Our new Javascript map player is live!

Hi folks, Byron here with an exciting announcement. We’ve replaced our old Flash player with a new 100% Javascript version. Here it is:

I released it late Monday night, and it was just in time. Google shut off the Flash maps API right on schedule on Tuesday the 2nd. If you were using the IFRAME embed code for the old player, the new player will display automatically in its place. If you were using OBJECT embed code, you’ll see an error message in the old player…you’ll have to grab updated embed code from your map page.

Cool new stuff

Here’s a short summary of what’s new and some helpful hints.

  1. 100% Javascript, will display on mobile devices
  2. Styled maps with a nicer blue for water
  3. New control bar, step next/previous, first/last, zoom, full screen
  4. Keyboard controls!! Use the left/right arrows on your keyboard to navigate place to place, [enter] to open/close the photo gallery, left right arrows to navigate photos, [esc] to close the photo gallery and reset the map
  5. New photo gallery with super simple navigation and larger photo display
  6. Fully responsive (grab the responsive embed code on the map page to get the responsive/fluid map on your own site)

What’s not there (yet)

  1. Line animation
  2. Soundtrack/audio

Overall, I’m happy with it as a first release. I really thought I’d miss the animation dearly, but I’ve actually found the keyboard controls and manual skipping from place to place to be more engaging. I think the animation was fun for the first few waypoints, but it wasn’t the most engaging experience. I still do miss the coolness of the moving line, so I’m thinking about ways to build it in to the new player in a smarter way. I know lots of you loved the animation (and the soundtrack option), so let me know what you think in the comments. Bonus points if you find a bug.




Retiring our Flash-based player

Hi folks. Byron from Tripline here with an announcement of an upcoming change to the Tripline player.

As of September 2nd, Google is turning off their Maps API for Flash. This means I have no choice but to retire the current Flash-based Tripline map player and replace it with a Javascript version. I’ll be deploying a release with those changes at the end of August.

The Javascript version will have limited animation capabilities at first. I’ve been working on a new animation framework, but haven’t been able to get the experience as smooth as it is in Flash, so I’ve decided that the best approach is to release a simplified experience first, and continue developing the animation until I can get it working well. You can expect a series of releases this fall with those changes and more.

If you’re using our embedded maps on your own website, I’m working on a fix that will allow iframe-based embeds to display correctly without any changes. Object-based embeds may not work, so if you’re using those, you’ll need to replace your old embed code once we release the update at the end of August. I’ll share more info on that in the next few weeks.

I realize that changes like this can be frustrating, but we’re dependent on Google’s maps platform in this case, and we have to roll with the changes they make. Longer term, there are quite a few benefits from migrating to a pure Javascript framework (e.g., visibility of Tripline maps on mobile devices), so I think the net difference will be a positive one.

Also, in case you didn’t know, it’s just me working on the product at night and on the weekends, so please be patient as we go through this change. It’s going to be good.

Thanks for understanding, and look out for more updates over the next few weeks.

Safe travels,


tl;dr: Google is turning off their Maps API for Flash on September 2nd, so Tripline is retiring their Flash-based map player at the end of August and replacing with a Javascript version. More info soon.


A new bio-optical geographic knowledge system from Crige-Paca

These guys have it figured out.


A cool video from the Institute For Transport Studies @ The University Of Leeds

Check out the video below from the Institute For Transport Studies @ The University Of Leeds


New Release: Travel Modes, Map Types and more

We are happy to announce a new Tripline release with a bunch of new functionality that we think you’ll love. Read on for the details, or head over to www.tripline.net and create a new map.

Travel Modes, Insert After & Custom Points

In the Tripline Editor, You can now click on the individual lines in your maps and set a travel mode. The options are:

1. Direct (straight line, default, good for flights)
2. Driving (line will follow recommended driving route)
3. Transit (line will follow rail/bus paths)
4. Bicycle (line will follow known bike routes / paths)
5. On Foot (line will follow known foot routes / trails)
6. Custom (you can manually adjust the line)

You’ll also notice an [ADD INTERMEDIATE WAYPOINT] button. That allows you to add a new waypoint in-between the two points on a line. Use this button if you want to have your path go through a specific city/town/intersection. Paths will update automatically.

