I've been meaning to get rid of the awful chequerboard pattern on my flood tiles for ages. Today, I've finally done it. The flood maps should now look much better on LCD monitors, or when printed out.

Update! I reverted it.

I was overloading Google Maps' getOpacity() to set the whole GTileLayerOverlay to 50% transparency. It did look a lot prettier, but it also ran much more slowly. I could drag the old chequerboard style maps around the screen as fast as the mouse would move. The new maps moved like molasses. The whole user experience felt awful. Only Safari bucked the trend - it managed to handle the alpha channel with ease.

I had another go. This time I changed the tiles so that they were inherently semi-transparent PNG files. That was quicker (but not as quick as before), but I couldn't get it to work in IE6.

So, sadly, I've reverted the change. We're back to the ugly chequerboard patterns, but at least it's still quick and fun to play with.