For a new project I’m working on, I will make extensive use of Google Maps. At this moment I’m doing some research to find out what the best practices are to use Google Maps in Rails applications. I also want to find out what tools there are.
The first projects I ran into are the tools which simplify the creation of a map: Cartographer and YM4R. These two projects give the user a Ruby based approach for building maps. According to Andre Lewis in his Google Talk about Ruby and Google Maps you’ll run into the limitations of these projects very soon if you’re building complex applications. Andre is one of the writers of the new book about Google Maps and Rails, called “Beginning Google Maps Applications with Rails and Ajax: From Novice to Professional”.
B.t.w. It looks like the cartographer project is dead, so if you want to use this way of building maps, there’s only one solution left, YM4R.
Today I’ve been experimenting with Google Coop. It’s very easy to create your own custom search engine and add it to your website. You can take a look at my experiments (sorry only dutch).
I can think of many situations where Google Coop can be handy. For example:
- Only add sites to the searchlist which you think are trustworthy about the subject
- Add sites which are interesting for the community of your website. You could even allow others to add sites to the searchengine. This way you can build it together.
- Create a local searchengine by only adding websites about a certain location (e.g. only sites you know about Amsterdam)
The resulting searchengine can also be added to your personalized Google Homepage.
Yesterday I got a phone call from Google. The lady on the phone said Google is organizing a Geo developer day in Amsterdam somewhere in march. She asked me to whom she could address the invitation.
After the call I realized I didn’t ask for the precise date, so I guess I have to wait for the invitation. I can’t find any information about this developers day on the web.
The lady said she got my phone number from this website. Probably the Stemlocaties Amsterdam page (Google Maps mashup with all vote locations for the Dutch General Elections) got their attention somehow 🙂
update 1: Today (March 1) I got the invitation, so now I know the date :-). The program looks very interesting, so Google count me in!
update 2: Read my report about the GeoDay