Click on a line to set travel mode

Line following a driving route (follow roads)

You can also choose travel mode before adding a place by selecting [Travel Mode] from the dropdown above the search box. When you do this, the chosen mode will remain selected so all subsequent lines will get the same mode until you change it. This is a nice easy way to create road trips very quickly.

Setting travel mode in the search box

Another new addition to the search box is the [Insert After] dropdown list. This is a list of all the points in your map and you can use it to position new places in your list so you don’t have to add them to the bottom and then drag/drop.

Using the Insert After dropdown list

You’ll also notice that we’ve changed the Custom Point section of the place search box. You can either paste in decimal lat/lng coordinates or click the [DROP POINT] button to drop a new point on the map wherever you want.

New Custom Point options

Map Types

You can now select a Map Type in the editor to display a different type of map. The default map type is still Terrain, but you can now turn off Terrain to display a regular Roadmap or choose Satellite mode.

Selecting map types

Road maps and Satellite allow deeper zoom levels than Terrain, so they’re really useful for things like pub crawls, city walks and hikes where you want a lot of detail.

Player Updates

Based on your feedback, we’ve made some changes to the player to improve the playback experience.

1. Explore view by default – the player used to display a big play button when first loaded. Now the big play button is gone and you can hover over the places in your map right away. To start the animation, click the smaller blue play button at the upper right
2. Clickable links – Links in your place info are now clickable.
3. No delay on slideshows – When you set a place to slideshow mode, the photos will now start to display right away instead of displaying the place popup first.

Here are a few examples so you can see the new stuff in action:

LA Pub Crawl

Runyon Canyon Hike

Alamere Falls Day Trip

More New Features

We’ve also added a few new features in other areas of the site

1. Private user profiles – On your settings page, you can now select a checkbox to set your profile page to “Private”. This means that your profile page will only be visible to friends and it won’t be indexed by search engines.

2. Change your username – On your settings page, you can now change your username. This will also update the vanity url for your page.

3. Resizable maps – You can now resize the map in the Tripline editor. Just click and drag on the bottom edge of the map.

4. Full-width site – The Tripline site will now expand to fill your browser window

Bug Fixes

– Facebook Connect, Facebook App and Facebook photos are now working correctly
– Bug with Tripit Import putting places in the wrong location has been fixed
– Saving place info and uploading photos on the map page is now updating the player as expected
– Embedded videos will now be displayed without having to refresh the page
– We now support the new youtu.be links from YouTube
– You can now remove your profile photo on your settings page

Thanks as always for being part of Tripline and send an email to support@tripline.net if you have any questions, or add a comment below.


– Byron & the Tripline Team


Mapping Space Shuttle Endeavor’s Final Journey

Newsmappers has created a great map of the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s final journey to Los Angeles, including photos and videos from the cross-country trip, the epic flyover of California landmarks and details of the overland route from LAX to the California Science Center next month.  Check it out:


New Release: Facebook friend map on main site, performance improvements

We just launched a small release tonight with a few notable features:

  1. We added the Facebook friend map to the main site (previously it was only available in our Facebook app).  If you’ve connected your Tripline account to Facebook, you’ll now see a [Load Friend Map] button on the logged in home page.  Click on this to display a map of your Facebook and Tripline friends, including:
    • Latest checkins around the globe
    • Tripline maps in progress
    • All Tripline maps with friends
    • Where your Facebook friends live now
    • Where your Facebook friends grew up
  2. We changed the activity feed on the home page to load asynchronously (you know, the “Loading…” text with a spinner).  Our activity feed is getting pretty active these days, so loading asynchronously will speed up initial page load time quite a bit.
  3. The mobile app now loads your past 25 maps instead of 15
  4. We also fixed several other small bugs

That’s it for now.  We’re continuing to work on more features, so as always, email support@tripline.net if there’s something you’d like us to do, or if you’re having any trouble.



Import from Instagram, import photos from Foursquare, photo galleries and comments in the iPhone & iPad app, and more

We’re starting off 2012 by adding some great new features to Tripline.

