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Peer review of my toy site

Just for fun, I spent an evening playing around with Google's map API, and came up with http://www.FugitiveFinder.us

Any of you (my peers) care to check it out and tell me what you think? What other ideas can you think of to make good use of the Google Map API?
Bryan Send private email
Friday, February 10, 2006
 
 
How fun.

I was a fugitive in Oregon until just a few months ago. I got a speeding ticket while driving through the state on my way to Washington. Then I didn't pay that ticket for oh...a year and a half or so.

I wonder if I was in their fugitive database.
BenjiSmith Send private email
Saturday, February 11, 2006
 
 
Ha! What a fun site. Do other states have such databases as well? Could there be a national database? I see this as being a big traffic site - might want to get your google ads lined up and then wait for the checks to roll in.
Art Wilkins
Saturday, February 11, 2006
 
 
I don't know about the checks rolling in, but I've signed up for AdSense. I'm still waiting for approval.

I've been able to find a few other counties with fugitive databases, but with the way most of them are set up, its kind of a pain to extract the data... but it can be done.

Thanks for the encouragement :)
Bryan Send private email
Saturday, February 11, 2006
 
 
Not bad for an evening's worth of work. Here's a few quick things:
1. Can you change the appearance of the active fugitive so I can remember who the side bar is describing? A circle or box around it will probably do it.
2. Maybe it's just me, but the pan control works just the opposite as I expected. I expected the arrows to indicate the direction the map moves, not the "window" on the map. If you don't want to reverse their operation, maybe you need to redesign the control's appearance or position to better suggest what it does (e.g., buttons outside on the frame edge better suggest the window is moved, although it also spreads the control out inconveniently). Dragging the map, BTW works great.
3. The fugitives disappear on zooming, which is troublesome because that's precisely what I'm trying to zoom in on. Assuming I haven't thought to double click right on the fugitive first (not terribly discoverable, but it shouldn't have to be) then by the time the redraw is done, I don't know how far to pan to find my fugitive. The ideal solution, of course, would be a tool or control that let's the user choose the pan and zoom in one go.
Michael Zuschlag Send private email
Saturday, February 11, 2006
 
 
Thanks for the suggestions Michael. I suppose I could rather easily add my own controls that make a little more sense in this scenario than the ones Google provides with their API.

So far it seems to have been a hit. I appreciate all the comments and would certainly welcome any more that anyone has to offer. I still have some work to do, but its off to a good start.
Bryan Send private email
Sunday, February 12, 2006
 
 
Some of us are not US residents, and don't know any US zip codes to try, but would still like to test your site. Maybe some sample zip codes could be disaplyed on the front page?
Spider Send private email
Sunday, February 12, 2006
 
 
Good point.

Here are a few Arizona zip codes (where most are located).

85225
85249
85007

or you can type in just about any US city that you can think of - for example:

Phoenix, Arizona
Chicago, Illinois
Las Vegas, Nevada

Thanks for taking a look.
Bryan Send private email
Sunday, February 12, 2006
 
 
One more thing to keep in mind - if you don't see any points on the map right away, zoom out until you do. No matter where in the US you start out, you'll get results. You may just have to zoom out a little to start seeing them.
Bryan Send private email
Sunday, February 12, 2006
 
 
Terrific idea, well done.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006
 
 

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