Updates on December 11, 2023 (Release 947)

  • :hammer_and_wrench: Mapbox GL JS v3 with Mapbox Standard Style
    • Mapbox released their new style right after I released my attempt at a dark mode map & theirs is, unsurprisingly, much better than mine … if you previously disabled dark mode because of my poor styling attempts, I suggest you try it out again
    • The map style is now fully wrapped into your Theme setting in your Settings page … Light mode causes the site and map to use a light color scheme, Dark mode causes the site and map to use a dark color scheme, and System respects your system settings in the same manner
    • The awkward style switcher that existed for a minute is back to the Satellite toggle … there were some vocal requests here to revert that, and the numbers in my self-hosted analytics site were clearly showing the style switcher was mainly used to go back and forth between the regular and satellite views
    • This map update also comes with some nice updates to how your LifeMap and activity routes are shown … They sit below the street names now, so the underlying map is still fully usable even with your life’s work displayed over it.
  • :hammer_and_wrench: Updated directional arrow (for Routes) for better usability between light/dark maps
    • I really liked the fun that the rockets brought, but the new style didn’t have a comparable image to use and they were effectively broken in dark mode
    • The new arrow incorporates both a very light and very dark coloring across two shapes which makes it usable in both themes
    • :shushing_face: I did just notice a bug that causes the arrows to disappear when toggle satellite view, so I’ll get that fixed up as soon as I can
  • :hammer_and_wrench: Updated status page
    • This page now focuses on overall site availability, and includes other aspects of CityStrides infrastructure (some of which is geared towards myself)
    • You can click into each item to get more detail about their status, downtime records, etc
    • This will let me create “Incident” records if/when issues come up that could affect you, along with status updates for each incident
  • :hammer_and_wrench: Minor form usability improvements in the Settings page
  • :bug: Fix activity links in the Friends list on profile page
  • :bug: Fixed a bug in gathering weather info for certain activities
    • Weather info is one of the Extras of being a Supporter
  • :bug: Various fixes around the map javascript
  • :writing_hand: Clarify comment about how to change the currency of your subscription
8 Likes

The purple just sticks out way more against white than grey:


I somehow had a tab open in the old style when I got home from work.

5 Likes

Well I can only speak for myself but Streets Map Style is just so much clearer for Striding. The main point is I see “white” I need to go and run it. Now I am seeing grey and purple which yeah if you zoom to a single street I can just about make it out. However now there is far also less differentiation by thickness of lines and private roads are not shown differently. Ironically there were sort of grey and easy to spot versus white!

5 Likes

OK, so, definitely no near-death experience then … that’s good.

I love getting feedback on my efforts with CityStrides, but please keep it constructive. Telling me you almost died and shouting (multiple exclamation marks) is kinda hurtful. I’m one person building this project out in the open. You and everyone else in this thread have a ton of access towards the shape and direction of the site, and I take your feedback seriously. I hope you continue to share your perspective and opinions on the good and the bad of CityStrides here in this forum, just with a little more humility and understanding.

19 Likes

It’s going to take some minutes, but the map setup is being reverted. The same dark/light selection process will be in place, and I’ll be putting in some work improving the dark map.

I want to thank everyone for the thoughtful and detailed feedback and screenshots and explanations. The details you’re able to provide about why you don’t like something help me build a better CityStrides.

These are the key points of your feedback that lead to the decision:

  • Mapbox Standard Style hides streets much more aggressively when zooming out, which causes problems for many people
  • Mapbox Standard Style doesn’t do a good enough job of differentiating the types of streets … it inconsistently draws some service roads thinner, but isn’t consistent enough to be reliable/usable
  • Mapbox Standard Style renders buildings above other data … I suspect this may be tied to the 3D features, allowing data to be rendered “around” buildings, since the portion of data “behind” the building would be hidden … this is not a great experience for us - especially those of us with big GPS drift
  • Not quite as severe as other issues, but Mapbox Standard Style doesn’t correctly draw cul-de-sacs that haven’t been mapped as loops … it displays a separate circle instead of incorporating the circle at the end of the street into the street itself … it also renders this circle above other data

I’m including some changes to the “regular” map that I’m reverting back to, based on some feedback here:

  • Buildings will now be included in the map (though it does seem like you have to zoom in fairly far to see them) … they’re not 3D, and they’re drawn below other data, so they should just be nice reference points that don’t get in the way
  • I’m leaving most other styles as-is … The POI labels won’t be included, but I think there were some other color changes that weren’t in the previous “regular” style that will be now
  • I’m leaving the LifeMap, Activity, city border etc drawn below the street names … I’ve found it very tedious to try and operate with street names covered

This discussion highlighted a way that many of you use CityStrides which is interesting to me. It sounds like you’re visually scanning/searching/hunting the map for streets that aren’t covered by your LifeMap. This sounds incredibly tedious. I’m wondering, for those of you going about the manual searching process - isn’t it much faster and effectively no-effort to tap the Node Hunter button & have the site show you what isn’t finished?


Update: I’ve passed along all of this feedback to the Mapbox team, in case it’s helpful for them in working on the Standard Style

12 Likes

Node hunter won’t help in some cases. The examples that come to my mind first:

  • Roads outside of city limits
  • Trails, parking lots, or other things that aren’t considered roads but are still runnable (for those of us with OCD and trying to build out a dense life map)
  • Situations where you’ve completed the nodes, but not the edge between them
5 Likes