Adam Howitt's Blog

Jul 25

Google Maps API, AJAX and the running tool

After my sour grapes last week I decided to dig in to regain pole position for innovation with online pedometer tools so I spent the weekend upgrading to create a running community.  The key feature is the ability to add routes to the tool for all to share.  Here are the highlights:

  • User community can add their own routes and save them to the system for later retrieval and also for others to view
  • Maps now use the Google Maps API so no need to copy the URL of a map you want any more to use the tool.  I've also included a revision history so you can look at some of the older versions
  • England supported!  I was browsing around the world last night and I realized that the Google Maps include England and the UK now. I've added cities I have a history with as quick links but will be adding more. 
  • I used AJAX to retrieve routes as an XML packet of longitude an latitude nodes. 
  • AJAX also features in the address lookup feature to allow you to quickly move from one area of the country to your starting street address.  Without reloading the whole page, I query the US census bureau's public domain TIGER data to get Longitude and Latitude for a given address
  • Each leg of your journey has an estimated duration (based on current speed) and mileage.
  • Each route can be annotated to describe the route, for instance to explain how hilly or how much traffic exists for a given route.

I'm working on a registration process so you can have a "My Routes" section and customize your experience.  Currently any routes are saved under the username Guest.

As always, let me know what you think and I'll try to accomodate requests.

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  1. Adam, you deserve some recognition! I am going to link you from which is the most popular web home of walkers. If you can stand us slowpokes, we'll be by.

  2. How about a parallel category for bike routes? This works just as well for sharing bike routes.

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