Musings of a Philadelphia Physician who has served the community for six decades

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Website Development
The website technology supporting Philadelphia Reflections is PHP, MySQL and DHTML. The web hosting service is Internet Planners. The development of this website has provided an opportunity to learn new technology, to try out different techniques for getting noticed by the search engines and the trials and tribulations of dealing with malicious hackers and spammers who range from the annoying to the abusive. This collection of articles documents some of our experiences and we hope that people surfing the web looking for solutions to problems we've encountered will benefit.

Google Maps Icons

Google Maps/Earth do not make icon creation & manipulation easy. Here are a couple of tips:

GIcon (look here: has a number of methods for creating and modifying an icon. I've found it's best to start with the default because adding features you expect is harder than you think.

// Here's how to create a new icon with the defaults
var newIcon = new GIcon(G_DEFAULT_ICON);

// To create a new icon like the default but yellow:
var yellowIcon = new GIcon(G_DEFAULT_ICON, "");

// To make use of that yellow icon and give it a tooltip
var point   = new GLatLng(40.39, -75.34);
var marker  = new GMarker(point, {icon:yellowIcon, title:"View Above Philadelphia"});

// To open a balloon when clicked
var message = " ... fill with text and HTML ... I've found tables are very helpful ";
GEvent.addListener(marker, 'click', function() {marker.openInfoWindowHtml(message);});

// Change icon on mouseover (see
var msoverIcon = new GIcon(G_DEFAULT_ICON, "");
GEvent.addListener(marker, 'mouseover', function() { marker.seticon(msoverIcon); });

Note: the "message" part of that snippet has to be escaped correctly.

(my thanks to for HTML encoding)


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