We've had a small break between updates because there really wasn't much to report on from a development point of view - everything was either heavily in the background or we were busy dealing with other business related matters.
Our small team has now become a substantially bigger team and we've taken on an entirely new project - POSCON - you can read about it here. Exciting times are ahead. I'm going to make a separate post about this because wrapping inside of a dev update feels wrong.
Hi. It's been a while. Well, not really, but long enough for some of you to complain that this blog is "vaporware". It's not, I promise, I just didn't have much to tell you.
However, we're in an interesting position at the moment. As I said at the start, we've taken on a new project and that comes with an increased team number. I'll be adding another section to these blogs called "POSCON" which will have all of the development progress contained.
We rolled out Beta Update 14 (v3.0.5). Your app will update automagically and will let you know when it's done so.
You may have noticed that all the maps in projectFLY have moved away from Google Maps in Beta Update 14 (v3.0.5). We use maps extensively throughout projectFLY and up to this point the price of using Google Maps was basically negligible. In July, Google introduced a new pricing model which meant that we'd be charged in the region of $3000 USD a month. projectFLY is not a profitable endeavour and the new pricing wasn't realistic. We've been looking into alternatives for a while, as the performance with the Google Maps API when a large number of objects were being drawn was often awful.
We've now migrated to a new map system (for the devs out there, Leaflet + Tangram + Mapfit) throughout the app that use vector map data and faster rendering. The performance is excellent, and it also gives us the ability to do much more with maps in the future.
However, due to our extensive usage of maps and the variety of data we draw on them, we do expect some minor issues to pop up. The common questions we've received so far are:
Where did satellite mode go / is satellite mode coming back?
At the moment we have made only one map type available, that being the dark-themed street map. We're looking into ways to add a satellite mode, as well as other map themes in the next few updates.
Why are lines on the map breaking/being drawn across the world/go the wrong way around the world?
Due to a limitation of the new map system, drawing lines across the antimeridian (180 degrees east/west longitude, roughly where the international date line is) isn't handled correctly. We've implemented some logic to workaround this for many parts of the site (mostly the booking flow and logbook). Some other parts will only display one version of the world (i.e profile flight maps and the radar) and the lines will either clip or be drawn incorrectly. If you encounter any of these issues on the create bookings flow or logbook, let us know via a support ticket or forum thread with details on what you're trying to view. We'll be fine tuning this logic and working on improvements over the next few updates.
Why is x missing from the new maps?
We're still migrating some of the minor map features (most notably the landing markers on logbook). These will be reintroduced in the next update.
POSCON, or Positive Control Network is the next generation flight simulation network. Designed from the ground up to create the ultimate modern day virtual flying/controlling network, POSCON takes a selection of the best people that the industry has to offer, bringing them all in to one place to create, without exception, the best online network.
As we develop POSCON, we'll post updates as part of our dev update series. Keep an eye out for that!
At this time, although development has begun, we're keeping anything Simstall related close to home until we're all in agreement that we've got enough to share.
The A380 continues to be a part time development whilst we focus on projectFLY & Simstall. Keep an eye on future dev updates for any changes regarding this.
That concludes dev update #5 - If you have any questions/suggestions or would like to get in touch, we're available on all social media, using the comment section below or you can email [email protected]