Thursday, 7 October 2010

IE8 and SVG

So I've been working on and off on a visualisation for a few weeks now... I was really quite happy with the result too. Except that the client was demoing on IE8, which is a huge improvement on IE7 and IE6 etc but still sucks!

Everything was working fine in Opera, Firefox and Chrome but what with the client using, as I've said, IE8 I needed to think of something else.

So I looked at Raphael and other libraries but then I got to thinking how IE8 was an improvement because it could handle alpha-transparency.

Now the visualisation involved transparent layers upon a map. This got me thinking: The map could be a suitably sized div with a jpeg background-image and then layering the different images atop that div by setting their position as being absolute in regards to the absolutely positioned map div.

The original visualisation used the SVG in order to trigger some pop-ups that gave further information, but that wasn't now possible so instead I looked at something really rather old school and thought about image-maps.

Image-maps used to be really quite popular but have recently lost ground to more modern approaches, I'm not totally sorry to see them go but I did find them a little useful at times... if a bit of a bugger to sort out by hand!

This is where Mapedit comes in useful though! What with the ability to zoom and having pixel-perfect control of the points of the image-map (and the judicious use of my Wacom tablet), it makes making an image-map a joy, and only $15!

So now I'm not quite so naffed-off with having to support IE8, that is unless future versions of browsers stop supporting image-maps!

Speaking of maps, prettymaps are cool, especially this one: