Seriously improved update times

Originally, Social Hiking was set to update all user beacons and media every 10 minutes – this was mostly ok, but also sometimes frustrating. The updates were also all done as one long list, and as the number of users has grown, this list was becoming a bit sluggish. Fortunately the new Flickr support has meant that the method Social Hiking has updated has improved dramatically!

First up is your location data – under the new method, your location data is now updated every two minutes (for both ViewRanger and InstaMapper) – a big thanks to Mike at ViewRanger for agreeing to the increase in update rates (both sources are also updated separately for maximum speed).

Next up is media that is uploaded via a feed (including Flickr, Audioboo, iPadio, Qik, RSS, Twitpic and yfrog) – with the new method, each media source is updated separately (in parallel) twice as quickly (every 5 minutes).

Finally Twitter – when Twitter feeds are updated (including mentions), the connection comes out of your Twitter api pot and I really do not want to arbitrarily use more of this pot without asking –  so by default Twitter will continue to update every 10 minutes. However, there is now a new general setting, ‘Media Update Rate’, where you can choose to increase the update rate – you can choose from 10 minutes, 5 minutes, or 2 minutes. There is also an option to turn off Twitter updates all together (just remember to switch it back on!)

In total, there are 12 server processes, updating for each user up to 30 times an hour each!

In order to make better use of these faster update times, live maps will now automatically refresh every 2 minutes. This does cause a certain amount of ‘flashing’ as the data is reloaded, however a future update will optimise how data is imported to reduce this.

Future plans are afoot to further improve update times by using ‘push’ notifications on feeds where this is supported.

If you have any queries or questions about the new faster update times, just let me know.

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