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Author Topic: Discover new places with Plarker  (Read 19054 times)
Veign
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« on: September 30, 2009, 12:20:50 PM »

This is a personal project of mine that I wanted to share with the DC community.  Before I tell about, I'll share why I created it.  I was on a weekend getaway in a new city that I had never been to before.  Walking around the city I knew that friends had visited but didn't know where they had gone or restaurants they liked and would recommend.  It would have been nice to know what my friends would recommend (what I consider a trusted source recommendation).  This is why I created Plarker.  Basically I would have a single map made up of my places and the places of the users that I am following.

Link:
http://plarker.com

What is Plarker?
Plarkerâ„¢ is a way discover new places to visit. You add places to your map. Your friends add places to theirs. Then share your maps. The places on your map and your friends map are overlayed onto a single map.

Thing you can do
# Create a map of places you've been
# Discover new places using your friends' maps
# Combine maps for a personalized map
# Embed maps on your website

Some usage ideas on Plarker
# Create a personal map and share your places with friends
# Setup a corporate account to let people add your business locations to their map
# Create an account for your town and tell others what's cool
# Like to hike? Show the trails where you've been
# Create an antiquing map and share the hotspots

Screenshots
The Homepage


Sample Map (all parks in the US)


Link:
http://plarker.com

Like everything I develop for personal use it Free and I am always looking for suggestions to improve it.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 01:29:58 PM by Veign » Logged

mouser
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 01:13:27 PM »

Very cool -- I love the idea.
I think we should be the first to add Plarker fields to the user profiles on the DC forum.
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Veign
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 01:18:10 PM »

Thanx mouser.  I'll work with on how to accomplish this.

Also, since this is the first public beta there may be issues and growing pains so please bear with me.  If you have suggestions on making it better shoot me an email.
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Veign
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 04:17:35 PM »

Ok.  Been updating the site throughout the day so anyone hitting one of the quirks they should be fixed now.  I also turned the image upload back on.
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Veign
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 09:37:45 AM »

Anyone else have any suggestions or comments on the site?
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 10:22:50 AM »

When i use the Locate feature on "add a new place" -- it just picks the best match -- might be nice if it were like google maps and showed the top matches to my search in a list that i could choose from.
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Veign
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 10:29:22 AM »

Its show what Googles API returns which is: One location if it thinks it found your location and multiple if there are any questions on their end.  When multiple locations are returned I do show that list below the locate textbox.
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Veign
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 10:31:46 AM »

Based on your feedback the Add Place form will change to be more intuitive to how a user will expect it to work and make it efficient for them to enter places.  This is going to take some time to figure out and test (hopefully in a couple weeks it will be completed).
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tomos
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 01:02:24 PM »

Veign - I dont know if I'm being really dumb but I cant find a link to it ?
(in your blog too - there appears to be a link in the map there, but nothing happens when I click it)
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Tom
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 01:13:48 PM »

hahha i can't believe he didn't post a link! and i didn't even notice.

http://www.plarker.com/
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 01:17:28 PM by mouser » Logged
Veign
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 01:29:35 PM »

Doh!  Post updated.  Mind my is mush from working on it.
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tomos
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 01:49:54 PM »

hahha i can't believe he didn't post a link! and i didn't even notice.

http://www.plarker.com/

I was wondering had you telepathic powers because I didnt even find it via google cheesy
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Tom
Veign
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 01:51:58 PM »

Didn't find it via Google since the domain never existed before I created it and its only been live for a couple days.  Will take time to get the word Plarker connected to the domain.

Thanx for pointing out the missing link...
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tomos
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 07:52:28 AM »

yes, very nice idea Veign thumbs up

I was wondering:
could it be possible to add things that arent shown on google maps?
i.e. I find the location on the map and mark it manually?
e.g. I live in the woods - I could recommend a lot of places to go that dont have addresses as such smiley

Re navigation:
with google maps (in FF) I can use Ctrl+mousewheel to zoom in on the map  - this makes navigation very easy.
I dont know how they do that because in FF Ctrl+Wheel normally zooms the whole page - if you could get it to work, the google maps way would be great.
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Tom
Veign
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2009, 08:25:44 AM »

yes, very nice idea Veign thumbs up

Thank You

I was wondering:
could it be possible to add things that arent shown on google maps?
i.e. I find the location on the map and mark it manually?
e.g. I live in the woods - I could recommend a lot of places to go that dont have addresses as such smiley

Yes.  When you add a place just click the map to add marker anywhere on the map and then give a city and state name in the details section.  This will prevent Plarker from doing any kind of geocoding.

