I am working to add rich annotation functionality to MapKnitter as part of Google Summer of Code (read about my project here: http://publiclab.org/notes/justinmanley/03-18-2014/mapknitter-annotations-using-fabric-js-gsoc-2014-proposal). This is my seventh week of coding.
If you're interested in reading about
Leaflet.Illustrate, the Leaflet plugin that I wrote over the past few weeks to power MapKnitter's annotations, you can check out my last research note.
The goal of this research note is to post some of my ideas for refactoring the MapKnitter interface to expose annotation functionality and solicit feedback from the community.
Areas for Improvement
The MapKnitter interface currently looks like this:
I think that there are several areas for improvement with this interface:
I love the way that the MapKnitter homepage presents a selection of recent maps. I think this is an awesome way to hook people in and communicate what MapKnitter is about. However, once a user clicks on a map, they are taken to an overview page for the map, not the map itself. Often, this overview doesn't even show the map itself.
It is clear to me from looking through the archives that users seldom use the "description" field when creating a map. Furthermore, right now, the "description" field is worse than useless because most are populated by spam text.
Export functionality is scattered all over: right now, there are no fewer than three places on the overview page to export the map.
The overview page doesn't make it easy to view or edit the map metadata (such as the base satellite layer), description, place, or image metadata.
Ideas for Improvements
It may not be possible to eliminate the overview page entirely, but I would like to move as much functionality as possible into the map editing interface so that the full-screen, full-functionality view of the map is the main destination for all users. This full-screen view of the map should be a self-explaining, self-documenting view of the map.
I built a preliminary implementation of the interface I sketched above. It's in the
annotations-interface branch of my fork of mapknitter - controllers and views are called
Let me know what you think about taking the MapKnitter interface in this direction. Obviously there's a lot more that needs to be built in to provide full-featured annotation functionality - but what do you think of combining the overview and editing pages and the split-screen editing page?