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CommunityWalk Blog

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Every Location Has A Page

Most people don't realize it, but every location on every map in CommunityWalk has it's own webpage. This webpage allows for people to easily link directly to a location. It also makes it possible for a search engine to index the content of each individual location, allowing people to search for that location.

You've probably never seen one of these webpages because if you try visiting one it will simply redirect you back to the map it belongs to. Once you are on the map it will select that location on the map. The effect is that you can provide a link to any location on your map directly. Also search engines can direct people to the content they want.

On larger maps this is crucial. If someone is searching for content that exists in 1 out of 425 locations on a map and they get brought to the map without that specific location selected then they'll never be able to find the location they were looking for (and yes in-map search is on it's way).

Since search engines index each of these pages individually people can search for each individual location's content, making it easier for people to find your content! Many people are already taking advantage of this fact by providing content that is useful to the general public and referring visitors to their real estate service, hotel webpage, etc. It is a very effective technique.

Here are a few examples. Each link will bring you directly to a different location on the "Pivotal Lunch Spots" map:

Little Delhi
Specialty's Sandwiches
Colibri Mexican Bistro
Cafe Infusion

I will be creating a tutorial on how to take create links like this yourself tonight. You'll be able to find the tutorial on the CommunityWalk tutorial page.


Fixed Issue with Adding a Photo to Your User Profile

I've just fixed an issue that was causing problems when some people tried to add their photo, company logo, or other image to the user profile page. You should be able to upload photos now without error.


Monday, November 27, 2006

New Commercial Maps for Professional Use

I've just released the commercial map functionality. It allows you to easily remove the ads from your map for professional use. The easiest way to take advantage of this is to:

  1. Create a map. It is usually best to get the map as close to completion as possible, but you can continue to edit your map after you've removed the ads.
  2. Click "Remove Ads" under the "Edit Settings" tab or from your "My Maps" page.
  3. Enter in your credit card information.
  4. Presto, the ads are removed from your map.
  5. You will be charged the next day for your map and on that day each month going forward.
  6. You can cancel at any time.
I am also looking into package deals for unlimited maps and unlimited markers. If you are interested in this please contact me at

Read more about professional maps!

Check out a sample professional map.

CommunityWalk Map - Hotel San RĂ©gis and surroundings


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Take Credit For Your Maps

Over the past few months I've received an increasing number of emails from people who want to know more about a map, or compliment someone on a map, or get added to a map. Although I can certainly continue to forward these messages along, I thought it would be nice to provide a means for people to take credit for their maps.

As I thought about it some more I realized that this could be a great place for all of the realtors, non-profits, schools, businesses, and other organizations and professionals to display information about themselves and provide links out to other sites.

Lastly the new user page serves as a place for people to find other maps that people have created. Some people spend a great deal of time creating incredibly interesting maps and it is great to be able to see what else they've done.

So take credit for your maps and build your own user page!

Here are a few examples:

My User Page

Pivotal Computer System's User Page


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Advanced Tutorials: Adding Audio To Your Map

When I first saw someone put a little audio player on their map with the voice of a local person describing their little shop, or a tourist attraction, etc, it really impressed me. It made such a difference in how I viewed the map. It really connected me to that local place.

I've been meaning to create a series of tutorials for some time now, providing people with some instructions on how to get the most out of CommunityWalk. There are a few features which are not very intuitive, but are very powerful, such as the ability to include a flash audio player in a location or map description.

So I've created the first tutorial. It describes how to use the Odeo Studio ( to record audio and include it in your map. Hopefully people will find it useful.

Check out the tutorial: Add Audio To Your Map

And check out the sample map here: Sample Map with Audio


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Useful Enhancements

I've just released two enhancements to CommunityWalk that are fairly simple, but have been heavily requested so I hope people will find them useful. Both are a bit rough around the edges, but they will be getting better over time.

The first is a little button on the path widget that lets you get driving directions along a path, from point to point. I'd like to integrate driving directions into CommunityWalk more completely, but this is a good first step.

The second is a new view of location information. It is a simple list of locations on a map. It is intended to provided a lighter weight means of viewing location information, with links to the map for each location. Sometimes a simple list like this can provide a great way to view this kind of information.

I am still working on the list view, so you can't get to it through the application yet. If you want to get a sneak preview, though you can go to:

so if a map is at:

then the list view is at:

As usual if anyone finds any issues with these enhancements please let me know!


Frustrating Experiences

Every now and again I go on to CommunityWalk and have a poor experience, making me realize how much more work I need to do. Today I was trying to create a map of my Sunday walk around San Francisco using IE and there were a bunch of problems. I've managed to clean up most of the issues now, but I can only imagine how many people have had similar frustrating experiences.

So I want to thank everyone who has been sticking with me through out this. I am absolutely dedicated to making CommunityWalk the best product available for building interactive maps. I am going to keep it simple and make it perform as well as physically possible. I am going to build a team around it and really nail it down. So stay tuned!

[Update] I've been doing some more testing and have found a few other issues with the paths functionality. I will be addressing these as soon as I can. If anyone finds issues please let me know. It is a huge help.