When Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/) was first introduced, the interactivity of the map blew people's socks off. On older mapping sites, you were presented with a map that had eight arrows positioned around it. When you clicked on an arrow, the page would be refreshed, and the map scrolled by one map unit in the direction you requested. Because of that page refresh, though, you had to reorient yourself to the new location.
Google Maps changed all that. With Google Maps [Hack #95] , you simply click on the map and then drag it in whichever direction you want to go. The page never refreshes (although it occasionally redraws), and you never lose track of where you were.
Figure 3-23 shows the system's conceptual design. On the lefthand side of the illustration is the page, and on the righthand side is a set of images that contain the sliced-up larger image. The map moves within a view rectangle by repositioning the images within the view area. These images are drawn from the bank of images on the righthand side (all of the images are available instantly, without requiring ...