Oh my god. It's full of code!


Google Maps in jQuery UI Dialog

Just a quick fix type of post that hopefully someone finds in their googling. If you are attempting to use a google map (either v2 or v3) in your page, and want it inside a jQuery UI dialog box, you will likely run into a strange behavior where half the map is grey. You can pan around, zoom and such, but the map itself just acts weird. Only chunks of it show up. The reason for this, as close as I can find is that the map figured out how large it can be by finding the size of it’s parent container. So when you make a dialog box that isn’t autoopen it has no size. So the map says ‘ok, I guess I don’t really have a size’ and it proceeds to freak out. The fix is super simple, but it took me way to long to find and properly implement.

First of all, check out a demo Here

Then check out the source

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<title>Google Map in jQuery dialog box</title>

<script src="http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?sensor=false" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.2/jquery.min.js"  type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.8.14/jquery-ui.min.js"  type="text/javascript"></script>

<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.8.14/themes/ui-darkness/jquery-ui.css" />
        font-family:Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif;
    var map;
    var coords = new Object();
    var markersArray = [];
    coords.lat = 44.856051;
    coords.lng = -93.242539;
        $( "#map_container" ).dialog({
            width: 555,
            height: 400,
            resizeStop: function(event, ui) {google.maps.event.trigger(map, 'resize')  },
            open: function(event, ui) {google.maps.event.trigger(map, 'resize'); }      

        $( "#showMap" ).click(function() {           
            $( "#map_container" ).dialog( "open" );
            map.setCenter(new google.maps.LatLng(coords.lat, coords.lng), 10);
            return false;
        $(  "input:submit,input:button, a, button", "#controls" ).button();
        plotPoint(coords.lat,coords.lng,'Mall of America','<span class="gBubble"><b>Mall of America</b><br>60 East Brodway<br>Bloomington, MN 55425</span>');

    function plotPoint(srcLat,srcLon,title,popUpContent,markerIcon)
            var myLatlng = new google.maps.LatLng(srcLat, srcLon);            
            var marker = new google.maps.Marker({
                  position: myLatlng, 
                  map: map, 
                  icon: markerIcon
            var infowindow = new google.maps.InfoWindow({
                content: popUpContent
              google.maps.event.addListener(marker, 'click', function() {
    function initialize() 
        var latlng = new google.maps.LatLng(coords.lat, coords.lng);
        var myOptions = {
          zoom: 10,
          center: latlng,
          mapTypeId: google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP
       map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById("map_canvas"),  myOptions);                         

    <div id="map_container" title="Location Map">    
        <div id="map_canvas" style="width:100%;height:100%;"></div>
    <div id="controls">
        <input type="button" name="showMap" value="Show Map" id="showMap" />

The secret is the event handlers for the open and resize actions on the dialog.

            resizeStop: function(event, ui) {google.maps.event.trigger(map, 'resize')  },
            open: function(event, ui) {google.maps.event.trigger(map, 'resize'); } 

Those guys right there make the magic happen. Just make sure to include the resize functions in the event handlers when you register the dialog and you are all good. They just say when the dialog is opened or resize, have the google map recheck the size of it’s parent and scale accordingly. That resolves the issue in a snap. The rest of the code just makes a nice little sample app you can play with. Anyway, I really hope this helps someone cause I spent an afternoon beating my head against the wall on this one, and even migrated my whole app from google maps v2 to v3 hoping that would fix it, when it didn’t >.<

Google docs document exporter

Hey guys, here I am with another demo entry for a cloudspokes contest. Nice thing about this one, is that it is actually usable for you guys out in the public. With this simple tool you can easily download all of your google documents in one simple zip file, and have them all converted to their MS office equivalents (where applicable). Check it out on my google app engine site.


An interesting side note, this is the first time I have ever coded python or used appengine. I won’t lie, it was a bit challenging and it seems like it took my longer than it should have (I spent most of the time just figuring out how to assemble a proper post request) I am still fairly proud that I put together a contest worthy entry in under a day worth of coding. For those curious, the challenge itself is located at http://www.cloudspokes.com/challenge_detail.html?contestID=214
Though you may need a login to be able to view it.

Apex Google Powered Navigation Class

Hey all,
Expanding on what I was talking about yesterday I have packaged my google maps navigation tool into an apex class. Using this class you can easily get directions to and from any address using the tried and tested google maps system. Simply provide the origin, destination, desired data return format, and a toggle indicating if you want to expand abbreviations in the directions (like rd to road, nw to northwest, dr to drive, etc).

You have several options for how you want the data to be returned. You can either return the raw xml data from google (kml as they call it) get a nice JSON data structure, a semi-colon separated list, or a semi-colon separated list that is url formated. Invoking the class is super easy.

String directions = getDirections.getDirections('address 1','address 2','dataReturnType', expandAbbreviations);

One thing that I dislike about the current incarnation is that the XML parsing is a bit slow/inefficient. I am not very strong on my XML-fu so currently it must iterate over every XML element to find the desired data. It would be faster to tell it more accuratly where to look, but I don’t really know how. So if you are a smarty pants developer and know how to make the search faster, please feel free to let me know. I’ll be happy to update it and credit you for the fix.

