Written by Nathan Cloud on Monday, 02 Apr 2007.
It's that time of the year. The snow and ice is mostly done melting leaving things wet, muddy and wide open for destruction.
Now, as many of you know, we have been running a little trail report tracking system here - which has been working out pretty well. But I bet you were all wondering: how could we make it better? And how could we get the word out even more? Hey, me too! I think I have the answer:
Google Maps and GeoRss.
I have been tooling around with some Google Map stuff, and I decided to jam trail reports into it. It is still being revised and cleaned up, but you can see it here:
It should auto-load little color coded trail reports that have been posted with the past 7 days. Nice huh? I thought so.
One Step Further
I also opened up the trail report entry to non registered members. The only catches are if you are not a registered member, you have to enter the letters off one of them "security images" and you can't come back later and edit your entry.
As always, enter your trail reports here:
Many of you are probably familiar with RSS feeds. Basically, RSS is a means to syndicate your "news" to the internet via a somewhat-but-not nearly-enough standardized XML document. This way anyone can grab it, do things to it, and easily syndicate it. In theory.
Ok, sure, yeah, whatever. So what is this GeoRSS? GeoRSS is an even more somewhat-but-not nearly-enough standardized method to add geographic data (like a latitude and longitude) to these news feeds. I bet you are thinking this sounds silly? Well, first off, screw you, secondly, Google seems to think its a good thing. Oh yeah flickr and Yahoo Maps seem to like it too. Take that you low self-esteem manufactured imaginary nay-sayers!
So here is what we got
This link is a GeoRSS feed for trail reports reported within the past 7 days:
What can you do with this? If you know things about RSS, maybe you use it on your google homepage. Or, if you run a website, you can syndicate it there on a Google map? Or just run it as plain old news. Whatever you want to do.
That is it really. It is all just good things that can do good stuff.
And more RSS & GeoRSS stuff will be coming into play soon. Lots o' potential here.
Yeah, I am really trying to hammer this one home.