The History of the VST Postermaps*

Year DB Info
2014 DB8 The idea of tracking poster moments came up during a discussion in the VST slack during DB8 (2014) where Sokar and XelaReko came up with the idea of trying to track poster moments during the run. Before this the "Poster Moment" column on the VST spreadsheet did not exist. However, this idea did not come at the beginning of the run, but 3 days in to the run, so significant backtracking was needed to find the poser moments from the previous days, and get them added. As a result the first "Poster Moments" playlist was created on the Desert Bus YouTube channel.

This later spawned the idea of "marking" the items on the poster with the day and line number on the spreadsheet. Which looked like this: DB8-13-sheet_numbers.png However, as it turns out this isn't long-term viable as line numbers on the spreadsheet can change, even years later.

Sokar suggested he would make a ImageMap of the poster using the HTML's ImageMap (w3schools) functionality which uses: map elements (MDN) and area elements (MDN), and the Gimp ImageMap plugin (that allows drawing HTML ImageMaps) after the run finished. This resulted in the first ever click-able postermap that was released on 2014-12-03 01:08 and was put up on J's website with a copy sent to Graham.

However, there is one problem with the Gimp ImageMap plugin, it does not allow for the insertion of the title portions of the 'area' elements (that give you the hover text names). As such this must be done by-hand when the area element is added to the html for the website, as long as puting the title name for the area(s) in the findable items list. This makes the image maps quite labor intensive, as there are no automation shortcuts for most of the items that go in to drawing them and adding the result to the VST website. Also, area(s) with title elements in them can not be imported in to the Gimp ImageMap plugin (it just crashes) so 2 versions must always be kept, the version on the website, and the version for Gimp.

Shortly after the initial postermap was posted J found a way to improve the hover text and cause the effected element to be highlighted via an imagemap plugin to jquery, which is still used currently.
2015 DB9 DB9 was the first year that the VST website existed publicly. As a result about a day in to the run (2015-11-14 13:52:02) Sokar decided to see if he could draw the postermap live during the run. As only updating small elements at a time during the run only takes about 1-2 hours (depending on element size). As a result the first during-the-run postermap was born. This used the same tech developed during and after the DB8 run, just updated to the new VST website, and posts in chat with an updated version number.

However, this year had a problem, at 2015-11-20 00:14:15 Lunsford posted a poster update that shifted everything on the poster ~10px to the left. See: DB9 Poster Revisions V-16 and V-17 This completely stopped the during-the-run postermap making for that year, as that meant nearly every single element had to be re-drawn.

As a result the DB9 postermap would not be finished until 2015-11-29 21:31:00 (8 days after the run ended).
2016+ DB10+ As a result of making the DB6 postermap as a pre-run surprise for DB10, Sokar figured out how to better use/abuse the ImageMap standard (and how browsers choose to display that information). Basically: Sokar figured out a way to have multiple maps of the same spot at the same time. This has to do with the way the maps are ordered in the code for the page, such that the map "on top" must be "first" then the map "below" that one and so on. However, Multi-part elements (like the NyanCat Scarf) may need to be split up as certain pieces may be behind certain elements, while in-front of others. As the DB6 poster is incredibly complex with multiple layered elements this lead to a better understanding of how to embed easter-eggs, and how to handle elements that overlap.

As a result of the discoveries making the DB6 postermap while drawing the DB10 postermap Sokar was able to better imbed easter-eggs along with the normal maps as the run went-along.

However, drawing postermaps live is not without its problems:
Sometimes elements move, sometimes elements overlap previous elements, etc.
Sometimes map(areas) need to be moved (in the HTML code) above or below another map(area), as something has moved in front or behind it.
The end result is at the "end" of a run the postermap looks sloppy in some places. As a result Sokar cleans up the postermap after the end of the run each year.

The final versions of the DB10+ postermaps were released on:
2016-12-13 05:27 - DB10 postermap final version released.
2017-12-18 22:43 - DB11 postermap final version released. (Was delayed because of YouTube upload problems.)
2018-12-07 01:54 - DB12 postermap final version released.
2019-11-18 15:29 - DB13 postermap final version released.
2021-01-20 20:00 - DB14 postermap final version released. (Was delated because of "One More Thing" [Post-run $1Mil. Celebration])
2021-12-20 19:02 - DB15 postermap final version released.
2022-03-07 10:34 - DB15 U.S.S. Tucson postermap released. (was delayed because of burnout and it being a multi-year events poster)
2023-03-27 01:38 - DB16 postermap final version released. (Was delayed because Sokar opened his poster tube in Dec. when it arrived) [All posters had a severe missprint]
2024-02-02 22:14 - DB17 postermap final version released.
Pre-2014 Pre-DB8 As part of the VST Recovery Project (See: VST Timeline and Missing Data) Starting with DB9 Sokar made himself the goal to recover the all old data possible from a previous years of DB, upload the resulting data, and then making a postermap available for that year.

As a result Postermaps for previous runs were released on the following dates:
2015-06-29 13:41 - DB7 postermap released (same time as the VST website being made public for the first time).
2016-11-06 18:00 - DB6 postermap released (to-date the most complex postermap of the bunch)
2016-11-06 18:00 - DB6 Dancemap released (As this was a version of the poster everyone also wanted a copy of, Sokar decided to do something fun to remember it.)
2018-01-08 19:47 - DB1 postermap released (of the Lunsford poster, good version of the Finfrock poster has not been found yet).
2018-10-28 19:16 - DB5 postermap released (as the lead-in to the DB12 run).
2018-12-30 23:03 - DB2 postermap released (as the final part of the DB2 Video release)
2019-10-26 23:04 - DB4 postermap released (as part of releasing the recovered DB4 local recordings)
2020-05-10 17:41 - DB3 postermap released (of the Lunsford poster, final part of relesing the DB3 local recordings)
2020-05-14 20:05 - DB3 postermap released (of the "Force" colors version of the EpoCALYPsE poster, auctioned off at DB4)
2020-05-17 15:55 - DB3 postermap released (of the "Indy" colors version of the EpoCALYPsE poster, auctioned off at DB4, won by Octopimp)
2023-05-15 20:40 - DB10 postermap released (of the "We are Desert Bus - The Desert Bus for Hope Documentary" poster, only avaliable from the kickstarter)

Postermaps that have missing / unknown elements are cataloged here: Missing Data

Posters with currently un-released postermaps:
DB1 - Zack Finfrock (crew) poster (OG version of the poster is still lost, please contact the VST if you have a copy!)
DB5 - Zack Finfrock (sub-event) Dengler and Butts poster. (Requires a properly working full blog archive)