The new YachtMap - Part 1
dateOctober 21 2013 | comments 0 comments
 In order to help the customers find the best Yacht Charter they desire, in the location they wish to sail, we created a new Yacht Map. It is much faster and it has many more options and customizations that we thought users might enjoy. This map has the main role of zooming from the world view, step by step, to regions, sub-regions, locations, marinas and, in some cases (on the provider page), also operators. Every time you click on a link from the map it works as a gateway to the highlighted name, loading also information and offers on the page in the same time.
The map we decided to use is OpenSeaMap. OpenSeaMap was created in 2009 in response to a great need for freely-accessible seafaring maps. OpenSeaMap's goal is to add nautical and tourism information that would interest sailors and to present it in a pleasant way. This includes beacons, buoys and other seamarks, port information, repair shops, ship supplies and much more, but also shops, restaurants and places of interest. OpenSeaMap is part of OpenStreetMap and uses its database. OpenSeaMap is an open Sea Map, and also open for future developments. The base map is rendered with Mapnik using the OpenStreetMap-data. This map is extended with nautical data that is saved in the OSM-Database as well. OpenLayers is used to overlay additional nautical Information, which can be displayed in a popup by clicking on the map.
In this article I will explain to you everything you need to know about this map and its features. I also took some print screens to make everything as clear as possible.
So when you load the page for the first time, on the main page, you will find on the top-left a dropdown button named Destinations that has two different start options: 
-from the Countries level or
-from the Regions level;
If you will choose Countries (click on it), the map will display the world view with countries where you can find the yacht you wish to charter. The red boxes on the map are the links to the country you select. If you hover on a box a label will be displayed letting you know on what country you are (e.g. Spain).
The same happens if you select Regions, the only difference is, of course, that here you have the big Regions where Yacht Charters are available.
Then, if you select a Country from the map or from the same dropdown button while you hover on Countries, you will get to that Country page:
To continue to use the map you can select the fourth tab named YachtMap – Choose your charter destination, the map will zoom on that Country, and now its Subregions will be displayed (e.g. Sardinia and also the number of Yacht Charters from that Subregion). Also, on the right side you can find ports of that country, and jump right to the Location level, where you will see the Marinas displayed on the map.
By selecting a Region, you will have the same level of Subregions displayed (in the e.g. for Mediterranean)
Next, if you select for example Balearics subregion, you advance to the Locations level:

Here you have the Locations displayed, and also a label with the name and number of Yacht Charters. Because of the icon overlap, at the initial load zoom, I had to create an additional label at hover (on the bottom left corner). But as a little tip for you, the easiest way for the labels not to overlap will be to just zoom a bit pointing the mouse on the label you can`t read from mouse scroll or by clicking the zoom buttons from the top-left corner. When you zoom, the labels will also rearrange. 
By selecting one of the Locations (click on the red box or label), the map will zoom into the coordinates of that location and display the marinas:
Starting with the Location level, you can see on the right panel name Nearby Locations, the closest Locations to the current one and also the distance in sea miles (SM) to them.
The final and the most important level is the Marina level. Here you can finally see the offers by clicking on the icon:

All data in the OpenStreetMap data bank, so also those of OpenSeaMap, stand under the license "creative Commons Attribution share Alike 2.0" ("Name naming under the same conditions"), or briefly: CC-by-SA the license says that any kind of use of OSM data, also commercially, is allowed, nevertheless, it has to be declared, that the data come from OSM, and every product which is derived from OSM data must stand again under the CC-by-SA-License.
The data are thereby compatible also with those of Wikipedia and the cooperation is easily possible.
I hope this article will help you understand easier how to use the map. There will be a second article in which I will explain how the menu works and also some of the tricks I used in code.

dateOctober 21 2013 | comments 0 comments

The new YachtMap - Part 1
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