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  1. #1
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    New Project with Google Maps API
    Last night I stayed up until almost 6am updating one of my hobby sites, a Pho Restaurant Directory (pho is Vietnamese beef noodle soup and it's yum-mo).

    I read through the Google Maps API tutorials and managed to plot each restaurant on a map. Should make it easier for my visitors to find their way to the restaurants. See an example here:

    http://www.phofever.com/restaurants.php?rid=327

    Next step is to plot all restaurants within a specific city together and to replace the generic red pins with cute little steaming bowls of soup.

    Anyone else mess with the API? Any commercially viable applications?

  2. #2
    Newbie RolandEDP's Avatar
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    ZipCode Search
    Will you be able to search by nearest location?

    Reseda, Canoga Park, Van Nuys - California locations...but they're spread out all over the page.

    I think it's an awesome concept. I love Pho!

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    At geocoder you can enter in data and it plots the maps for you and then hosts the image for you to link to -or you can screengrab the .png and host your own image. I just did one with all our orders' zipcodes for the first 6 months of 2007 that will be online shortly just so folks can see where our products have shipped to in the past 6 months. Only problem is that when there are a lot of data for one area it is just a pile of spots, otherwise a mouseover shows whatever information you entered with the data. Concievably it could show the name, address, zipcode, order number and whatever else you might want it to show-for offline/private use. A download file is also created so you can use it with GoogleEarth. I am sure there are very useful things to do with these goodies, it is something to keep in the back of your mind for the time when you get a need for a tool like this.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I like what you've done with the maps! Good idea!

    You're missing several good Pho restaurants in Orlando Florida, but I bet that'll come as you build out.

    Can you make the maps have the satellite and hybrid features, not just map view? And can you make them bigger, or provide an option to do that. When I'm looking at local things, I usually use the hybrid view so I can spot landmarks and stuff.

    Can you link to the API info that you found useful please? I have an idea I've wanted to explore for some time using staked out maps made for travel destinations.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the helpful suggestions
    There is a link to view a larger map available when you click on the red icon but I guess it's not very obvious so I'll move it to under th map itself.

    Here are two resources that proved invaluable:

    Basic Concept and Tutorials
    http://code.google.com/apis/maps/doc...ion/index.html

    Sample retrieving and plotting data with PHP/MYSQL
    http://code.google.com/support/bin/a...y?answer=65622

  6. #6
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    OH, that is SO COOOL!!!

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Thanks!

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    The one I used is at http://www.batchgeocode.com/ but there are lots of others: http://www.google.com/search?q=Geocode . My map is at http://www.batchgeocode.com/map/?i=8...2bbf73d4bd9a72 it works with GoogleEarth or Yahoo Maps.

  9. #9
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    Very cool. Hey, you had a customer in Mexico!

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Hi Tom,
    Actually that was a glitch (my fault) the zipcode is missing the leading zeroes and that order was really in PR, not MX. I just left it that way because it is not a crucial image, more for entertainment. We have shipped to MX but not in the past 6 months, don't do a lot of international. If you click on that dot you get a little map of the area and you'll see a 3-digit 'zipcode'.

  11. #11
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    Here's what I did for a client of mine. It shows all the locations they offer GMAT courses in. There are custom markers and custom zoom functions. Google Maps is pretty fun and useful.

    http://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Nice. Can you tell us more about how you did it? Did you work through Google maps itself or some third party tool / provider?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Nice. Can you tell us more about how you did it? Did you work through Google maps itself or some third party tool / provider?
    All you need is the Google Maps API reference guide and a text editor.

    Here's the reference guide:

    http://www.google.com/apis/maps/docu...reference.html

    You can get started here with the introduction and examples:

    http://www.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/


    Custom markers and custom controls are used.

    For all the markers:

    I have to get the geocode for all the locations and put them in a database. The markers will reflect the type of course that is selected. All the datapoints are retrieved from the database and stored in a datafile, which is then read by Google Maps.

    You can get the geocode by using the Google geocoder. I found that the Google geocoder sometimes gives you the wrong geocode, so I ended using geocoder.us sometimes.

    You can see how the markers change by clicking on the different course type on the right nav.

    You can check it out here:

    http://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Nicely done, Tom. This is what I do (or did - I'm resigning!) in my career. Google maps is pretty spiffy, and we've made very good use of Google Earth. We just finished tying in a waste water plant web application with Google Earth, more for the "ooh" and "ahh" effect.

    Anyway, Google is giving ESRI (the big boys) a run for their money - all in just a couple of short years. They would do well to make a free, or cheaper version, of their GIS Web technology: ie, ArcIMS or ArcGIS Server applications, to take back some of those users. If they ever did, you would have some serious tools in your hands.

    I'll stop rambling now. I just wanted to say that I like the Pho site a lot!

  15. #15
    Full Member TLE's Avatar
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    Nicely done Pho site. That particular Pho on Spring Mountain is one of the first to open in the morning and is a regular stop for me before driving back to LA.

    I'd produced this site a couple of years ago, the home page maps eBay Real Estate listings with the highest bid count:

    http://www.2RealEstateAuctions.com/

    Working through the examples is a good way to start. The GMaps group is a great source for help/obscure info:

    http://groups.google.com/group/Google-Maps-API

    Tuan
    [url="http://www.wholesaler.com"]Wholesaler.com[/url]

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Looks like G's trying to make it even easier for us to sue their maps on our sites.

    http://blogs.business2.com/utilitybe...-maps-n-1.html

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Google Maps now embeddable like YouTube videos

    Google (GOOG) has enabled a feature that allows Google Maps users to easily embed maps in their websites or blogs, a feature that is likely to increase usage of the service.

    It was possible to embed maps in web pages before, but it required use of the Google API and more technical knowledge. With this latest move, Google is making embedded maps as easy to use as the embeddable videos on its YouTube site, or as easy as placing a link on a page. Below, a map showing the Business 2.0 office in San Francisco:
    (see story)

    The new feature makes Google Maps more accessible to content creators than rival mapping products from Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT). Yahoo Maps and Microsoft's Live Maps do not yet allow quick embedding.

    The feature comes with complications, however. Certain blogging services, including those from Six Apart, may have trouble handling the markup language that comes with the map.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    API still sounds like the way to go for medium or large projects, but looks like embedding a G Map for some small project just got a lot easier.

  17. #17
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    Awesome find Donuts. FYI, you can access Google's embed link via the "Link to this page" in the upper right corner of the map.

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