Learning about AJAX

Mapping my photosIn order to improve the interactivity of my photo map, I have been learning about different ways of linking the information that comes from my database of photos and the mapping data which comes from the Google Maps API to what the user is doing.

Using a mixture of technologies that are commonly known as AJAX (or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), I have allowed the list of nearby locations - which shows to the right of the map - to update itself whenever the user moves the map around the screen. It will show a list of 5 places closest to the centre of the map and also the distance they are from the centre.

One next stage of development will be to allow the user to click on one of these name and automatically zoom the map to the right area, along with other features including improving what is actually shown on the map for each place.

Some of these new mapping features will probably require broadband to be able to enjoy them properly because they can be quite data intensive.