With this tool, you could easily use it as a controller for a visualforce page, and create your own RESTful style webservice, or use it to help build other neat services. It’s a nice developer resource I think.

Download it here or from the projects page.

NOTE: To use this class you will have to add http://maps.google.com to your remote sites in your org. Just go to setup->security->remote sites and add the url.

Coldfusion, Angel.com, Google Maps Directions, and You!

Okay, so even the title is a mouthful, this post is probably going to be insane you are thinking. Well… maybe, but it’s cool stuff. So picture this. You are using Angel.com as an IVR provider. So people call in and talk to a phone machine for data. Now say you want to give directions over the phone. Say you want those directions to be dynamic, and given to the user step by step. So for example you are hosting an event. People pre-register for this event, and have provided their address, which you have stored in a database. Bob Johnson calls in (he has registered and provided his address before) and wants directions from his house to your event center. You might think you’d need a live person to do this. Blasphemy! Have Bob authenticate so we can find his address in the database. Feed that address into an Angel.com variable (if there were a better way to enter addresses over the phone, you wouldn’t even need to pre-register, but because entering data in phones sucks we kind of need their address to already exist somewhere we can get it). Once that variable is in Angel.com, pass it, along with the destination to this tool via URL arguments. This tool will then give step by step directions that the IVR can read aloud back to Bob. He even has the ability to replay each direction, and navigate backward and forward through the steps.

Just copy and paste this and run host it on a ColdFusion server somewhere. It’s ready to be called with all configs just being passed in the URL at runtime.

<cfparam name="url.start" type="string" default="1405+Olive+Ln+N,+Plymouth,+Hennepin,+Minnesota+55447">
<cfparam name="url.end" type="string" default="1111+Cambridge+St.+Hopkins,+MN+55343+(White+Castle)">
<cfparam name="url.stepID" type="integer" default="1">

<!---- The id of the page that calls this webservice in angel.com ---->
<cfparam name="url.thisPage" type="string" default="1">

<!---- the id of the page to go to if this thing errors for some reason --->
<cfparam name="url.failPage" type="string" default="2">

<!---- the id of the page to go when we are all done giving directions ---->
<cfparam name="url.nextPage" type="string" default="3">

<!---- the id of the page to go to if we just can't find directions or a route ---->
<cfparam name="url.reEnterInfoPage" type="string" default="4">

<!---- the id of the page to go to if the person decides they want to talk to a person ---->
<cfparam name="url.transferToCC" type="string" default="5">

<!---- the id of the page to go to if the person wants to hang up---->
<cfparam name="url.disconnectPage" type="string" default="6">

<cfparam name="XMLData" type="string" default="">
<cfparam name="text" type="string" default="">

<!--- Format the directions for sending to google --->
<cfset url.start = replacenocase(url.start, " ", "+")>
<cfset url.end = replacenocase(url.end, " ", "+")>

<cfhttp url="http://maps.google.com/" result="KMLData">
    <cfhttpparam name="saddr" value="#url.start#" type="url">
    <cfhttpparam name="daddr" value="#url.end#" type="url">
    <cfhttpparam name="output" value="kml" type="url">

        <cfset XMLData = xmlParse(KMLData.FileContent)>
        <cfset totalNumberOfSteps = arraylen(XMLData.kml.Document.XmlChildren)-4>
        <cfset text = XMLData.kml.Document.XmlChildren[stepID+3].XmlChildren[1].XmlText>
        <cfset text = text&" . .">
        <!--- Some extra text formatting for reading over the IVR. You can easily add more abbreviations here if there
              are some I forgot --->
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " LN ", " Lane ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " BLVD ", " Boulevard ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " RD ", " Road ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " ST ", " Street ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " Ave ", " Avenue ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " NW ", " North West ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " NE ", " North East ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " SE ", " South East ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " SW ",  "South West")>            
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " N ", " North ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " E ", " East ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " W ", " West ")>
        <cfset text = replacenocase(text, " S ",  "South ")>

        <cfsavecontent variable="PromptMessage">
            <cfif stepID LT totalNumberOfSteps>
                Press 1 for the next direction. Press 2 to repeat this direction. Press 3 to hear the previous direction.
                    You have reached your destination.
                    Press 1 to disconnect. Press 2 to repeat this direction. Press 3 to hear the previous direction.
        <cfif stepID LT totalNumberOfSteps>
            <cfsavecontent variable="XMLLinks">
                <LINK dtmf="1" returnValue="#stepID+1#" destination="#url.thisPage#" />
                <LINK dtmf="2" returnValue="#stepID#" destination="#url.thisPage#" />
                <LINK dtmf="3" returnValue="#stepID-1#" destination="#url.thisPage#" />
                <cfsavecontent variable="XMLLinks">
                    <LINK dtmf="1" returnValue="#url.nextPage#" destination="#url.thisPage#" />
                    <LINK dtmf="2" returnValue="#stepID#" destination="#url.thisPage#" />
                    <LINK dtmf="3" returnValue="#stepID-1#" destination="#url.thisPage#" />
        <cfset counter = 1>
        <cfset VariablesObject[counter] = structnew()>
        <cfset VariablesObject[counter]["Name"] = "totalDirections">
        <cfset VariablesObject[counter]["Value"] = totalNumberOfSteps>


