A quick update on the increased speed of the mapping tools

After some infrastructure upgrades, all of the randymajors.org mapping tools are now operating faster!  In my time tests, I was seeing drawing speeds that were 2.5x to 3x faster than before the upgrade. The very largest of map layers, such as Section Township Range on Google Maps, seem to see the biggest improvement (drawing in 5-6 seconds now vs 25-30 seconds before the upgrade), although other layers such as Historical Counties, County Lines and ZIP Codes also drew about 2x faster that before. So you should on average see the information panel above the maps update a bit faster and … Read more

Thank you for the feedback! Now, what have I done with it?

Thank you to the 182 people that provided valuable feedback via the user survey I had running over the last 30 days on the randymajors.org map and search tools. This post provides a brief summary of the feedback, as well as a handful of enhancement ideas that came from the surveys. First, what are people using the tools for? Given the history of this website, it’s no surprise that the largest proportion of users use the tool for genealogy purposes, especially the Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps and AncestorSearch: Google Custom Search tools. However, it was quite interesting to see … Read more

See for miles and miles…or at least a few more inches

Probably the most common request I hear is something along the lines of “can you make the map window larger?” Well the wait is finally over.  All of the randymajors.org map windows are now optimized to fill more of your screen, no matter what your screen resolution is. This update applies to County Lines on Google Maps, City Limits on Google Maps, Township Range on Google Maps, ZIP Codes on Google Maps, Location Explorer on Google Maps, Historical U.S. County Boundary Maps, Climate Info on Google Maps, Time Zones on Google Maps and Area Codes on Google Maps. For those on … Read more

How can I improve the randymajors.org mapping and search tools for you?

With many tools getting quite a lot of usage on the randymajors.org website, it’s a good time for me to ask users what I can do to improve the tools. I’d be grateful if you would take a few minutes to provide feedback on the tools you use by following the links below.  Your feedback will help ensure I focus on the things that are most important (including new tools you wish existed!). Please click links or images below to be taken to the survey for that tool.  Your responses will remain anonymous.  (Visit the tools using the links on … Read more

For the map and geography geek in you…

For those of you who are map and geography geeks like me, I’ve just released a new tool I created on Google Maps that I hope you find both informative and maybe even fun! I named the tool Location Explorer on Google Maps. Think of it as kind of a “drill-down” for any chosen U.S. location — be it a place or address. Not sure how to best describe it…so let’s use pictures: For the above example, I simply typed an address in Salt Lake City, and the 12 above maps appeared.  The maps show all of the following “topics” for … Read more