Re navigation:
with google maps (in FF) I can use Ctrl+mousewheel to zoom in on the map  - this makes navigation very easy.
I dont know how they do that because in FF Ctrl+Wheel normally zooms the whole page - if you could get it to work, the google maps way would be great.

That was in the first, private beta release but removed since I found when users had browser viewports smaller than the map they needed the scroll wheel to scroll the page and its was confusing when the map was intercepting the event.  Things I will be working on is a resizable map so the map can be any size (including full screen).  When this happens I will be adding the scrollbar event back in.

Thanx for the feedback and please keep the questions and comments coming.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 08:27:21 AM by Veign » Logged

tomos
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2009, 09:19:47 AM »

Website:
  • Links are almost unreadable here due to combo of very small font size and bold formatting.
  • I find it initially confusing - dont know where to go, what to click in order to get going.
  • How about if you had an "Add new place" link on first page (after login) -
    I havent actually saved any thing yet & realise I can have many maps but the "Add new place" link could bring you initally to the "My Places" page where presumably you would select your map or make a new one (correct me if wrong)

Ah, it only works for N.America?
I added a marker & tried giving it City & Country (Germany) but that didnt work.
Also tried adding a German address - no joy there either.
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Tom
Veign
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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2009, 09:49:04 AM »

Germany should work.  Will look into this.   If you add a marker and give it a germany address it should be saved without an issue.  Is that not what you see?  Can you send me a valid German address that I can test with?

Adding a link or button on the logged in index page about adding a new place is not a problem - added to my todo list for tonight.

What links are hard to read?

Also, you have only two maps:
1) Your homepage map which is made up of your places and overlayed with places from anyone you're following
2) Your My Places map which is only your places.
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tomos
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« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2009, 10:27:12 AM »

The links at the top and bottom are hard to read (Home, etc.)

I dont have a problem with most sites I visit so I dont think it's anything todo with screen resolution

When I change country the States option doesnt change (remains at the N.Ameerican options) - I think that might be the problem. The State ('Bundesland') is actually unimportant here.

Here's a german shop address (address checked in google map)
Karstadt
Fackelrondell 1,
67655 Kaiserslautern

The 'state' is
Rheinland-Pfalz  =  Rhineland-Palatinate (English version)
but note that this is never used in the (postal) address
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Tom
Veign
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« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2009, 12:28:31 PM »

Thanx.  Tomos.  I see the problem with Germany so hopefully I will I have a fix shortly.  As far as states I actually didn't know that Germany had states.  Will look into this issue too.
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Veign
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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2009, 01:06:40 PM »

Tomos.  The issue should be fixed now.  Any location in the world can be selected and the geocoder will work without the catastrophic failure.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
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Veign
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« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2009, 06:01:58 PM »

Just made some minor interface updates.
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tomos
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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2009, 02:13:17 AM »

okay german addresses working now Thmbsup
as said above the 'state' is unimportant here (it's never used as such) - I just mentioned it cause googlemap used to use it (at times at any rate) & I thought that might have been related to problem of saving german sites.

Is there a way to know if a marked site is "Private Location (viewed by you only)" without going into edit mode ? (if not would be helpful)

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Veign
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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2009, 09:12:11 AM »

Not yet.  I will be updating the marker bubble to include a pad-lock icon.  Hopefully that will come this weekend - need to get a proposal done first.

edited - This has been added and I will push an update Sunday night.  I really want to try and get the more efficient Add Place mechanism in place.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 10:58:47 AM by Veign » Logged

Veign
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« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2009, 06:55:45 PM »

The Add Place functionality has been reworked is much more efficient at getting your places quickly added to your map:


Going to keep this in the sandbox for a couple days while I test to make sure I didn't break something by doing things a little different.

Thanx Mouser for the suggestion on this - its so much better now
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Veign
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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2009, 10:53:52 AM »

The new Add Place is now live.  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  Entering places is far more efficient then before.
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