        <cfcatch type="any">
            <cfset promptMessage = "Sorry we couldn't find a route with the information supplied. Press 1 to try a different direction method. Press 2 to disconnect, or press 3 to be transferred to customer care.">
            <cfsavecontent variable="XMLLinks">
                <LINK dtmf="1" returnValue="#reEnterInfoPage#" destination="#failPage#" />
                <LINK dtmf="2" returnValue="#disconnectPage#" destination="#url.thisPage#" />
                <LINK dtmf="3" returnValue="#transferToCC#" destination="#url.thisPage#" />

            <cfset VariablesObject[1] = structnew()>
            <cfset VariablesObject[1]["Name"] = "ErrorType">
            <cfset VariablesObject[1]["Value"] = cfcatch.Type>        

            <cfset VariablesObject[2] = structnew()>
            <cfset VariablesObject[2]["Name"] = "ErrorMessage">
            <cfset VariablesObject[2]["Value"] = cfcatch.Message>

            <cfset VariablesObject[3] = structnew()>
            <cfset VariablesObject[3]["Name"] = "ErrorDetails">
            <cfset VariablesObject[3]["Value"] = cfcatch.Detail>                                    
    <cfset ReturnObject = printQuestionReturnVariables('stepID',PromptMessage,XMLLinks,url.failPage,VariablesObject)>

<cffunction name="printQuestionReturnVariables" access="remote" hint="Print Question Data For Angel IVR with returnable variables">
    <cfargument name="varName" default="none" type="string">
    <cfargument name="promptMessage" default="none" type="string">
    <cfargument name="linkMessage" default="none" type="string">
    <cfargument name="failPage" default="failPagePlaceholder" type="string">
    <!--- This is an array of structures, with keys "name" and "value" --->
    <!--- EX variables[1].Name = Gender --->
    <!--- EX variables[1].Value = Male --->
    <cfargument name="variablesToInclude" default="" type="any" required="no">
    <!--- create, scope and set the loop counter variable used below --->
    <cfset var i = 0>
        <cfsavecontent variable="ReturnMessage">
                <QUESTION var="#ucase(varname)#">
                        <PROMPT type="text">
                    <ERROR_STRATEGY type="nomatch" reprompt="true">
                        <PROMPT type="text"> Sorry I did not get that. </PROMPT>
                        <PROMPT type="text"> I still did not get that. </PROMPT>
                        <PROMPT type="text"> Since I am having so much trouble; please hold while I transfer you to a customer representative who can better serve you. </PROMPT>
                        <GOTO destination="/25" />
                    <ERROR_STRATEGY type="noinput" reprompt="true">
                        <PROMPT type="text"> Sorry I did not get that. </PROMPT>
                        <PROMPT type="text"> I still did not get that. </PROMPT>
                        <PROMPT type="text"> Since I am having so much trouble; please hold while I transfer you to a customer representative who can better serve you. </PROMPT>
                        <GOTO destination="/25" />
                <cfif IsArray(arguments.variablesToInclude)>
                        <cfloop from="1" to="#arraylen(arguments.variablesToInclude)#" index="i">
                                <cfif structkeyexists(arguments.variablesToInclude[i],'Name') and  structkeyexists(arguments.variablesToInclude[i],'value')>
                                    <VAR name="#ucase(arguments.variablesToInclude[i]['Name'])#" value="#arguments.variablesToInclude[i]['Value']#" />
                                <cfcatch type="any">
                                    <cfset ErrorData = structnew()>
                                    <cfset ErrorData.Error = cfcatch>
                                    <cfset ErrorData.Arguments = arguments>
                                    <cfset ErrorData.form = form>
                                    <!--- You might wanna email this data to yourself or something --->

    <cfreturn ReturnMessage>

So really what’s happening here is that the page gets called with some URL variables. Those variables are used to construct a google maps http request. That request actually prints out XML. We take the XML and clean it up a little bit and format it. Then print it off in a nice Angel XML package so it can be read by the system. The page just provides one step at a time, and uses a recursive style setup to just continually give directions until there are no more.

If you just want to use the step by step direction giving, you can of course easily remove all the Angel XML junk and just access the #return# variable and do whatever you like with it. This could easily be adapted to an online direction giver, or for Twilio, SMS, whatever. For now it is ColdFusion based, but I may try and convert it to an Apex class in the not too distant future. Depending on how the user is interacting with this, you could even remove the need to have the address pre stored. You could for example have a dedicated number where users just text their current address and you text them back step by step directions to your office or whatever. Really the sky is the limit here.

Here is a sample to see how it works. The demo has some extra stuff to make it more “person usable” instead of stripped down to be consumed by a computer.
Example of ColdFusion/Google Maps/Angel.com dynamic directions

Anyway, hope you guys think this is cool. It was a lot of fun to write!