Hi all, Phil here from the engineering team behind the new (and old) viewers. @Jamespipe just brought this thread to my attention and I wanted to provide some more context and information. We’ve heard your feedback loud and clear, and fixes are rolling next week that we hope will address all the issues mentioned in this thread and many more.
The background here is that our old viewer worked well out of the box, but did not provide the hooks we needed to develop features on top of it. We are very actively developing new 3d features at this point (to start, we now have 3d support for the most popular annotation tools), but all of those features will be built on the new viewer. We can switch folks back to the old viewer temporarily, but we will be working hard to get everyone on the new viewer so everyone can benefit from all the new feature work. As for concerns with the new viewer, I can assure everyone that the issues mentioned here are more “bumps in the road” than they are structural defects:
Transparency. This greatly helps annotation appearance, but we underestimated how disruptive it would be for non-annotation related workflows. As of next week, anyone can opt out of transparency in the new viewer, and keep that setting permanently. We could expose this setting as a feature, but I’m hopeful we can find a solution that will work for everyone without making the product more complex.
Blurry tiles. We’ve found and fixed a couple of issues with the way that tiles are selected to be loaded at higher res. We hope that these “blurry tiles” issues will simply disappear next week, but of course we are eagerly anticipating your feedback so we can tell if we’ve finished the job or not. If not, we want to hear from you. But please note that this blurriness is a viewer issue only – your old maps will sharpen as the viewer code improves.
Controls. We have improved zooming to make it feel much more natural, and easier to control where the “object of interest” lands. It’s my opinion that the new style of controls – orbiting around an object of interest – should be much more familiar to users of various CAD packages than the old viewer’s “map” like controls. Before becoming an engineer I was an architect (and user of these same CAD tools), and I can’t think of one that uses the “map” like controls of our old viewer; they are all based on pan/orbit/zoom. In particular, I’d expect that the inspection of vertical surfaces / facades will feel much more natural when compared to the old viewer. If next week’s release ships and you still feel that the old controls are fundamentally more intuitive, please reach out.
Thank you all again for your patience as we work through these growing pains. If you need to switch back to the old viewer temporarily, please do reach out to support. You can probably expect an email from me a few days later, asking to re-try the new viewer. But we’ll let you stay with the old one until you’re convinced, and we’ll keep working on the new one until everyone on DroneDeploy prefers it.
I’ll post back here when the release in question goes live. Your feedback is much appreciated!