Instagram Import

Now you can connect your Instagram account to Tripline and import your photos to automatically create maps. It’s another great way to tell your stories.

Click [Create A New Map] and

then click [Create A Map Of My Photos]

We’ll load the 20 most recent photos from your Instagram feed. You can click [+] load more at the bottom of the list to add additional photos. There’s no limit.

Only checked items will be imported. For unchecked items that don’t have location data use the search box to type in, select and add a location. If left unchecked the images will not be added the map.

You can also add Instagram photos to existing maps.  On the map page, click on the camera icon next to each waypoint and choose the Instagram tab.

Foursquare Photos

You’ve been requesting this feature for a while and we’ve been listening! This release includes the ability to include your Foursquare  pictures when you create a map from checkins.


 iPhone/iPad App & Mobile Site

  • Now you can view a gallery of your photos in your maps right on your phone!  Photo upload is still limited to the iPhone/iPad app, but photo display is available on all devices.
  • You can now read and create comments on the mobile site and iPhone/iPad app. Remember, comments can be on the trip itself, or each individual waypoint.

Performance Improvements

  • Improved Map Player Loading Time: We noticed map loading times were a bit slow when the maps had a lot of points and pictures. So, we did some work and now you don’t have to watch the spinning wheel for longer than a second or two.


Thanks a lot for being a part of Tripline.  As always, if you need help with something, please email us: support@tripline.net



Announcing our new Facebook App

We’ve just released a new Tripline Facebook App that does some pretty amazing things.  Head on over to Facebook and check it out:  http://apps.facebook.com/tripline

Your Friends On A Map

For many of us, Facebook is the main way we keep up with our friends.  More than anything else ever invented, it keeps us in touch with a wide circle of people we know and lets us participate in their lives from afar.  It’s a pretty amazing.  One of the things people are doing more these days is using Facebook to check in at their current location.  It’s a great way to let your friends know where you are and share a quick photo and a comment.  However, I often find that these checkins get lost in the News Feed view, so we decided to put them on a map. That’s the first thing you’ll see in our new Facebook App, and it’s an awesome way to see where everybody is checking in at a glance…even if it’s just at a coffee shop.

Friends' recent Facebook and Tripline checkins

In addition, we created a map of where all of your Facebook friends live now based on their current location in their Facebook profile. It’s a fascinating perspective, especially of you’ve lost touch with people over the years.  I was surprised to find that a few of my friends who I hadn’t talked to in a while had actually moved to Los Angeles, and another few are living in Hong Kong.    It’s really fun, and useful if you’re planning a trip and want to get some good local advice from people you trust.

Where my Facebook friends live now

Finally, we made a map of where your Facebook friends grew up based on the Hometown in their Facebook profile. It’s another fascinating perspective that’s not only a great way to get to know people better, but also useful for trip planning.  For example, I never knew that 3 of my friends grew up in Brazil, but now that I do, I know who to talk to when I’m planning my next trip there.

Where my Facebook friends grew up

In total, there are five new maps available on the home page of the Facebook app:

  1. Checkins in the past 12 hours – displays all available Facebook and Tripline checkins in the past 12 hours (we found that is a better representation of “today” than 24 hours).  You’ll see checkins created by your friends as well as checkins that they were tagged in.  For Tripline checkins, there’s a link to the map page.  For Facebook checkins, there’s a link to the checkin page so you can comment.
  2. Tripline maps in progress – displays all Tripline maps that are currently underway (except maps that are private).  It’s a great way to see which of your friends are traveling at the moment (and using Tripline) so you can keep up.  If you don’t see anything in this view, be sure to invite your friends to join Tripline using the invite link in the header.
  3. All Tripline maps with friends – displays all Tripline maps where your friends are travelers (except maps that are private).  This gives you a great view of  all the places where your friends have been.  Again, if you don’t see anything in this view, be sure to invite your friends to join Tripline using the invite link in the header.
  4. Where my friends live now – Displays places where your Facebook friends live now based on the Current Location attribute in their Facebook profile.
  5. Where my friends grew up – Displays places where your Facebook friends live now based on the Hometown attribute in their Facebook profile.

