No more bouncing maps and evasive red dots!

Just a brief note here to let you know of a fix to an issue that has been reported by a number of users of all of the map tools (such as the County Lines on Google Maps, Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps and all the others).

The issue was related to the maps “bouncing” and the red dot (shown below) moving even though the user didn’t intend for it to move.

Red dot that shows current location on all randymajors Google Maps mapping tools

In particular, if the user was panning around the map (e.g. dragging the map with their mouse) in order to see something just off the edge of the map, prior to this fix, the red dot moved and the map bounced (changed center) as you panned.  Basically, it was taking whereever you ended the drag of the mouse and making that the new map center.  Furthermore, it would take that new center point represented by the red dot’s new location and then update the information pane above the map based on that new location. 

Several people found that behavior to be in the range of unexpected to annoying.  

An example may help further explain the issue:  If you searched for Phoenix, Arizona using the “Search places” box above the map, then once the map appeared with the red dot on Phoenix, you panned (or dragged) the map in order to view what is southeast of Phoenix.  In the past, the County Lines on Google Maps tool would move the red dot to where you ended the “mouse drag” and change from reporting the name as Maricopa County (where Phoenix is) to reporting it as Pinal County or Pima County, depending on how far your dragged the map.  

Also, just single-clicking the map would re-center the map where you clicked and update the information panel.

All that (bad) behavior is gone now!

So, with the new behavior, here’s a run down of what does and does not move the red dot (and update the information pane above the maps).

Moves the red dot and updates the information pane:

  • Typing a new place or address into the “Search places” box above the map
  • Single-clicking the map to “explore” the place you clicked

Does NOT move the red dot nor update the information pane:

  • Panning the map by dragging it with the mouse (or using two-fingers to move the map on iOS) 
  • Zooming in or out using the “+” or “-” buttons in the upper left corner of the map (or pinch-zooming on iOS)

These last two changes enable you to explore around the edges of the map view by dragging the map around WITHOUT changing the red dot’s location and information pane.  

And you can now single-click around the map to see information about where you clicked WITHOUT the map center “bouncing” around and changing unexpectedly.

Using the same example above, now if you search for Phoenix, Arizona using the “Search places” box, the red dot will appear on Phoenix and the information pane will report Maricopa County.  Now if you drag the map to the southeast to see something on the edge of the map, the red dot will stay put in Phoenix, the map won’t bounce, and the information pane will still report Maricopa County.

That was a bit more wordy than I intended it to be, but bottom-line: just view the four bullets above and you should understand the new map behavior.

Or even easier:  The click and pan behavior now operates like the Google Maps you know and love.

And hopefully this new map behavior is in the range of expected to enjoyable :)

Happy mapping!

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