May 13, 2011

Drawing paths on Google Maps, the Indiana Jones way

I was looking into the Google Maps API the other day and came across some APIs which are really cool. I came up with a use case to show path from the current location to a particular destination entered by the user. I was also trying to achieve that Indiana Jones like effect on the map i.e. to show an animation of the path being drawn on the map.


The idea here is to show the moving path until the destination is reached and also to pan the map accordingly.

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As seen in the video, a marker is added to the map specifying my current location (Bangalore, India). The current location data is retrieved using the HTML5’s Geolocation API. Once the latitude and longitude information are available, a marker can be added to the map. You can now enter one of your favorite destinations in the text box provided and click the Submit button to see a path drawn from your current location to the destination. The path is drawn using the Google maps ‘Polyline’ API.

May 9, 2011

JavaScript debugging with Chrome Developer Tools and some tips\tricks

Last Friday I was having a conversation with Ben Nadel and Jonothan Joyce on Twitter about examining the content of a JavaScript object. While the firebug add-on for Firefox comes in very handy in examining the request\response header and for various other internals, I can’t really debug the JavaScript code by adding breakpoints. I use Google’s Chrome browser for my day to day web application development. Both Chrome and Safari provide ‘Developer tools’ which help the user not only in debugging the JavaScript code but also in examining the content of an object at any point in time by providing watch expressions. What I like about debugging in Chrome is that it is very much similar to how I debug my server-side code using ColdFusion Builder or Eclipse. This certainly reduces the learning curve to understand debugging in a browser. However, Chrome has more to give when it comes to debugging web applications.

In this post I’ll explain how Google Chrome can help you debug web applications and several other internals.