NOTE: All of the data from Facebook is subject to privacy restrictions, so you may not see all of your friends listed if they’ve limited access to their location information. Even if you can see things in your News Feed, they may not be available to apps.  We display everything we have access to.

Installing The Tripline App

Installing the Tripline app on Facebook is a simple, three-step process that’s a bit different from most apps…but for a good reason.  Here are the differences:

1. You can see the app home page before you install it.  I always get annoyed when apps ask me to authorize them before I see what they’re all about, so we decided to let you have a look first before we prompt you for permissions.  This is also an important capability for people to be able to view publicly shared content in the app without signing up…just like the website.

2.  You need to create a Tripline account (or connect to an existing Tripline account) to use the app.  This was necessary since we already have the main Tripline website that thousands of people are using, but we also wanted you to have the option to disconnect from Facebook and still keep using the Tripline website with the same account.  So, one small step to give you that flexibility.

Here’s a link to the app:  http://apps.facebook.com/tripline

Installing the Tripline App

Add Tripline To Your Favorites

Facebook has recently added a feature called “Add To Favorites” that lets you put applications you like to use in the top section of the menu on the left side of your Facebook home page.  We encourage you to add Tripline as a favorite so your map of your friends is always only a click away.  It’s a great thing to look at every day.

One you install the Tripline app, go to your Facebook home page, click the pencil next to the Tripline app icon and select “Add To Favorites”.

Hover and click, then select "Add To Favorites"

You Can Do Everything In The Facebook App

One of the cool things about the Tripline Facebook App is that it’s not limited to just a subset of Tripline features.  Everything you can do on the main Tripline site, you can do in the Facebook app, and all of your previously created Tripline maps are available in the Facebook App as well…even if you created them before you installed the Facebook App.  We think that’s pretty cool, and especially now that Facebook has enabled a fluid layout that gives the app more space.


As always, thanks for being a fan, and we hope you enjoy what we’ve built.  If you do, please click on the “Like” button at the top of the app.  And, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send an email to support@tripline.net.  We’re here to help.

– Byron


iPhone users, you can now add photos to your checkins!

Just today, we released a new version of the Tripline iPhone/iPad app that supports photo uploads when you check in or update a waypoint. You’ll need to update the app on your phone, so head over to the App Store and update to Tripline Version 1.2

Here’s how it works:

Adding a photo to your map on the iPhone
Detailed steps:
  1. Open the Tripline app  (make sure you’ve updated to version 1.2)
  2. Go to a place in one of your maps, or add a new place
  3. On the screen where you enter your story, click the [Add Photo] button
  4. Take a new photo with your camera or choose a photo from your library
  5. Your selected photo will display on the checkin screen
  6. Click [Check In] or [Just Update] and the photo will be uploaded and added to your map
A few notes:
  • If you want to add multiple photos, we suggest that you check in with the first photo and then update the waypoint and add additional photos, one by one.  That way, you’ll only create one notification in your feed.
  • If you have configured your account to post checkins to Facebook, your Facebook notification will get a photo thumbnail (see image below).  Remember that we only post notifications to Facebook if you’ve checked the option on your settings page AND the map you’re checking in on is set to Visibility: Public or Visibility: Friends.
  • If you’ve connected your Tripline account to a Facebook Fan Page, the checkin notification will got to the Fan Page wall and not your personal Facebook wall.
  • If you’re connected to Twitter, we’ll post a checkin notification (only for public maps) just like before. We’re not yet including the photo in the tweet.
  • We’re not displaying the photos you’ve uploaded in the mobile app yet (sorry), so you’ll need to go to the map page on the Tripline site to see your uploaded photos.
Here’s how the results look:

New uploaded photo and checkin notifications

Pretty exciting!  We still have a lot more work to do on the mobile app, but this was a big one so we hope you enjoy it.  We also made some design updates to the main site and fixed a bunch of bugs.

As always, we’d love to hear from you, so send an email to support@tripline.net if you have any problems.

– Byron