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CommunityWalk Blog

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Huge Maps

As I had feared, as soon as I released the bulk importer people used it to import enormous amounts of data. This was the primary reason why I was holding off on building this feature. The problem is that most browsers can not handle more than a few hundred markers before they really start to crawl or even crash.

So I've built in a 500 marker limitation into the bulk importer for the time being. I do want to solve the performance issues, but they are very technically challenging.

If you do have a large map you should definitely change the icon type to use unmarked icons. This will speed up the map significantly. I am actually in the process of making it so that the system automatically makes this change if a map has more than 100 markers. You can make this change yourself by logging in and clicking "Edit Settings" for any given map. The specific settings is under the icons type section.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Hour Map - Created With Bulk Import

No sooner had I released the bulk import feature (still in beta - more...) than an excel file with a list of bars in San Francisco and their various happy hours finds its way into my inbox. So of course I used it to test out the new bulk import feature. It took a little tweaking (you can find the original and tweaked versions in this excel file - the tweaked version is the first sheet), but basically worked like a charm.

Check it out:

San Francisco Happy Hours

CommunityWalk Map - San Francisco Happy Hours

Bulk Edit - Sort Of

I am putting the final touches on the new bulk edit functionality for CommunityWalk. It is a flexible interface that lets you import data from, export data to, and edit and delete data in Excel. It provides bulk geocoding capabilities as well so you can take an excel file full of addresses and out them on the map.

Here's the catch. Although the functionality is all there, there are still some bugs and I need to figure out a way to explain all of the functionality in a clear way. So there is no link to the functionality on the site. You need to manually enter it to go there. So if the url for you map looks like:

the bulk edit feature can be found at

There are no instructions yet (I'll be adding them in shortly) and it may be buggy, so you'll want to back up your map (export it to Excel) before using the editing capabilities. For importing, though, it should be good to go.

Please send feedback, either on this blog, in the forums, or by emailing me at Let me know if you find bugs or if there is functionality missing from the feature.

Once I feel comfortable with it I will be integrating it into the application more closely.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Updated Satellite Imagery

Google has just released some updated satellite imagery (actually it's the most significant update they've ever done, providing high resolution imagery for many places in the world.

While I am sure there are many maps on CommunityWalk that take advantage of this new imagery, this map of sites in Australia (below) is the first one that I've noticed. You should definitely check it out zoomed in.

CommunityWalk Map - Geotagged Australia

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Local Search Integration!

Sometimes you get inspiration and have to drop everything to take advantage of that inspiration. Well when I saw that Google had released an API that allows you to integrate local search into other applications, inspiration struck. Admittedly, integrating local search into CommunityWalk is a pretty obvious idea, but inspirational nonetheless.

So there you have it. Local search integrated into CommunityWalk. Want to add a local coffee shop to your map, just search for the name of it, click on one of the results and presto, your map now has a marker with that location and all of the fields filled in.

I also included a field for searching for cities and towns that will zoom you down to the correct level and you can take it from there.

You can find all of this functionality under the "Build This Map" tab. Just click "Search".

Check out this map of Starbucks locations in San Francisco I whipped in a few minutes. I'm sure I don't have all the Starbucks in the city yet, but I've got quite a few already.