Graphical visualisations of rosters are one of the
core elements of BuddySpace. Indeed the name 'BuddySpace' itself is derived
from the combination of 'Buddy list' and the notion of geographical space.
Note that detailed explanations of map construction and editing are
provided in the 'BuddySpace Maps How-To'
Figure 12. Typical map view (using the Mac Aqua
look and feel), including 4 embedded maps (office layout, world, UK, Europe),
3 'cluster nodes' shown on UK map that each contain a large number of
detailed users available via right-mouse-click..
Figure 12 above illustrates a typical map, which is
stored in the folder indicated in the Jabber... Preferences... Mapping
tab under 'Local path for maps'.
Sub-folders within that named folder will automatically appear in the
menu when you click on 'Maps...', and allow you to select different
maps to view. Figure 12 reveals several noteworthy features:
- Any graphical image, whether a bitmap (.bmp), JPEG
(.jpg) or GIF (.gif) format may be used, including any combinations
- The 'coloured dots' (presence indicators) are live
indicators that are superimposed on each image, with locations as indicated
in the map-description files you'll find with '.ygf' extensions within
the maps folder. The locations are just X, Y coordinate pairs, specified
as 'lat(itude)' and 'lon(gitude)' in the aforementioned files, associated
with each Jabber ID (JID).
- The world map above is an entirely separate map,
simply embedded by specifying its 'offset' (where to put the upper left
corner in relation to the overall layout), and 'scale factor' (how big
to make it compared to its original full size).
- The UK map shown in the lower middle of Figure
4 depicts three special 'cluster' nodes (around Edinburgh, Oxford, and
Southampton, respectively). These each symbolise the existence of numerous
'hidden' users to which you can 'drill down' by right-mouse-click on
the '3-dot-cluster' icon. If the cluster icon is all red it indicates
that none of the hidden users is online (so no need to drill down).
Partially green indicates that at least one hidden user is online, as
will be revealed by a right-mouse-click. If two of the three mini-circles
is green, it means that more than half of the hidden users are online.
The send map button lets you send an entire
map, which includes any maps embedded within it, to anyone on your roster.
The edit button lets you add new maps based on any pre-stored image, and
add new presence 'dots' and 'cluster dots' directly onto an image using
your right-mouse button. A brief study of the sample .ygf files (plain
text files) supplied in the maps folder will show how they are structured.
More detailed explanations of map construction
and editing are provided in the 'BuddySpace
Maps How-To' guide.