In the question Any newer information on the Mars-3 landing site since early 2013? I have pasted a screenshot of an interactive Google map of Mars with a landmark indicating the area covered by an image from the HiRISE camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The working interactive Google map of MARS is at the Lunar & Planetary Laboratory's page Could This Be the Soviet Mars 3 Lander? ESP_031036_1345.

Looking to the future, there will likely be more and more interest in geographic locations on Mars and the Moon in SXSE. Is there a way to paste these kinds of objects into SE questions or answers now? We can add things that move (GIFs and YouTubes) but so far not interactive things like WebGL objects.

Is there currently any way to include interactive (e.g. zoomable, panable) maps?

note: I have not included the feature-request tag yet, and I have done this "by-design". Let's see if there exists a way already, or what other interest or suggestions or comments happen first. I was lightly beaten-up here for even asking how difficult adding a feature might be, which I thought would have been the prudent to do before making a case for it; I don't want to run the gauntlet again quite yet. Apparently asking how hard a thing is before asking for the thing itself is not allowed, presumably because it deprives people from the thrill of asking "What? Don't you know how hard that is???" ;)


IMO you're putting things in the wrong order. You need a compelling use-case before starting to think about how it could be done.


You can't have a "what's needed for Stack Exchange to support this?" discussion without discussing why we should support it in the first place.

So please do not add the feature-request tag here. I am not asking how hard a new feature is, nor am I asking for a new feature. Thanks!

below: "running the gauntlet" resized 50% from here.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Is it desirable ? Maps widgets tend to be quite heavy; we don't want the page load and footprint to increase too much. I'm not sure it would improve the readability compare to a screengrab of the map plus a link. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    May 30 '17 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Antzi are all map widgets equally heavy? How do they compare with MathJax or YouTube support? Do you have any sources for this? Just because some may be heavy does not automatically mean they all are. What about the particular one used on the page I've linked to. How heavy is that one? Let's see if we can get a metric and quantify this. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 30 '17 at 8:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A quick test with a google maps widget gave a 50mb overhead. A top of the memory/ressources issues; there is also the controls to think about. Especially on Tablets device, having a zone that block the scrolling (the map "capture" the scroll) can be quite annoying. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    May 30 '17 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Antzi which widget? Can you explain the test in a way that I can try it myself? I'm curious about learning about this. Was it the one in the link in my question, or a much more heavily loaded, heavily layered Earth map with streets, street names, addresses, all that stuff that is not on a Mars or Moon map? Let's limit tests to maps of astronomical bodies other than the Earth! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 30 '17 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ Using a browser that separate process for rendering pages (such as Chrome or Safari), load the page with the widget, look at the page's process RAM usage. Using an adblocker or similar, block the widget and reload the page. Look at the new RAM usage. This is not perfect, but should give an OK estimation. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    May 30 '17 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Antzi how about specifically the google-driven map here, in the example I have given in my question - does this one need 50 MB extra to load? hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_031036_1345 $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 30 '17 at 12:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's more like 20mb $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    May 31 '17 at 1:23

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