with Dropbox.

If Dropbox can’t support CORS, then Dropbox can’t be used to host the icons. A traditional file hosting would be the only way to load the icons on Firefox. Of course, it means editing every icon on all your maps, which is a lot of work !

I will keep this post updated in case I find a better way. Suggestions are welcome, please post your comments and ideas.

Update 1 (January, 09 2012):

  • Google Maps: is supposed to work on a fix… no specific date for this.
  • Firefox: won’t fix anything, not their problem.
  • Dropbox: still not working, no news from them.
  • Photobucket: still not working, no news from them.
  • Picasa: always worked, it’s the only file sharing service working at the moment on ff8+
  • Google Sites: still not working, and no news from them.

Check this test map to see which file sharing services are working or not.

Update 2 (January, 10 2012):

Google Maps have been fixed today and the icons will now appear again on Firefox 8+ !

The new Google Maps mode “MapsGL” still won’t display the icons (on Firefox & Chrome)… Picasa is still the only file sharing service working with “MapsGL” mode.

Permanent solution on shared hosting or dedicated server (not using file sharing services)

If you own a (Apache) server, and can access FTP files, icons will show again if you do the following:

  1. Create a file named .htaccess with a text editor
  2. Put the following line into this file:
    Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin *
  3. Save the file
  4. Upload it to the root folder with your FTP app (beware it you already have a .htaccess file : in this case, you must add the line “header set…” in the existing htaccess file)
  5. Reload your map … voila!

Alternative versions

Today, you will find a new little “+” close to the icon title. It means the icon has alternative versions.

A good example is the “camping” icon. There is also an icon for “tent”, “camping + tent”, “camping car”.

Hope that makes the site easier to understand.
Please note that the alternative icons are not included in the zip files.


New poll : What should be done next?

Give us your opinion on what we should focus on now.
Use the poll on the right column.

Just an explaination on some terms :

  • shape : currently, we only have one shape, the pointy square used on all icons
  • style : it’s a shape style, like “iPhone”, “Dark”, “Light”, etc
  • icon : just the icon, the symbol inside the icons

Gathering ideas

Soon, we are going to start a new poll, to find out on what we should focus.

Some ideas we came up already :

  • Just focus on designing more icons
  • Create more shapes/styles
  • New style : just the symbol source without border/shadow effects
  • Include the alternate icons versions in the zip files
  • Create HD versions of the icons (64px)
  • Allow icons ratings
  • Create vectorized icons to enable custom resizing

We would like to know what you need, what features are missing in our current Map Icons Collection site.

Just add your ideas with a comment below.